- How deep is the water needed to deploy the ECO-Auger®?
- What is the minimum water flow needed to deploy the ECO-Auger?
- How does the ECO-Auger convert the hydraulic energy captured from flowing water into electricity?
- What type of mooring is required?
- What is the cost of mooring the ECO-Auger?
- Is it mandatory to use the ECO-Waka as a deployment method?
- How much energy does the ECO-Auger capture?
- How much does the ECO-Auger cost?
- What other diameters of the ECO-Auger are available?
- How far apart can multiple ECO-Augers be deployed from each other?
- Can the ECO-Auger be deployed in the outflow existing dams?
1. How deep is the water needed to deploy the ECO-Auger®?
Answer. For best results, the six-foot diameter ECO-Auger (which is the only size we currently have) needs to be deployed in a minimum of ten feet of water.
However, please remember that, in the energy formula for captured power from moving water, the water velocity is a cube function. So, as the water velocity increases where the ECO-Auger is deployed, the amount of energy captured increases by the cube function. For example, if you’re deployed in the water of 3 m/s compared to 1 m/s, the energy captured increases by the cube of two, which is equal to EIGHT times the amount of energy captured above the 1 m/s flow. This is very dramatic, as you can see, because we actually measured in 4 1/2 kn (2.25 m/s) of current captured energy to be 4000 W or 4KWH.
3. How does the ECO-Auger convert the hydraulic energy captured from flowing water into electricity?
Answer. Hydraulic oil is directed through a complex check valve system, so that no matter which way the ECO-Auger rotates, the oil flow moves in one direction, to a hydraulic motor. This motor is mounted onto a variable RPM electric generator. This electric current is then purified and processed by two electrical panels into usable AC voltage of either 50 cycles or 60 cycles, depending on the local standard.
4. What type of mooring is required?
Answer. The type of mooring required depends upon the environment and the water conditions. The ECO-Auger can be attached with cables to existing structures – i.e., bridges, pilings, any concrete structure – or to deep water concrete anchors.
5. What is the cost of mooring the ECO-Auger?
Answer. Since the mooring method greatly affects the installation cost, we cannot provide numerical answers to all of these situations. It is therefore essential that we work with your engineering people to determine the safest and most efficient mooring system for each application. Our engineering staff is ready to work with your people in determining the best method of mooring.
6. Is it mandatory to use the ECO-Waka as a deployment method?
Answer. No, the ECO-Waka is not mandatory. There are a variety of deployment methods and structures for the ECO-Auger. This flexibility is another great advantage over other hydrokinetic devices.
We can also design a metal frame with a concrete base, which can be lowered into your water path with a crane. The hydraulic lines would then be placed on the bottom of the water and routed to an above-water electric generation site.
B. We have also considered mounting the ECO-Auger inside of a twenty-foot shipping container, with eighteen inches of concrete placed on the bottom of the container to hold it on the river bottom. The container doors on each end could be fixed in an open position, at a 45° angle, to increase the water velocity through the container. The ECO-Auger would be mounted in a frame and welded to the container walls, similar to the example in A. above.
C. Another possible installation is in any type of large water pipes, such as those coming from industrial plants, electric generating plants, atomic energy plants, sewer treatment plants, or in closed irrigation pipes. A contact at FERC has stated that permitting in this situation is almost instantaneous, and that permits to mount the ECO-Auger within any water or drain pipes can be obtained within 30 days.
This is a three-dimensional rendition illustrating this possible mounting system.
This configuration has not been built yet, but is a possibility (with additional funding) to make the three-point installation for various ID pipes. The actual arms would be hydraulically actuated, so they could extend out against the inside wall of the pipe; the auger could thus be positioned up or down, left or right by these three mounting points on each end of the auger.
D. The current version of the ECO-Waka we built was on inflatable pontoon floats, but such pontoons are not being considered for long-term use. For more permanent installations, we highly recommend either fiberglass or welded aluminum pontoons.
7. How much energy does the ECO-Auger capture?
Answer. As mentioned before, the energy captured is a function of the water velocity. The following curve will give you some ideas of water velocity and energy actually captured, as seen in test data of 122 trials in Avalon, New Jersey in 2012.
8. How much does the ECO-Auger cost?
Answer. The current cost of manufacturing the six-foot version of the ECO-Auger alone is between $75,000 and $100,000. The difference in cost is determined by either freshwater or saltwater deployment. Again, these are guesstimates, and are greatly affected by the number of units required. Our current production tooling is capable of producing all six molded sections in one day. Naturally, this becomes a very economical manufacturing method. If more units are required in a particular installation or deployment site, the cost would be dramatically less than the prices quoted above. As the international market grows and increased volume is reached, we are certain that the cost of ECO-Auger alone can approach $50,000 for freshwater applications and $75,000 for saltwater applications.
9. What other diameters of the ECO-Auger are available?
Answer. Other diameters of the ECO-Auger may be supplied; however, new molds will have to be purchased for each individual diameter. The six-foot diameter molds cost US$180,000. Current rotational molding capabilities enable us make larger sizes up to a twleve-foot diameter. Of course the mold cost is going to be exponentially more for larger diameters, but we are willing to engineer and build larger diameters if sufficient funding is raised.
10. How far apart can multiple ECO-Augers be deployed from each other?
Answer. We have no empirical data to answer this question; however, we estimated the augers may be mounted horizontally twenty five feet apart, and separated by fifty feet from each other up or down stream in an adequate flow of water.
11. Can the ECO-Auger be deployed in the outflow existing dams?
Answer. Positively. This is one of the largest potential uses of the ECO-Auger in the United States. Government documents indicate the U.S. has 45,000 “dumb” – dams which do not generate any energy at all. This is the perfect place to deploy the ECO-Auger, as generally the water velocities are high at the discharge points of the dams. There is a tremendous amount of energy being wasted or lost at these thousands of U.S. dams. There are also millions of other dumb dams elsewhere in the world.