Skip to main content

Portable river turbine could trigger a ‘riverlution’ in clean energy

There’s something about the idea of being off the grid and self-sufficient that taps deep into the pioneer spirit.

That’s a sentiment that Canadian company Idénergie is aiming to serve with its portable river turbine: a smart piece of kit which promises to turn a river’s flowing water into up to 12kWh of daily power for you and your family.

“There’s a lot of hydrokinetic power in a moving mass of water,” CEO and founder Pierre Blanchet told Digital Trends. “By placing a turbine in that liquid you slow down the velocity of the fluid and convert it into mechanical energy. An electric generator and converter then changes it into electricity. Using this, you have a battery that can be charged 24 hours per day.”

It’s an incredibly neat solution, and one that offers to reduce many of the downsides of gas generators — like motor noise, smell of gasoline, and round trips to the gas station. That also includes the amount it’ll cost you, since Idénergie assures users that it will “save you up to 50 percent on your annual expenses by replacing your gas-powered generator.”

Portable river turbine can power your house by generating 12 kWh daily

Perhaps best of all, it’s a straightforward solution which — to use an oft-repeated Silicon Valley buzzword — “democratizes” water power technology by making it something that anyone could install. That’s because it arrives flat-packed, with users assembling it using allen keys and then placing it in the water themselves.

“It’s mainly designed for off-the-grid applications,” Blanchet continued. “That could be cabins or small communities which aren’t connected to the grid, because it doesn’t make economic sense to do so. We wanted to make river power accessible to any community that wanted it. It’s a solution that can be easily installed by three people. You don’t need cranes or other heavy equipment to do it.”

If we hadn’t just watched The Revenant for a second time, we’d be packing up and moving to the middle of nowhere right now!

Editors' Recommendations

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
Europe’s free land could house enough wind turbines to power the world
wind solar renewable energy needs turbine fieldv2

Sustainable energy sources like wind power are all well and good, but the unfortunate reality is that there simply isn’t enough free land to create the massive numbers of wind turbines that would be needed to make them a viable replacement for our current methods of energy production. Is that right? Well, don’t make the mistake of saying that to researchers with a love of number-crunching. Because they’ll run the numbers and make you feel a little bit foolish.

At least, that’s our takeaway from a new piece of research coming out of Denmark’s Aarhus University, the U.K.’s Imperial College Business School, and other institutions. They’ve worked out that there is, in fact, sufficient available land in Europe alone to house the millions of wind turbines necessary to power the entire world. Even adjusting for future growth.

Read more
This hydrogen semi truck could help clean up Europe’s roads — if it gets built
Nikola Tre



Read more
Say what!? A wind turbine in Japan got blown over by — the wind
wind turbine blown over by broken

台風20号 高さ60m風車が倒れる けが人なし 淡路島

If you thought blustery conditions would be perfect for a wind turbine, then think again.

Read more