Hidro power (not Hydro) was mentioned to me the other day as a better alternative to solar. I found the website and made an enquiry and this is the email response. May be of interest to some.


Dear Lisa,

Thank you for your email.
The deployment plan of the Hidro+ technology, is not a future of placing one Hidro+ Generator for each home, rather in interest of saving both financial and environmental resources the Hidro+ unit will be placed in 1 Mega-Watt modules directly at substations therefore provide cost effective methods to avoid transmission losses and by providing a regulated load will provide greater grid stability.
49% of Queenslanders Retail electricity bills are made up of network cost.
The Hidro+ Corporation are the technology providers of the exclusive patented Hidro+ Generator Technology and we will not be delivering completed Hidro+ generators directly for individual marketplace distribution.
The deployment program for the Hidro+ Technology is through the purchase of a large capacity license agreement with license partners fulfilling mandatory power projects experience in granted territory.
Licensees undertake to BOO (Build, Own and Operate) the Hidro+ facilities  and will have Long-term PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) for the Hidro+ Electricity Generator with relevant power company, government agency, business, community etc.
The business platform of License distribution is taking place through an ASX company.
Hidro+ Team

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  • interesting.

    if they've got this to work, they've cracked the perpetual motion machine that's been eluding scientists for centuries.

    the problem is, you drop water, and it turns the potential (gravitational) energy into kinetic energy (movement) of the same quantity. You bleed some of this off as electrical energy by spinning flywheels (and the water slows down, losing kinetic energy). to get the water back up the column, you need to put back the same potential energy you just released - so if there is any kinetic energy left, you can get it to move part way up a pipe or similar, or run a pump - but you will need to put extra energy in to replace the electrical energy you bled off, and also to replace friction losses. if you ignore friction losses (which you can't in real life), you have to use the electricity you just made to pump the water back up to the top. in energy terms, it will require the same amount of energy - because that is the amount of energy the water just lost. 

    so i guess, it's possible if:  

    • modern materials etc make friction negligible
    • there's some sort of clever thing going on which means you can bleed the electricity off and still get the water back up to the top without using an external energy source - and this is the big problem

    just had a closer look through this: http://hidroonline.com/pdf/1MW-Module.pdf

    seems like it uses a combination of small diameter return pipes generating hydraulic pressure and an inflatable compressed air return float.

    maybe clever valves/ capillary action/ and ?

    seems likely to me that the system requires compressed air canisters brought in from elsewhere - which of course required energy to have the air compressed into them (and transported)...?

    it's not very clearly written...

    • Thanks Scarlett ... that makes some kind of sense. 'Perpetual Motion' floated through my brain too. If it seems too good to be true ...

  • Looks like at the moment they will only be used to supplement power provided by standard substations. And judging by the height of the plants (they must need a lot of hydrostatic pressure), I doubt they can fit into the average yard. :)

    As for solar, I'd like it a lot more when it eventually includes rechargeable batteries. At the moment, it's an incomplete system that depends on government bribes for its ROI. Here's an extract from this 


    "France’s energy regulator estimates EDF will pay an average of 546 euros a megawatt-hour for solar power in 2011. That’s almost 10 times estimated spot market power prices of 55 euros, and the highest among renewable energy sources.

    The promise of rich returns spurred suburban supermarkets to put photovoltaic panels in parking lots and farmers to install units on empty, purpose-built barns, according to a French parliamentary report."

    • We're up for stand-alone (depending on $s) but this feed-in system is a sham. No business nor even government, can pay out more than they get in. Talk about a loss leader ...

      • I agree. I've been told solar credits are locked in for 16 years so the customer is safe. Not really, there's nothing stopping future governments from introducing a levy or tax on solar power to offset their losses from the subsidies or capping/restricting feed-ins. The Europeans are doing just that.

        "“We just didn’t see it coming,” French lawmaker Francois- Michel Gonnot said of the boom. “What’s in the pipeline this year is unimaginable. Farmers were being told they could put panels on hangars and get rid of their cows.”"

        A bureaucrat who didn't see it coming, how laughable :D

        I too would much rather pay for a grid system that has some storage capacity. I don't think I need to go fully off-grid, ideally the system should be able to store 8 hrs worth of excess electricity for night use, especially with off-peak electricity doubling in price - thanks Origin! :)

        Have you done much research in this area, Elaine?

        PS. Apologies Lissa, we've gone a little off topic here.

        • Not at all - alternative energy souces are of interest to all of us and I'm still waiting for the right one to come along before I commit myself. You've obviously looked in to it a fair bit too.

          The whole solar thing just seemed iffy to me with all the promises flying around and people panicking to get involved quickly - that sort of thing always makes me take a step back.

          The Blue Gen looked interesting when I saw it on TV a couple of times. But apparently not available to home owners yet. Neat and on the ground too.

          • I really recommend these guys: http://localpower.net.au/

            Their angle is quality and price. They buy in bulk and you go along with their installation timings - that's how they do it cheap.

            We got ours through them - all wonderful, totally happy. Plus they're the good guys, helping the world, not profiteers.

            • hey look - we were in the first buying group, i found a photo of our roof:


              we're the one with the silver roof and the red pipe, bottom left :) you can see the banana pawpaw circle in the background! :D

              • Your roof is semi-famous lol.

          • I'm no expert in any of this  - but let's face it, the technology IS out there. When the time is right for the makers of $ to bring it in (other areas already exploited) they no doubt will and make out they are doing everyone a big favour. Profit rules.

            It's the same with cars. The technology for alternatives to petrol have been around for a long time but only now is some of it being offered to buyers on any scale.

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