An Austrian SME developed a modular hydro power system which fully complies with the EU Water Framework Directive to protect ecology and biology of rivers. It is easily and quickly installed on (existing) sluices at low investment costs. The innovation lies in the vertical adjustment of the turbine together with the design of the blades. A prototype was successfully tested. A world patent (PCT) was applied for. The SME is looking for buyers of the patent worldwide except for Austria.
The current Water Framework Directive from the European Union (EU) stipulates, that running water (i.e. a river) has to be open (traversable) from the beginning to the end for fish, sediments and bed load (solid material such as stones, which is transported along with the running water). In addition, at weir systems (mainly for diversion power stations) a certain amount of residual water after the weir has to be guaranteed. As a consequence, approval of new water power plants will be extremely difficult in the future because most of the current systems are not able to fulfill all requirements of the directive. Existing diversion power plants will have to adapt their residual water flows. The Austrian SME developed and successfully tested a system for a small water power plant, which fully complies with the EU directive. The system can be installed on an (existing) sluice (hydraulic gates) of a weir. It mainly consists of a radial turbine which is arranged downstream of the weir on the sluice below an overflow ramp. In this way the turbine can be moved vertically together with the sluice to fulfill the specified residual water flow in times of low water and to adjust the surplus water flow in times of high water. This adjustable water flow drives the turbine for power generation. In addition, the turbine is mounted so as to be vertically displaceable on the sluice. This enables fine adjustment of the position of the turbine to optimize its performance and the protection of fish. In times of floodwater the turbine can be moved upwards on the sluice to protect it from heavy bed load. The shape and arrangement of the turbine blades have been optimized for the passage of fish. Tests of the prototype have confirmed that fish can pass without injuries. In order to make use of the whole width of a weir, several modules of the system can be placed side by side on the weir. Technical details of the prototype: - width of module: 2.10 m - height of module: 2.06 m - output is depending on water level and residual flow and will be further developed and optimized - designed for a residual water flow of 2000 l/sec For this novel hydro power system a world patent (PCT) was applied for. The Austrian SME is looking for buyers of the patent for countries all over the world except for Austria.
Type (e.g. company, R&D institution…), field of industry and Role of Partner Sought:
Specific area of activity of the partner: - manufacturer of hydro turbines - water power plant construction and/or operation companies - steel construction for hydraulic engineering (manufacturer of weir panel, sluice, grate etc.) - manufacturer of agricultural machinery or plant construction companies to build up a new business segment Task to be performed by the partner: the Austrian company is looking for buyers of the patent for countries all over the world except for Austria. It is also planned to offer trainings about bed-loads and transportation of sediments to patent buyers.
Stage of Development:
Prototype available for demonstration
Comments Regarding Stage of Development:
A prototype of the novel small hydro power plant has been installed in a river of Upper Austria. Tests of this pilot plant have confirmed fish passability. Further tests will be performed to optimize power generation.
Comments Regarding IPR Status:
patent granted in Austria; PCT applied for but not yet granted;