Issue Date: 4/09/2015
Total Award Money: $7,000,000
FOA Objective: Research and development of new innovations in hydropower drivetrain and civil works technologies for low impact hydropower development. The focus will be to reduce overall capital costs and recurring operation and maintenance costs while reducing the environmental impact of developing new hydropower projects.
Description: While hydropower already supplies roughly 7% of America’s electricity and is the leading source of renewable power, the nation still has significant untapped resources across the country where new hydropower generating capabilities could boost our supply of carbon-free energy. Recent Energy Department reports show that the United States has an additional 65 gigawatts of hydropower potential in undeveloped rivers and streams and more than 12 gigawatts of hydropower potential—if fully developed—at our nation’s non-powered dams. New and advanced hydropower technologies will help harness these major opportunities for clean, renewable energy that can help address climate change.
Specific areas of interest include:
- Design and laboratory testing of new rapidly deployable hydropower technologies that can be easily removed or replaced at the end of their useful life
- Research on innovative methods and/or materials for construction of conventional hydropower facilities including, but not limited to, concrete alternatives, in-water construction, and innovative advanced tunneling methods.
- Design and laboratory testing of new and innovative conventional hydropower powertrain components such as composite and replaceable blade technologies for turbine runners, new generator technologies, and/or materials and coatings for powertrain components.
This effort to develop advanced water power technologies is part of the Energy Department's broader Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, which aims to increase American competitiveness in the production of clean energy products and boost U.S. manufacturing competitiveness across the board by increasing energy productivity. Continued innovation and advancements in hydropower technologies and manufacturing will help deliver more renewable energy to American homes and businesses than ever before.
Rapidly Deployable Hydropower Civil Works Technologies:
- Littoral Power Systems, Inc. of Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, in collaboration with Alden Research Lab, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- French Development Enterprises, LLC of Billerica, Massachusetts, in collaboration with Alden Labs and Oldcastle Precast
Innovative Methods and Materials for Hydropower Construction:
- Colorado School of Mines of Golden, Colorado
- North Dakota State University of Fargo, North Dakota
Powertrain Component Innovations:
- Percheron Power, LLC of Kennewick, Washington, in collaboration with Utah Water Resource Laboratory, Hertelendy Research Associates, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
- Composite Technology Development, Inc. of Lafayette, Colorado
- Emrgy Hydro of Atlanta, Georgia, in collaboration with Ricardo USA, Georgia Tech, and the City of Atlanta
Littoral Power Systems Inc. and its partners are developing a cost-disruptive, low-impact, modular form factor low-head hydropower system that is easily transported via trucks and can be rapidly installed.
Percheron Power, LLC is developing next-generation Archimedes Hydrodynamic Screw (AHS) turbines using advanced components and composite materials to reduce the levelized cost of energy and overcome the limitations of steel turbines.
Composite Technology Development, Inc. (CTD) will verify that composite materials are a reliable and economic alternative to traditional turbine materials to reduce cavitation-induced wear.