Material and Cost Efficient Modular Riverine Hydrokinetic Energy System
Project Innovation + Advantages:
The University of Alaska Fairbanks' BladeRunner concept is expected to reduce operating expenses by 50% while significantly reducing infrastructure and personnel requirements on site. These improvements result in an LCOE of $0.0755 $/kWh. BladeRunner employs a floating generator housing and tethered turbine to create a HKT system that has low capital and operating costs and is well suited for community co-design. The turbine is coupled to the generator by a flexible torsion-cable that transmits mechanical power while allowing the turbine to deflect around debris. This technology combines three innovative solutions to reduce remote riverine HKT LCOE: (1) the highly material-efficient BladeRunner architecture increases swept area per equivalent mass by 130% over the base case; (2) the implementation of C-Motive's novel electrostatic generator efficiently converts low speed mechanical rotation into grid-voltage electricity; and (3) the BladeRunner modular design enables a shore-based deployment and retrieval method.
Hydrokinetic energy is an abundant renewable energy source that presents unique opportunities and benefits.