Damless Hydro - A New Approach!

Damless hydro is a relatively new technology based on capturing kinetic energy in rivers, spillways, and channels, without the need to build dams or run-of-the-river hydro installations.

As there is no dam, it dramatically reduces the disadvantages associated with traditional hydroelectric systems.

The following short videos give a great overview of hydro without dams.

The video above shows the Neo-Aerodynamic damless hydro turbine - invented by Phi Tran - in action.

It harnesses torque from both kinetic and pneumatic energy of the water flow. It can also be used as a wind turbine.

Since the 'lift' forces are caused by artificial flow of the water around the center of the turbine, the turbine's worst enemy - turbulence - is neutralized.

This results in the efficiencies being high enough to make this turbine design economically competitive with fossil-fuel-generated electricity.

In the video above, Joe Holden - the inventor of the afterburner for Rolls Royce - tells us he has designed a mini hydro plant using his formerly classified "compression tube technology".

Holden states the turbine has four chambers to enable the system to run at 25, 50, 75 or 100% capacity. This adjustability enables the turbine to be scaled properly when being coupled with off-the-shelf generators.

The turbine has two stages which combine principles from the three different types of turbines. It incorporates compression tube technology.

The water is used twice instead of once as it passed through the turbine.

The turbine can be modified to run on compressed air or steam.

A series of turbines can be used as the river progresses.

These systems require little to no maintenance. The initial setup cost and environmental impact is minimal in comparison to the cost of building dams.

There is no risk of flash flooding caused by a breached dam, and no risks during construction of a dam.

The environmental benefits speak for themselves:

- No flooding of large catchment areas, resulting in no effect on the natural ecosystem in the river valley.

- No silt accumulation in the dam basin

- No need for fish ladders

- No additional greenhouse gases (Dams create greenhouse gases)

In summary, the development of damless hydro technology is being regarded very favorably by all concerned. It is likely that it will take the lead as the future choice for hydro electricity generation.

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