HUG (Helical Unique Generation): a new alternate source of hydroelectric energy without a dam. HUG Energy is a New Good, which has never been seen before; it substantially deviates from any other good or service produced before. Over the past decades, no major breakthroughs have occurred in the basic machinery of utilities.
It’s no secret that hydroelectricity sits near the top of the renewable energy list. But hydro invariably conjures images of soaring concrete dams, rerouted rivers and flooding, environmental damage and displaced people. Not to mention the stiff price tag that comes with such an immense engineering project. These large schemes using dams having long lead-times between investment and profit, which can be over 10 years. It can also use up to 2.2 million cubic meters of concrete.
Presently no new patents exist to capture energy from small waterfalls or fast rapids without extensive use of a dam, which in itself, limits fish migration. HUG Energy produces high energy from a hydroelectric turbine system, which in turn, generates a higher return of investment.
The objectives and expected outcomes
Standardized prefabricated modules should make it possible to order this new product as a “power plant kit” just like ordering from a catalog. The HUG Energy power plant uses standardized parts, so no custom engineering is necessary. A one-size-fits-all pathway could be ordered. In the case of wider bodies of water, several HUG Energy systems could be placed next to each other or behind each other – also at different points in time, as determined by demand and available financing.
This development is an exciting breakthrough in green energy. Small batches of turbines can be installed with only a short period between investment in the technology and the time when revenue starts to flow. It is modular, relatively easy to install and highly scalable.
The inventor estimate that the HUG Energy power plant pathway will reduce costs of construction conservatively by over 75 percent initially compared to conventional dams of the same power.
Large hydro power plants have considerable impact on environmental and social economic aspects to our hydro electric crises. They are not the answer. Small hydro like the HUG Energy is the answer!
This HUG Energy is particularly suitable for hydro applications where strong water currents develop, but also for generating power on rivers, tides, run-of-river, waterfalls and rapids of small grades where high dams are not applicable or are too expensive.
The Rapids HUG Energy
The submerged HUG Energy is shaped like a torpedo. The entrance of the HUG Energy System is protected against large debris by a large grid screen, which faces the current. This system allows for fish migration, unlike dams. In studies designed to observe fish movement in relation to a helical turbine: none of the fish were chopped up; some were sent twisting through the system unharmed.
Energy can be captured from a set of rapids. A set of floats keeps the powerhouse barge above, which houses the electrical systems and is positioned over the HUG Energy network. A large opening in the anchored barge allows access to the HUG Energy for maintenance purposes.
A HUG Energy in a stream can use natural obstacles like small islands with the addition of energy bodies, which are also used in River HUG Energy to constrict the flow toward the turbines.
Contrast this approach with the 15 year plan for a Grand Inga Hydro Electric Dam on the Congo River, which is being considered for an estimated $50 billion. The inexpensive Rapids HUG Energy is modular and easy to install: full production could begin in less than 18 months without any environmental impact. The combination of a multitude of HUG Energy will equal the power of this expensive dam.
The River HUG
One of the main differences between the Rapids HUG Energy and the River HUG Energy is the use of an “energy body”, which serves to speed up the velocity of the flow as it enters into the HUG Energy. We place the entrance of four rows of a HUG Energy column in line with the concentrated flow caused by a bridge pylon mounted (preferred) or cable suspended (where needed). The flow directly in front of this entry is almost double the velocity of the affluent flow of the river.
The Run-of-River HUG
Most Run-of-River hydro works use the form of a large dimension straight pipe. The flow creates friction along the inside of the pipeline. The flow becomes turbulent and the current partially blocks itself, which results in less kinetic energy.
This Run-of-River HUG Energy makes use of vortex or twist-flows, which are twisting in a laminar flow inside a spiraling pipeline at higher speed. The resulting energy, which this current ‘generates’, can be seen in any tornado, flowing at 4 to 5 times the normal velocity. The kinetic energy increases geometrically as a function of the velocity to the power of three, as shown by the formula below.
The Waterfall HUG Energy
This HUG Energy is shaped like a tornado and is used in a waterfall. Electricity is created by a helical turbine at the bottom of this funnel-shaped HUG Energy, which activates an electric generator to provide a standard AC current. The steady flow of water keeps the same full level of the funnel, thereby guaranteeing a steady pressure on the helical turbine, which provides a steady rotation to the generator, in order to provide an unchanging AC current acceptable to the electrical grid. No expensive electrical converter is required because the generator is specifically wired for a specific stable rotation.
The Ocean HUG Energy
One major problem with most underwater turbines is that they require the current to be moving very fast. Six knots or about 3.1 m/sec (6.9 mph), is the threshold for economic viability, according to the 2006 EPRI report North America Tidal In-stream Energy Conversion Technology Feasibility Study. This is the major reason why presently there is no commercial application, which captures energy from an ocean current , such as that found in the Gulf Stream outside Miami. The current there is under 2.5 m/sec.
The solution to address this threshold is to allow the water to flow at its natural mode, along a planned vortex path in a laminar flow, which produces little friction. This phenomenon was estimated to produce 5 – 6 times more power for a given water flow than with a conventionally designed turbine
This is in contrast to other tidal or ocean current motors, which acts more as a problem by becoming an obstruction to the flow of the stream: this turbine becomes an obstacle resulted in a build-up of positive pressure upstream of the motor. As a consequence, part of the current flows around the motor instead. Using an entirely different approach, the HUG Energy experiences a negative pressure, which produces a suction action.
The HUG Energy is submerged sufficiently below the surface to avoid the detrimental effects of storms and wave action at the 10 to 15 m depth level, where the turbulence levels are relatively low. Each of the Ocean HUG Energy systems are service above the ocean by a floating barge, which can retrieve any separate HUG Energy at anytime. A semi-submersible system has building sections consist of vertical column and longitudinal beams and cross beams. All of these elements use hermetically sealed large diameter pipes, which provide additional buoyancy to the submerged platform. The vertical columns protrude through the water level and thus provide this semi submersible platform the required stability in order to add a maintenance crane over a central opening of this floating barge.
In one system, the Power of 25 Ocean HUG Energy Systems x .3 MW/ Turbine = 7.5 MW. Multiply this figure by a hundred Ocean HUG Energy Systems in order to realize its potential.
The Sweeping Area of a turbine= 3.8 m2
Velocity = (15 knots) 7.72 m/s with efficiency of 35%.
= 1/2 x Area x (Velocity of the flow)3 x 35% Efficiency
= .5 x 3.8 x (7.72 m/s) 3 x.35 = 300 kW/turbine.
What is the impact of this discovery? The HUG Energy eliminates the initial cost of dam construction and reduces the environmental and ecological complications of dams. The velocity of the water in the turbine will continue to flow four times faster unabated because of the almost frictionless environment. This higher velocity increases the kinetic energy dramatically.