Vortex Hydro Energy has one alternative-energy-generating prototype out of the water and is preparing to sink another one soon.
The University of Michigan spin-out is developing a device that harnesses the power in river currents through a physical phenomenon of vortex-induced vibration. Water current flows around cylinders, inducing transverse motion, which is then turned into electricity. It doesn't have propellers or other traditional water-harnessing technology. The six-year-old start-up tested a prototype of its technology in the St. Clair River last year.
"It went pretty well," says Gus Simiao, CEO of Vortex Hydro Energy
. "We're in the process of developing our next generator. We're shooting to put it in the water sometime next year."
Vortex Hydro Energy is aiming to commercialize this technology by 2014. It has recently hired two employees to push it closer to that goal, expanding its team to five people. The Ann Arbor-based firm conducts its research at the U-M Marine Hydrodynamics Lab
and has also recently taken up office space in Dexter.Source: Gus Simiao, CEO of Vortex Hydro EnergyWriter: Jon Zemke
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