Hydrokinetic Turbine Outfit Nets Funding

Hydrovolts, makers of in-stream hydrokinetic turbines, says it recently closed its over-subscribed Series A funding round in December to the tune of $1 million (including previous investments and cash prizes), spelling good news for the future of this Seattle-based cleantech start-up.

The company first came to national attention in 2009, when it won the Cleantech Open National Sustainability Award, and has since attracted private investment from a variety of sources, including two large engineering corporations that will be coming on as strategic partners. Other partners to emerge from this round of funding include MERA Technologies, Sierra Asia, and Ershigs Corporation, all of which are based in the state of Washington.

Hydrovolts Flipwing Hydrokinetic Turbine

image via Hydrovolts

Hydrovolts will be working with MERA–which designs and produces permanent magnet generators in China–to develop a new submersible generator that will enable efficient harvesting of hydrokinetic energy at low revolutions per minute (RPM) without the need for gear boxes, a key consideration in making micro-hydropower cost-effective. Sierra Asia will advise Hydrovolts on its China market development, while Ershigs Corporation will provide turbine engineering and prototype assistance.

Hydrovolts’ hydrokinetic turbines are designed to generate renewable energy from water currents in canals and channels. These turbines arose from technology developed by the company’s founder, Burt Hamner, in connection with a 16 megawatt renewable tidal power project in the Tacoma Narrows of Puget Sound in Washington State.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.