Tag Archives: R.E.R.


To Tap the Vortex for Hydro Power

A good place to start to create energy from the tides is in the Bay of Fundy where there is one of the highest tides in the world in order to tap its Vortex.

As usual it took an inordinate amount of time to raise the initial amount of investments mostly from various government bodies from both Canada and United States. Then the predictable came true, the propellers of the turbine system failed. Risks can be expected when working in entirely unfamiliar environments. Then, there is more time wasted trying to raise funds for a different type of blade.  

We are talking about a five-story turbine that weighs 400 tons for a 35 kW turbine. Size and weight has become the problem. The cost of the power sky rockets to $0.53/kWh compared to the current average of $0.06/kWh.

hydro tidal turbine

OpenHydro and Nova Scotia Power

So how does these “innovations” start? It starts with a minimum requirement of one megawatt. The formula for kinetic energy dictates how big this system has to be, which is humongous. Think of the maintenance problems if these huge systems were on land, and then double the problem under deep water. 

Researchers at the Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute (KORDI) chose the site because it has flows up to 12 knots between islands at Uldolmok. Again the unexpected happened: the installation time was miscalculated and a 1000 ton system on a barge capsized, which caused a two year delay.

Kordi Korea Helical Turbine

There is an important reason why a large engineering company (Boeing) walked away from commercializing the R.E.R 250 kW hydro turbine system costing $130 million Canadian, which was tested at the Lachine Rapids near Montreal: maintenance. Bankruptcy was declared at losses of $49 million.

Lachine Rapids turbine Continue reading TAP THE VORTEX

HUG Competition

To be the First Mover in Tidal Power

Innovation is usually geared toward improving efficiency or effectiveness. Efficiency innovations decrease the cost to market. For this reason, investors are not so much interested in the “new” aspect of innovation, as they are in the “improved” part.  HUG Tidal power is more than improved: it is an entirely new good.

What must be done to create new products, enhance market penetration, lock in customers and lower operational costs?

Often the risk and the costs associated with achieving competitive advantage is formidable

Developing new and unique products that are not easily duplicated by competitors: one provides more value to the customer, which in turn creates brand loyalty because having one’s name associated with a new product (much like snowmobiles have been called “SkiDoos”  for years).  One simply becomes the “go to” company as Wal-Mart did.

Enter the HUG!

None of the Present Technology use the Power of the Vortex, like the HUG.

  1. The Dam has inherent disadvantages:
  • The large size includes concrete construction involving high construction costs.
  • Each dam plant is very expensive because a custom-designed, one-off project.
  • Fish-passage facilities need to be provided to help fish bypass the power station.
  1. Investment in helical turbines has increased to US$257 million (Korea) in 2007. Kordi of Korea had planned its pilot turbines in ocean currents at Uldolmok. Korea have very strong currents up to 6.5 m/s.  They have designed 24 jackets (16m by 16m) along 3 lanes. The difference is that the helical turbines are not placed in a vortex of a pathway like a HUG. See Figure 1.
  1. Ireland’s OpenHydro has spent $2.2 million on their propeller system in the Bay of Fundy to date. This company has not really reported any news about their new invention, since they installed it several years ago. The total device weighs 360 tons, which is a large burden. The power density is 2.6 kW/m2. See Figure 2.   The HUG Power Density is an unbelievable 73.5 kW/m2.
  1. France’s Alstom Hydro Canada Inc. , having licensed Clean Current’s technology, planned to demonstrate its tidal turbine, which is in the form of a propeller. See Figure 3.  [Consortium Members: Emerson Electric Co.; Clean Current Power Systems Inc.;  Alstom Hydro France]
  1.  Verdant Power (SDTC support) is currently installing six Gorlov turbines in New York City’s East River. Each turbine will have a blade diameter of 16 feet and is rated at between 25–30 kW. Again, these turbines are simply placed in the path of a tidal flow.  The Power output at 2.5 m/s is only 168kW/turbine. The  power density is only 2.8 kW/m2.  [Consortium:  Consortium Members:Mohawk Council of Akwesasne;  St. Lawrence College of Applied Arts and Technology;  St. Lawrence River Institute of Environmental  Sciences; Ontario Power Authority; Niagara Region Ventures Fund]  See Figure 4.
  1. United Kingdom’s Atlantis Operation (Canada) (SDTC support): 1 MW AR1000 propeller turbine which is immense and very heavy in size. [Consortium: Lockheed Martin Canada (LMC);Irving Shipbuilding] See Figure 5.
  1. Canada’s Clean Current Power Systems Inc.(SDTC support): propeller turbine 65kW needs a 5.5 meter depth and an unlikely stated speed of the river of 3.0 to 3.5 m/sec., unlike the 1 meter depth of the HUG with a more likely river speed of 2 m/s. [Consortium:  EnCana Corp.;  New Energy Corporation Inc.; Tidal Power Generation] See Figure 6.
  1. Canada’s New Energy Corporation Inc.(SDTC support): using superior four helical blades producing a small 5kW and much larger 25 kW system designed for high velocity of 3 m/s. Again this system relies entirely on the affluent flow of the current…unlike the HUG, which uses a system to increase this to a laminar flow thereby creating a zero friction boundary layer along the inside lining of the HUG.  [Consortium: Nova Scotia Power Inc.] See Figure 7.
  1. R.E.R (SDTC support)is installed at the Lachine Rapids near Montreal. Unfortunately, their system has to be built as big as the Kordi system in Korea: 2.3 kW/ m2. The maintenance on such a large structure will be a huge expense. [Consortium: ABB Inc. (Canada); Agence de l’efficacité énergétique du Québec]  BANKRUPT! See Figure 8.
  1. The prototype of a VLH system, developed with a French partner by Turbines Novatech-Lowatt Inc. in Beloeil, Quebec. Once connected to the network, the first VLH turbine has been submitted to exhaustive commissioning tests. (Area = 15.9 m2) The weakness of this system is the low velocity (2 m/s. The maintenance on such a large structure will be a huge expense. See Figure 9.
  1. The most advanced companies from a commercialization standpoint are two European companies: Marine Current Turbines of the UK (cost unknown) and Hammerfest Strøm of Norway(Investment to date: $13.4 million). Both of these companies use a propeller style turbine, which have received significant support from their respective federal governments. In contrast, the HUG has negative pressure or a suction action at its entrance. Also, a propeller style turbine, which is used by the competitors, has a lower efficiency of 20% compared to the helical turbine’s 35% efficiency.  See Figure 10.


Figure 1 Kordi of Korea have designed 16m by 16m tidal systems.

Continue reading HUG Competition