Electricity for 135 people in Colombia

by Green Empowerment

The completed, award-winning river turbine is going in a new funding direction, and the project is becoming broader in scope. Our lead technician with in-country partner, APROTEC, is now applying for funding through other sources. Future funding will be used for requests from three communities to deploy river ice facilities for Villa Fátima on the River Vaupés, for Asogagumuy on the River Guarrojo, and for Calahorra on the River Atrato. River ice is a cooling system which operates year-round, and independent of the supply of conventional fuels.

Many rural communities in proximity to rivers i.e. the Amazon River, the Orinoco River, the Zambezi, Congo and the Nile, live on fishing and the fish trade without the possibility of maintaining stocks through refrigeration. In these regions, cooling is often as important as electricity.

River turbine installation
River turbine installation

The improved design of the Innocentive-winning river turbine works great with a new group of blades inclined to maximize outputs. As a proven solution, this turbine remains in full use and is 100% maintained by the community. Now, a mechanical refrigeration system built with a car air conditioner could produce ice from the river turbine. Mauricio is looking for investment activities in order to begin production of about 20 or 30 units.

The aquacharger version is working well for the community in Calahorra, and they are confident with the technology. APROTEC support of the system is minimal and often solved with a quick phone call.

Below are some photos from Mauricio at APROTEC--http://www.aprotec.com.co.

Thanks for your support!

River turbine blade
River turbine blade
River turbine in action
River turbine in action

We checked in with Mauricio that heads the river turbine project for APROTEC--www.aprotec.com.

The Acuavatio turbine that generates an average of 285 W is installed and working great. Since 1 year ago in the village of Calahorra, Department of Choco, 18 families now have light (2 lamps at 15 watts per house), and a station to charge cell phones. Recently, the axis of the helix was modified with stronger material to withstand storm-rains and any river swells.

In Villa Fatima, Department of Vaupes (close to the border with Brazil) everything is ready to place the new Acuavatio that will provide energy for the satellite connection for the first computers in the bilingual (Wanano / Spanish) school. The 8 computers and the satellite connection will be powered by the Acuavatio.

In addition, the position of the blades have been modified in the Acuavatio model that was launched in February this year in Bocas del Guayuriba. After April 2013, the water velocity was high enough to start logging data to document these improvements. Also, a complete revision of the configuration of the blades improved the dynamic stability of the blades while maintaining the same power output.

Hi, As the lead on the project, Mauricio Gnecco reports (translated from Spanish by our Executive Director, Anna Garwood): The second phase of the river turbine is advancing quite well. I'm assembling the modified machine with elements based on the award-winning InnoCentive design. For two months, John Burton and I reviewed in depth the aspects of the fluid mechanics of the modifications proposed by InnoCentive. It seems that the angle of the blades will increase the general efficiency and reduce some forces. Please wait for confirmation on these findings. Thank you!

Note we also just sent Mauricio an email for additional information. He could be out in the field working. Stay tuned!

A representative from GlobalGiving met with Don Fabio C., a fisherman on the banks of the Guayuriba River. Don Fabio is responsible for monitoring the testing machine during the "short test" (the first month of testing). Afterwards, a long series of tests should last between 6 and 8 months. By then, molds for the first set of blades can be made, and tested.

Rain during this time was enough to make the usual route too difficult for passage. It took our Aprotec representative an exra hour and a half to reach the testing site.

I'll be checking in with the staffer from GlobalGiving for her account of the visit. 


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Organization Information

Green Empowerment

Location: Portland, Oregon - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.greenempowerment.org
Project Leader:
Mike Kalkofen
Finance Manager
Portland, Oregon United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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