Issue Date: 4/10/2014
Total Award Money: $4,400,000
FOA Objective: Apply advanced materials and advanced manufacturing techniques to the development of new hydropower technologies.
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.
While this funding opportunity supports a wide variety of technological innovations for new hydropower development, specific areas of interest include:
- New, rapidly deployable and removable hydropower technologies, such as innovative prefabricated structures, water impoundment structures, and water conveyance systems.
- Innovative methods and materials for the construction of hydropower facilities.
- Innovative hydropower powertrain and generator components, such as advanced composite materials and replaceable turbine blade technologies.
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.
- Eaton Corporation of Southfield, Michigan
- Pennsylvania State University of State College, Pennsylvania
Eaton developed a cost-effective Roots-based turbine-generator package to deploy hydropower generation at existing non-powered dams and constrained waterways.
Pennsylvania State University developed and demonstrated a low-head hydropower turbine and generator system prototype that combines lightweight, corrosion-resistant metallic components with a health monitoring system and condition-based maintenance to identify maintenance needs and facilitate improved operation.