The advancement of renewable energy has been a mainstay in the developmental world for years. The challenges of being limited to the variances of nature create issues in sustaining long term energy that can keep up with modern power grids. Hydropower on the other hand, is less affected by changes in the environment such as wind which may come and go, and solar energy, which is knocked out by virtually any storm. Hydropower does however, have some major drawbacks. Traditional hydropower projects, such as dams, require large amounts of construction and can cause issues like flooding, people migration, desertification and more. Turbulent has set their sights on solving those issues.
Belgian based Turbulent is a company who is seeking to create small scale hydropower stations, each one generating enough energy to power several homes. The company’s developers Geert Slachmuylders and Jasper Verreydt, who have recently won awards for the Additive Design Challenge, have generated quite a bit of interest in the project. They have partnered with Autodesk and VITO, and received a large sum of capital from KIC Innoenergy, and the Belgian government, thanks to their prototypes created using 3D printing. Verreydt spoke of the competition stating that “We took part in the Additive Design Challenge, mainly because of the engineering consultancy and a 3D printing budget, which proved to be essential for our prototyping and technology development.” Even though the technology is still in the development stage, it clearly holds large amounts of potential and is just another way in which 3D printing is helping to inspire innovation, and allow the future to be made just a little brighter, and maybe, just a little cleaner. You can check out the video below.