creating free water turbine technology

creating free water turbine technology

creating free water turbine technology

democratizing hydropower in all sectors and countries

Founded in 2015 by five engineering students at the University of Grenoble, Hydr’Open is a French cooperative with the aim of developing and distributing micro hydraulic turbine technology. More specifically, the team is building their vision through a Banki-type turbine that can 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 fewest media and materials possible, while producing enough hydraulic energy to power a light bulb, radiator or refrigerator.

We started this project to provide a clean solution to problems of access to energy, which would improve the problems of access to education through lighting in schools and homes, health, development of economic activities and food security through 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.

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

hydr’open demonstrates the potential of microhydraulics

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

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

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

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

In 2021 and 2022, the cooperative tested its ideas in three collaborations: The Banki Demonstrator (2022) and transmission test bench for a car alternator (2021), both carried out 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.

French cooperative hydr'open is on a mission to create free hydraulic turbine technology
using as little material as possible to build the turbines

French cooperative hydr'open is on a mission to create free hydraulic turbine technology
the technology is expected to be distributed globally to regions that do not have access to electricity

French cooperative hydr'open is on a mission to create free hydraulic turbine technology
the team intends to reach 50kW of power

French cooperative hydr'open is on a mission to create free hydraulic 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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