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EERE is funding Vortex Hydro Energy to commercialize the Vortex Induced Vibration Aquatic Clean Energy (VIVACE) converter, which is a University of Michigan-patented marine and hydrokinetic energy device designed to harness the energy in slow-moving water currents. Conventional turbine technology targets rivers with water currents greater than 4 knots. The majority of river and ocean currents in the United States are slower than 3 knots. The VIVACE converter is designed for currents as slow as 2 knots. It is also simpler in design and more cost effective than a conventional water turbine. The VIVACE converter thus taps into a new source of clean and renewable energy. This project is focused on improving the energy conversion efficiency of the VIVACE converter in a laboratory setting, to be followed by an open water test of the improved system in the Saint Clair River at Port Huron, Michigan.

The Water Power Program is committed to developing and deploying a portfolio of innovative technologies for clean, domestic power generation from resources such as hydropower, waves, and tides. 

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) success stories highlight the positive impact of its work with businesses, industry partners, universities, research labs, and other entities.

Project Overview

Positive Impact

Water power from smaller rivers. Laboratory testing of new hydrokinetic energy device to harness energy in slow-moving water currents.




Vortex Hydro Energy

EERE Investment

$1 million

Clean Energy Sector

Renewable electricity generation