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Hydrovolts: "Flip Wing" Turbine Bouys Efficiencies

Hydrovolts is one of 12 semifinalists in the Pacific Northwest Clean Tech Open. The company's "flip wing" turbine marks new levels of efficiency in generating energy from flowing water. A generator can be dropped into a canal or stream in an afternoon with minimal site preparation. Denis Du Bois interviews Burton Hamner, co-founder and President. (podcast)

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Music by Chris Keister

Program Notes

Hydrovolts has designed a turbine that reduces drag so it can generate power more efficiently. The company is targeting irrigation canals, where a floating generator can be delivered on a pickup truck and installed in under an hour, with little or no site preparation.

"Think of it as hydropower without the concrete," says Burt Hamner, the company's co-founder and CEO. Hydrovolts' story has won it recognition in several previous competitions.

Hamner discusses the significance of the Marine Renewable Energy Promotion Act recently passed out of committee in the U.S. Senate. The bill promotes a wide variety of hydropower technologies with significant funding over its 10-year life.

The Pacific Northwest Clean Tech Open is a business plan competition. Twelve semifinalist companies were chosen from a field of 56 entries. Semifinalists will compete for three $50,000 regional prizes. Those three finalists will advance to a national competition and a chance to secure a $250,000 (cash and services) national prize. Along the way, the companies receive support from industry Mentors to help take their ideas to the next level.