Vortex induced vibrations – Send water past a round cylinder and you get vortices shedding off the back. Normally, this is something you want to avoid. But the bright minds at Vortex Hydro Energy have developed a way to use this method for harnessing water flow.
The VIVACE devise has horizontal cylinders, which generated vortices. These vortices cause the cylinders to bounce up and down, generating energy. The part I especially like is that the cylinders are carefully spaced so that the vortex shedding off one cylinder reinforces the motions of the cylinder behind it. There are also other clever elements such as tuning the spring and damper attached to the cylinder to ensure proper resonance for maximum vibration. You can watch a YouTube video of VIVACE tested in the towing tank.
VIVACE has applications for wave energy and energy extraction from river currents. The river currents are especially exciting because VIVACE can work on slow river currents.
The VIVACE converter is a transformational technology. It taps into a vast new source of clean and renewable energy, that of water currents as slow as 2 to 4 knots previously off limits to conventional turbine technology that target rivers with water currents greater than 4 knots. The vast majority of river/ocean currents in the United States are slower than 3 knots.
Currently, many hydroelectric dams are facing concerns that they block fish migration routes. This has forced dams to implement costly solutions, or decommission the dam in some cases. VIVACE offers an alternative to extract power from the river with minimal interference to fish migration routes. And VIVACE opens up many more rivers for hydrokinetic energy capture.
If you want to learn more about VIVACE, there is plenty on their website: