Cappa is a small hydropower generator designed to be used in natural water flows such as rivers and waterways.
Developed by Ibasei, this system uses a special housing which can increase and then recover the energy of flowing water, without using a head of water like conventional hydropower. It also doesn’t require earth-moving work to be installed and can be fixed in place along a river or waterway.
“This machine uses a special housing called a diffuser. In this way, it utilizes special technology to increase the rate of water flow through the vanes that extract energy. That energy turns the vanes, and gets converted to electricity by a generator. Then a controller and battery produce 100 V AC electricity at 50/60 Hz that can be used in the home.”
“With water flowing at 2.0 m/s, this system can produce 250 Wh. Taking control losses into account, five of these can deliver about 1 kW, so this system can be used as an emergency power supply.”
As this system relies on the natural current of the waterway, its uptime is virtually 100%, and the machine itself is 100% recyclable.
“Basically, this is a source of energy for local consumption, so we’re not thinking of electricity sale. It can store power like a charging station, so it can handle EVs as well if charging doesn’t have to be fast. We also hope it’ll be used to vitalize communities, by powering tourist attractions such as illuminations.”
“Currently, we’re in the final development and testing stage, and we’re thinking about releasing this in spring 2013. The vane size depends on the depth, width, and speed of the river, with larger vanes delivering more power. So we’d like to survey each river to see how much energy is available, and assemble a system to match the customer’s output requirements. We expect this 250 W model will be priced about the same as a compact car.”