Harvesting energy from fast-flowing rivers
Agriculture & Energy
A startup is developing a floating platform for generating continuous electricity from rivers
Spotted: As the world transitions to renewable sources of energy, one of the main issues is that the natural resources used – such as wind or solar energy – are intermittent, which means that power cannot be constantly created. However, there are constant sources of renewable energy, including tidal energy and hydrokinetic (‘run-of-river’ energy), the latter being the focus of startup Achelous Energy.
Achelous has developed a floating in-stream tidal and solar platform (FITS) that harnesses the energy generation potential of constant river flows. The device consists of a simple floating vessel, which houses two vertical axis turbines that can produce continuous clean electrical energy from running water, without the need for large energy storage facilities. The devices also do not impede on the rivers’ flow, allowing other river activities to continue.
The startup has partnered with the Nepal Energy Foundation (NEF) for the future development of a pilot project, and has already conducted scale model testing in Myanmar. Achelous hopes to complete a full Series A funding round in 2023 and will eventually target markets across Southeast Asia, the Americas, and Europe.
This is not the first technology that attempts to use rivers to produce hydroelectric power. Springwise has also spotted a Belgian company that is harnessing low speed rivers and canals with small turbines, and a turbine designed specifically to allow fish to pass safely through the blades.
Written By: Lisa Magloff
22nd February 2023