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megaphone tidal turbine for rivers can produce energy with electric-fan propeller

Students develop a river-based tidal turbine


Megaphones might often be used to voice out sentiments, but five engineering students from Institut Universitaire de Technologie Lyon 1 (IUT Lyon 1) – named Jim Bancel, Léonie Varaine, Coralie Bourgeon, Mattis Boldrini, and Célia Joseph –  draw on the sound amplifier to help them develop a tidal turbine for rivers. 


The HydrAlKids, or Hydralgua, aims to generate between 0 to 25 watts of energy which will be connected to a floating module to help the users quantify how much energy is being produced. The students are also planning to install a light sensor or bulb that flickers into the device to alert and inform the users on the stability and fluctuating energy HydrAlKids is currently creating.


So far, the students have thought of reducing the size of the megaphone case to increase the movement of the water which can influence the speed of the electric-fan propellers. They are looking into placing the engine behind the propeller along with a metal shaft that can aid the transmission between the propeller and the engine. The shaft will also guide the rotation process of the megaphone tidal turbine.

megaphone tidal turbine
images courtesy of Hydralgua / HydrAlKids



Educating people on renewable energy


The creation of HydrAlKids came forth as part of the end-of-studies project of the students. They wanted to make their megaphone tidal turbine as fun as possible, from the colors to shapes, to pique the interest of the younger students when it comes to learning more about renewable energy and hydropower. The student inventors assure that setting up the tidal turbine can be hassle-free, and they are looking into teaching others how to create their own.


While the team has already tested their prototype, there is still a long way to go to fully develop what they have created into a full-blown product. Their tidal turbine is mostly applicable to rivers and low-depth water bodies, but the team – who is currently on hiatus to focus more on their studies – aims to further their portable hydropower device for ocean and sea uses.

megaphone tidal turbine
top view



The students are hoping to offer a functional tidal turbine that can be used by families and schools not only to produce small-scale energy but to also use HydrAlKids as an educational tool. Part of the students’ mission is to educate young people on the how and the why of tidal turbines.


They imagine tapping into their counterparts’ curiosity over the science of electricity production through water movement. For the team, their megaphone tidal turbine can be suggested as a means to let others know that with the right information and knowledge, they can uncover the hidden gems of nature, starting with renewable energy. 

megaphone tidal turbine
propeller close-up

megaphone tidal turbine
parts used


megaphone tidal turbine HydrAlKids / Hydralgua

megaphone tidal turbine
the tidal turbine aims to generate between 0 to 25 watts of energy

megaphone tidal turbine
the design team hopes to develop a tidal turbine for sea and ocean use too


megaphone tidal turbine HydrAlKids / Hydralgua


project info:


name: HydAlKids / Hydralgua

designers: Jim Bancel, Léonie Varaine, Coralie Bourgeon, Mattis Boldrini, and Célia Joseph

institution: Institut Universitaire de Technologie Lyon 1 (IUT Lyon 1)

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