We do this because we develop sites using our own equipment and therefore our focus is on improvements that will impact the financial returns on projects over the long term.
As a result we focus our R & D efforts on several areas that can affect our investment returns.
- Technology breakthroughs/improvements – major breakthroughs or minor improvements in technology that result in increased revenues or lower costs such as efficiency increases, longer equipment life, lower maintenance requirements etc.
- Modeling breakthroughs/improvements – modeling improvements that allow us to select the most optimum system design faster, cheaper and more accurately.
- Process breakthroughs/improvements – improvements in how things are done throughout the site development process from how we assess sites to how we install and maintain them.
It’s not all about the technology after all, it’s about being able to implement the technology in a cost effective manner that assesses and controls the associated risks in project development.
GreenBug conducts a large amount of R&D in-house but we also collaborate with university researchers on long term research projects.
At the university research facilities we use lab scale test rigs for their ability to precisely control experiments and for their ability to adjust many parameters such as angle, that would just not be possible on larger installations.
We also jointly collaborate with the university researchers on data-logging of real time sites in the field collecting all data necessary to assess and improve the accuracy of our proprietary Waterwatts modelling tool. Data collected includes such things as:
- flow rate
- upper water level
- lower water level
- screw rpm
- power(kW) output
- torque at the top of shaft (via load cell)
This information is collected second by second for later analysis.
We have partnered with the best researchers in their fields to continue to improve the financial viability of micro hydro and at smaller and smaller sites.