What is Hydropower?
Hydropower is power derived from the force of moving water. It dates back as far as the Egyptians, where running streams were diverted and used for irrigation purposes. As these systems developed, water wheels and water mills emerged. In a water mill, a wheel is spun by water’s force, automating processes such as grinding grains into flour, sawing timber, or cutting stone.
Today, the same principles are used to capture energy from water but for more sophisticated purposes. Water turns an impeller on a shaft which spins a generator. The generator produces electricity which can be used on site or sold to the power grid. Hydropower generated like this can then be used when and where it is needed all over the world.
Although multiple methods of capturing energy from the water cycle exist, SOAR Technologies specializes in conduit hydropower. Conduit hydropower takes water already diverted from natural sources for various uses and recovers the lost energy. This includes applications in new water systems as well as existing ones.
The most common applications for SOAR’s products are at Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) locations already in water systems. When water is transferred from higher to lower elevations, PRVs reduce the pressure to a more usable level. Traditional mechanical valving dispenses this pressure as lost energy. SOAR’s systems instead recover the lost power as electricity, enabling more sustainable and financially viable solutions.
Why Choose Hydropower?
Hydropower is one of the most environmentally friendly forms of power generation today. All forms of power generation affect our surroundings. In comparison to traditional fossil fuels, renewable energies like hydropower cause considerably less impact. Fossil fuels alter landscapes, creating pollutive emissions. They also require expensive transportation and increase dependency on foreign nations. Water, wind, and solar energy are both sustainable and clean, and avoid many of the issues presented by fossil fuels.
Although an improvement over fossil fuels, dams still create a significant impact on the environment affecting fish migration and pooling water where rivers once ran. Conduit hydropower, SOAR’s specialty, avoids such impacts. Our technology is usually installed in piped systems where water is already diverted for human use. These small-scale installations are compact and quiet, unobtrusive in their surroundings. Licensing and permitting is usually much simpler than other types of hydropower installations.