The hydrogenator looks very much like a Venturi tube, generally used to measure the speed of water flow. And as with the Venturi tube, the device is made up of three parts – a confuser in which a turbine is installed, a narrowed middle portion in which the water flow is accelerated and an expandable diffuser in which water flows are slowed down.
This construction produces high pressure in the tube enabling it to produce electricity in a relatively small amount of water. But the device requires no gearbox, which not only simplifies its operation but also does away with noise.
The device was tested in Eaton Sokon, a district of the town of St. Neots in county Cambridgeshire in southeastern England. The hydro generator has a capacity of 30 kilowatts (KW), installed in a shallow pond and providing power for 32 households. It reduced annual emissionsby 50 tonnes of CO2 and is noteworthy for being safe for fish – as certified by special research conducted by Britain’s government Environment Agency.
This innovation could well be used in developing countries where hydropower stations are already operating outside the general grid.
This innovation could well be put to use in developing countries, where hydropower stations operating outside the general grid are already in wide use. More than 90 % of the installed capacity of these hydropower stations are in use in Asia (75 %), Africa (13 %) and Latin America (5 %), with a further 7 % in various other regions, according to data from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
It could also find a niche in Europe, with due account of the inclusion in the European Union’s taxonomy of clean energy of hydro power – not equipped with man-made reservoirs.
Russian companies are also engaged in providing energy to remote areas. Rushydro in 2020 brought on stream in Kabardino-Balkaria – the Verkhnebalkarskaya hydropower station (capacity 10 MW) and in North Ossetia – the Osetin Zaramag hydropower station – capacity 346 MW. Both operate in high mountain areas.
Grid operator Rosseti last year announced plans to build 28 combined solar-diesel generators in 28 remote villages in Siberia’s Tomsk region.