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turbulent electrifies remote locations with low-maintenance vortex turbines

Powering up 50 to 500 households


Belgian company Turbulent wants to bring clean and affordable electricity to remote locations using hydropower plants and by helping the locals learn how to maintain and use them. The design team turns to natural streams to power up their project and creates a curving construction to continuously let the water spin on its own. By doing so, energy bubbles up, and residents can use it as their power source to electrify appliances and road lighting.


Turbulent claims that through their technology, residents can harness clean energy from rivers and canals that were thought of as not entirely possible before. Their micro-vortex turbines can power communities, cities, and villages with 50 to 500 households, generating around 120,000 to 560,000 kWh per year, per turbine.


The company assures that its vortex turbines can provide a 24/7 energy supply all year round since they rely on natural streams such as rivers, canals, and dams. The low-head hydropower plant also requires no water or installation permits, so planting these vortex turbines anytime and anywhere is possible. 

turbulent vortex turbines
images courtesy of Turbulent



Parts of turbulent’s vortex turbines 


Five key parts help the vortex turbines from Turbulent to function well. The underwater turbine slash propeller is the heart of the tidal turbine, injected in the middle of the curved barricade, and twists the water to generate a current from 15 to 70 kW.  The sloped basin follows which turns the incoming flow into a low-pressure vortex. Its shape allows aquatic life to pass unharmed, so Turbulent’s design does not affect any water animals.


A protective fine mesh covers the top part of the vortex turbine to prevent any large debris from infiltrating and contaminating the water flow. An automated sluice gate is also present to control the tide, and an additional protective trash track sits below the gate to block any large debris from entering the curved basin.


Turbulent’s micro-vortex turbines come preassembled, so transporting and installing the kit in the right places might be a breeze. Residents who are tasked to oversee the maintenance and keep an eye on the turbine can let their worries go of having to constantly check up on it since the turbines are fitted with monitoring software that enables them to control and gather information about the engine from anywhere anytime.

turbulent vortex turbines
the vortex turbines can generate from 15 to 70 kW of constant energy



designed for continuous energy


Turbulent states that due to the intermittency of wind and solar production, hydropower is an attractive and intriguing solution to supply energy, ‘yet there are not many types of viable technologies for low-head hydropower.’


The company adds that ‘Turbulent low-head vortex turbines use the natural flow of the stream, and the turbines are designed for continuous energy, decentralized, damless, easy-to-install, low-maintenance, fish-friendly, remotely monitored, without  flood risk, and with a long operating life.’


The team has already installed micro-vortex turbines across the world including Versailles in France, Otepää in Estonia, Green School Bali in Indonesia, and Molino California Donihue in Chile. Turbulent’s micro-vortex turbines are also underway in Patagonia in Chile, Yilan in Taiwan, Mindanao in the Philippines, Denver in the UK, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

turbulent vortex turbines
turbulent vortex turbines in indonesia

turbulent vortex turbines
the turbines are believed to be aquatic life-friendly


vortex turbines from Turbulent


project info:


name: Vortex turbines

company: Turbulent

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