We are faced with finding new ways to deliver renewable energy on the one hand, and protecting the environment on the other. The equation is complex whatever the technology and energy source and NEHC believes that small-scale hydropower is a complement to either solar or wind—and far more productive based on capacity factors, especially in the Northeast. Taking into account dry summer periods and frozen winter periods, NEHC can produce power at a 55% capacity factor or better which is several times that of wind and solar.
The fuel—water—is plentiful and screw generators as we use them in run of the river circumstances do not deplete water or change the flow dynamics. Up-river and down river flows remain unchanged.
The inherent qualities of Archimedes-based screw generators enable us to pursue the development of renewable, clean electric power. They turn slowly, about 30 turns per minute. If fish enter the top of the machine, they simply ride down the screw in a large tub of water and swim out at the bottom, largely undisturbed. Turbulence at the outflow of the screw generator is minimal due to the fact that the water is not accelerated or diverted in these run-of–river generating sites.
Installed and generating energy in many locations in the UK and Europe
Flat efficiency curve, up to 90%, means varying flows have small influence
Low maintenance, due to few wear parts and low rotation frequency
Energy generation easily calculable, typically a 55% load factor, based on average rainfall, up-gradient catchment area and dam head
Extensive testing in UK and elsewhere in Europe
Water is not accelerated or diverted so wetlands and water bodies are preserved
Even substantial items can pass without harm to themselves or screw generator
Simple and robust design requires minimal annual maintenance
Proprietary systems control software adjusts for seasonal or other variations