GKinetic's 12kW hydrokinetic unit in LImerick city (Courtesy of GKinetic Energy)

GKinetic demonstrates hydrokinetic device as part of +CityxChange project

Irish company GKinetic Energy has showcased one of its 12kW hydrokinetic devices in the heart of Limerick city as part of the €30 million +CityxChange project.

GKinetic's 12kW hydrokinetic unit in LImerick city (Courtesy of GKinetic Energy)

The aim of the demonstration was to allow people to see the company’s hydrokinetic unit in real-life and share their thoughts and feedback in a survey being ran independently by the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) as part of the TIDAL-GES project.

GKinetic’s hydrokinetic energy converter can generate clean, reliable electricity from the natural kinetic movement found in free-flowing water.

There are no dams or permanent civil infrastructure needed and it can be easily relocated or removed if needed. Above the surface all that can be seen is a low-profile platform which houses all the electrical equipment for the unit.

Underneath the water are two vertical axis hydrokinetic turbines that are turned by the force of the water to generate predictable, local energy.

When running at full capacity, the 12kW unit that was on display can output enough power to meet the full electrical needs of 17 Irish homes. In remote communities where energy usage is lower, one turbine can power an entire village of 80-90 homes, according to GKinetic.

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The demonstration was part of an EU funded smart cities project called ‘+CityxChange’ which is led by two Lighthouse Cities – Limerick (Ireland) and Trondheim (Norway). There are also five ‘Follower Cities’ involved, including: Alba Iulia (RO), Pisek (CZ), Võru (EE), Smolyan (BG) and Sestao (ES).

The aim of the project is to achieve sustainable urban ecosystems that have zero emissions and establish a 100% renewable energy city-region by 2050. This turbine demonstration aims to highlight the significant untapped energy potential in our free-flowing waterways such as rivers, canals, estuaries and tidal streams and to prove that it is possible to harness this energy with little-to-no negative impacts and in a way that is harmonious to the society and environment.

Being a zero-carbon, renewable energy device means it can deliver instant carbon emissions reduction, offering a feasible alternative where other generation solutions may not be suitable. Unique to hydrokinetic technologies is the predictability of the supply.

Unlike solar or wind, the power output can often be fully predictable meaning a reliable baseload supply, energy security and certainty of payback and return on investment.

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