Renewable energy solutions are gaining popularity especially in the residential market. Billions of dollars are invested each year for solar and wind systems. However, these technologies do not yet represent an optimal solution to traditional energies. Indeed, despite the significant growth of this market, products do not always respond adequately to the specific needs of users. Because of the intermittency of the wind, the variable sunshine, the rainy season or the existence of nearby woodlands, wind turbines and solar panels are only used between 12% and 35% of their capacity. Yet there is a source of energy still under exploited on the residential market: the river.
After realizing that there was no solution available to produce small-scale electricity from rivers for residences or cottages isolated from the electricity grid, Idénergie, a Quebec company, launched its first innovation: a hydropower turbine for rivers. It produces green energy from the river current which accumulates in batteries and supplies electrical appliances to a home. The river turbine uses the energy of the river just as the solar panels use the energy from the sun and the wind turbines the energy of the wind. The river is constant and predictable, flows 24 hours a day and is less subject to weather variations. It offers a high rate of return and the best energy potential. Indeed, at maximum capacity, the turbine can produce more than 500 W, a daily accumulation of 12 kWh, the equivalent of 12 solar panels. This is enough energy to power a home's electrical appliances: lights, TV, refrigerator, coffee maker, hot plate, water pump, computer, wifi router and more. The hydropower turbine can be dismantled, facilitating its transport in the remotest corners, allowing it to be assembled on site. Its quick and easy installation requires only two people and only a few hours.
Representing a major technological challenge, the turbine is composed of: a Darrieus aluminum turbine, chosen for its simplicity of manufacture, installation and its resistance to corrosion. These rotate with the current and activate a custom generator, 100% waterproof, very powerful at low speed. The generator is equipped with an intelligent electric converter that allows the conversion of the voltage to the batteries in addition to regulating the speed of the turbine, thus providing maximum power. In addition to converting river energy into electricity, the integrated smart converter allows for several innovative features: a self-starting turbine, remote tracking, an emergency brake and other upcoming options.
For the past four years, Idénergie has been developing hydropower turbines and began marketing its innovation in 2015. This is the only solution on the market that can meet the electrical needs of a home from a shallow stream without a permanent structure, reducing its interaction with the aquatic fauna. The hydropower turbine is disassembled, facilitating its transport in the remotest corners of the world, allowing it to be assembled on site. With the aim of improving access to electricity for billions of people, especially in developing countries, where energy is more than just a source of electrification, but the basis for economic development of a community.