Vortex Hydro Energy Develops Transformational Technology to Harness Energy from Water Currents

Project Overview
Positive Impact: Water power from smaller rivers.
Laboratory testing of new hydrokinetic energy device to harness energy in slow-moving water currents.
Locations: Michigan
Partners: Vortex Hydro Energy
EERE Investment: $1 million
Clean Energy Sector: Renewable electricity generationPDF

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.

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