creating free hydro turbine technology

creating free hydro turbine technology

democratization of hydropower in all sectors and countries

Established in 2015 by five engineering students from the University of Grenoble, Hydr’Open is a French cooperative that aims to develop and distribute micro hydraulic turbine technology More specifically, the team is building on their vision through a Banki-type turbine that could be shipped around the world to as many people as possible without access to electricity. Hydr’Open aims to design and manufacture its products using the least amount of means and materials possible while producing enough hydropower to power a light bulb, radiator or refrigerator.

We started this project to provide a clean solution to the problems of access to energy, which would improve the problems of access to education through lighting in schools and homes, health, the development of economic activities and food security through of electrical systems. On the other hand, this project also aims to reach populations that already have access to electricity but want to participate in the energy transition,’ Write the association.

the French cooperative hydr'open is on a mission to create free hydro turbine technology
Banki Demonstrator, Grenoble INP (2022) | all images courtesy of Hydr’Open

hydr’open demonstrates the potential of micro-hydraulics

Growing energy needs, climate change, rising fossil fuel prices and loss of confidence in nuclear power are reasons that have precipitated the rise of renewable energy in the 21st century. Recent years have especially seen an increase in two modes of production: solar and wind.

Microhydraulics, the technology behind Hydr’Open, did not experience the same evolution during this period. ‘The potential of micro-hydro in France is very little exploited: among other things, between 50,000 and 100,000 old hydraulic sites could lend themselves to micro-hydroelectricity, therefore a great development. In other countries, the hydraulic potential is great, particularly for much of the African continent. […] where the need for electricity and hydraulic potential overlap,’ team continues.

Technically, the Hydr’Open turbine would operate in rural areas without access to electricity, near water sources with flow rates of a few hundred liters per second. Regardless of the location, the goal is to produce 50 kW of power with one turbine.

the French cooperative hydr'open is on a mission to create free hydro turbine technology
Hydr’Open was founded by students from Grenoble

In 2021 and 2022, the cooperative tested its ideas through three collaborations: The Banki Demonstrator (2022) and the transmission test bench for a car alternator (2021), both conducted with first-year students at Grenoble INP, and finally, the Khum’eau Mission (2022) in Uzbekistan. The latter was organized together with Deux Gouttes d’eau (2GE), environmental researcher Thibault Péan and Grenoble graduate Léo Desmulliez.

the French cooperative hydr'open is on a mission to create free hydro turbine technology
using the least amount of material possible to build the turbines

the French cooperative hydr'open is on a mission to create free hydro turbine technology
The technology is expected to be distributed globally to regions that lack access to electricity.

the French cooperative hydr'open is on a mission to create free hydro turbine technology
the team aims to achieve 50kW of power

the French cooperative hydr'open is on a mission to create free hydro turbine technology
transmission test bench for a car alternator, Grenoble INP (2021)

project information:

Name: Hydroopen

founded: 2015

technology: Bench Type Hydraulic Turbine

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