A new startup called Emrgy is trying to make small-scale hydro work by developing standardized small generators that they drop into canals. (Turns out there are lots more canals than you think!) I talk with the founder and CEO about the benefits of distributed hydro, the way to make it operate like solar PV, and other water sources that might be tapped.
Dave, I share your interest as you describe: “ I am interested in clever ideas and innovations and the smart, driven individuals trying to drag them into the real world. I am interested in people trying to solve problems, not business as such.”
Along those lines, I would love to hear follow-up interviews or stories with some of these folks x years later. What happened? Did it work? I feel like your audience (well, me) would benefit from hearing why some of these ideas that seemed so exciting did or didn’t really payoff as expected. Eg. What ever happened with this: https://www.vox.com/energy-and-environment/2018/6/5/17373314/electricity-technology-efficiency-software-waste-3dfs or what is google on with Dr. Ye Tao’s mirrors, etc. might be an interesting new template for an occasional pod from Volts. Thanks as always for your work.
Emily’s comments about the synergy of how this modular 24/7 base-load solution fits with other low-cost, low maintenance, widely distributed renewable technologies really struck me. Remote utility scale solutions that require new transmission spending will not advance our energy transition rapidly enough: Too much bureaucratic inertia & regulatory impediments, not to mention inefficiencies & lack of resilience. The way to pick up the pace is by exploiting existing widely distributed under-utilized resources, like miles of 24/7 canals and thousands of acres of valuable urban land locked up in large parking lots that can be very rapidly covered with standardized solar canopies + storage batteries & V2G chargers with simple expedited local building department approval. It’s simple, scalable projects like this that will begin to create our future matrix of reliable networked micro grids
What happens with fish, can they coexist with these turbines?
Presumably there is a way to calculate (potential) energy output from water flow rate? What gpm (cfm? cfs?) going through 1 turbine do you need, producing how much energy?
Water depth that's needed?
This was an interesting and informative podcast.
From a pod technical POV: Did you notice the guest's audio fading in & out during the interview/recording?
Any sense of the size of the resource, canals only?