Saturday, September 20, 2008

Power from water

All blogs have to start with an initial post, and I will start mine with a confession--I find writing difficult and often tedious. That said, I do it aplenty anyway and much of every day is so spent. In truth I'd rather just talk to people; it's faster and it's interactive and we can do it over coffee in comfortable chairs, or better still over energy drinks on an high Cascades mountaintop with a sweeping view... The advantage of writing is also its power--reaching many people at once and reaching many more over time because of its relative permanence. So that's why I'm joining the 21st Century and starting a blog--to reach more people about one of my passions: renewable energy from water power.

Hydrovolts is a startup company building small in-stream hydrokinetic turbines to create clean, renewable energy. What does that mean?
  • In-stream--Placed directly into flowing currents, e.g. rivers, canals, ocean currents, dam tailraces, etc.
  • Small--Sized for individuals, houses, small villages, businesses, and point-of-use purposes (as opposed to larger community or utility-scale)
  • Hydrokinetic--Literally, "water-movement". Hydrokinetic devices harness the movement of water to produce electricity, and include wave, tidal, in-stream and other kinds of machines.
  • Turbines--Devices that spin due to the force of a moving flow upon them: wind turbines spin from the wind; water turbines from the water.
  • Clean--Like "green" an often-abused word. By clean I mean not creating wastes or down-stream byproducts in its operation.
  • Renewable--Doesn't use an extractive or depletable resource; it's operation is effectively perpetual.
  • Energy--This is why we do it! The world runs on energy, and demand continues to grow both with population and on a per capita basis.

Hydrovolts is creating turbines to produce electricity from almost any kind of flowing water. The devices are small enough to be built and deployed cheaply and simply in millions of places without specialized equipment, modifications to the water-course or harm to marine life.

Hydrovolts was founded last year by my long-time friend Burt Hamner and me. Burt's amazing background includes marine biology, cleaner production, sustainability, international consulting and much else. My background is in technology management and entrpreneurship.

Lots more detail on the website: Check it out, and let me know what you think. I'll be writing more soon (really!)

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