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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!

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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…
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