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Vortex Hydro Energy is commercializing a University of Michigan patented MHK device, the VIVACE converter (Vortex Induced Vibration Aquatic Clean Energy). Unlike water turbines, it does not use propeller blades. Rather, river or ocean currents flow around cylinders causing them to move up and down in Flow Induced Motions (FIM). This kinetic energy of the cylinder is then converted to electricity. Importantly, the VIVACE converter is simpler in design and more cost effective than water turbines. This project accelerated the development of the VIVACE technology. Funding from the DOE enabled VHE to accelerate the development in three ways. One was to increase the efficiency of the hydrodynamics of the system. This aided in maximizing the power output for a wide range of water speeds. The second was to design, build, and test an efficient power take-off (PTO) that converted the most power from the VIVACE cylinders into electricity. This effort was necessary because of the nature of power generated using this technology. Although the PTO uses off-the-shelf components, it is specifically tuned to the specific water flow characteristics. The third way the development was accelerated was by testing the improved Beta 1B prototype over a longer period of time inmore » a river. The greatest benefit from the longer open-water testing-period is a better understand of the power generation characteristics of the system as well as the maintenance lifespan of the device. Renewable energy generation is one of today’s most challenging global dilemmas. The energy crisis requires tapping into every source of energy and developing every technology that can generate energy at a competitive cost within the next 50 years. Development of VIVACE will bolster domestic energy security and mitigate global climate change. There are numerous commercial and military applications for a fully developed system, which could generate clean/renewable energy from small scale (1-5kW) to medium scale (500kW) to large scale (100MW). Applications span from small portable devices, to direct water pumping for irrigation, direct pumping for desalination, off-shore stations, idle ships, coastal naval bases, coastal communities, and utility companies. Large areas with no natural resources such as the Caribbean or the Polynesia, sparsely populated areas like Alaska, long slow flows like the Netherlands channels, areas that need desalinated water, need VIVACE as a reliable and environmentally compatible technology to generate MHK Power.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
F 241.3
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Vortex Hydro Energy
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Wind and Hydropower Technology Program (EE-2B)
Country of Publication:
United States