Highly novel mechanisms for harnessing the energy of naturally-flowing water ways such as streams, rivers, tidal flows and deep ocean currents. Potentially scale-able to Megawatts.
Above: Early TWH generator prototypes tested in a tow-tank.
Wind turbines do not encounter trees, rope and even shipping containers flying at them through the air, except perhaps during tornadoes. Naturally flowing waterways however are vast drains sweeping all manner of debris from the planet's surface. So it has been challenging to apply the spinning-blade approach that works so well for wind turbines to harnessing un-dammed waterways. Pliant Energy Systems has taken a completely new approach to harvesting the vast un-tapped energy coursing through the world's streams and rivers without the need for expensive and environmentally damaging dams. Key features of the company's TWH generator technology are:
Deflects heavy objects, resists entanglement
High survivability and resilience
Low secondary structure costs
Low installation costs
Easy retrieval and re-deployment for lower maintenance costs
Animal and human safety
Effective in shallow or slow-moving water
Below: Bladed turbine generators require divers and/or ROVs for difficult underwater coupling and de-coupling.
The TWH generator can be fished from the water for electrical and mechanical de-coupling in air.
Below: Comparison of a Pliant Energy Systems TWH generator and a conventional bladed turbine system attached to the piers of a highway overpass. The TWH generator requires only a tether attachment whereas the bladed system requires an expensive and rigid secondary structure to hold it in place. Logs, branches and other debris in the water current will destroy or clog the bladed system. The TWH generator's flexible fronds and undulating motion will allow it to shed debris and yield harmlessly when impacted by heavy objects.