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Hydropower company develops turbines for India

US-based Hydrovolts Inc has seen an initial investment of US$250,000 from DLZ Corp to develop a 25 kW hydrokinetic canal hydropower turbine for India.

DLZ Corp., a US-based civil engineering firm, has obtained permits and a power purchase agreement to develop a 10 MW hydrokinetic power project on the 14 km Chilla Canal in Northern India which currently feeds water to a traditional hydropower plant on the Ganges River.

The initial investment of US$250,000 will fund the manufacture of a prototype Hydrovolts' Flipwing floating hydrokinetic turbine which if successful may lead to an order of an additional 400 turbines to be placed further along the canal. Hydrovolts estimates that 400 hydrokinetic turbines will sell for about US$20 million.

Burt Hamner, CEO of Hydrovolts, says: “The fact that one canal alone can support up to 400 floating turbines demonstrates Hydrovolts’ enormous potential market. Our turbines can generate reliable, clean energy from water currents in tens of thousands more canals, channels and spillways around the world. The Chilla Canal is just the tip of the iceberg.”

The Hydrovolts Flipwing floating hydrokinetic turbine operates like a submerged paddlewheel and is simple to deploy and connect, whilst the hydropower electricity generated by the turbine is sent to shore by a power cable linked to the tether.

No dams or significant site preparation are needed, reducing costs and minimising environmental impacts. The turbine is safe for fish because its paddlewheel blades turn slower than the water current – fish just swim around or through it.

The hydrokinetic turbine is in development and expects that it will be available for sale, in various sizes with output from 20 W to 25 kW, in mid-2011.

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