Alameda Point Environmental Report: Natel advances small-scale hydropower turbines, January 18, 2018
Natel, a company at Alameda Point, is developing small-scale turbines that can harness water flow to produce electricity without a dam.
Rivers have been harnessed for the production of electricity since 1882. That’s when the world’s first hydroelectric dam was built across the Fox River in Appleton, Wisconsin. But dams are costly public works projects with negative environmental consequences, including the flooding of vast watersheds and blocking fish migration.
Natel has taken an invention from the dawn of hydropower called a Pelton Wheel and flattened it out. Natel’s Linear Pelton hydroEngine is able to capture more of the water’s energy than the original wheel design, employing a dual series of cups on a conveyor system connected to a generator shaft.