10 Jun 2011
David Labrecque and a team of University of Maine students (Eugene Katsman, Dan Wheeler, Nate Laspina, Eric Lovejoy, Ben Commeau and others) have developed a revolutionary, low-cost, high efficiency, vortex-driven water turbine. The energy system consists of a wing that “swims” through water like a fish following a figure-eight trajectory. Experiments show 30% efficiency at converting the energy in the water to a pumping motion. This is comparable with traditional turbines, yet hydroflexors have several advantages: They are low-cost, the mechanical systems are on the surface where they can be easily serviced and they are environmentally friendly. The system can be used in streams, rivers and tidal flows.
Utilizing vortices to propel a wing along a figure-eight trajectory is a new approach. The Flexor team encourages and will provide support to researchers who want to study this phenomenon and publish their findings. They are also looking for established manufacturers interested in manufacturing and marketing products that utilize this new patent-pending technology. The Flexor team can provide scientific and technical assistance to research and engineer groups.