Current Turbine to be Installed on Congo River

Tropical Africa is criss-crossed by powerful rivers and has a considerable amount of untapped hydrokinetic potential. It is estimated that 90% of rural populations there do not have access to energy.

To help with the problem, the French Fund for the World Environment (Fond Français pour l’Environnement Mondial) has signed an agreement with the Congolese Ministry of Scientific Research and Technological Innovation for manufacture and installation of a 20-kw Hydro-Gen current turbine on the Congo River.

The river turbine will be manufactured and tested in France, exported by sea container to the Congo Republic, then installed approximately 10 km from Brazzaville, near the village of Loubassa, enabling the inhabitants of the village to improve their living conditions and to develop economic agricultural, artisanal and fishing activity.

The river turbine will be the first current turbine of this scale deployed in Africa. Marine and river turbines designed by L’Aquaphile are medium-power turbines that are well-suited to supplying electricity to isolated sites, villages and communities. The Hydro-Gen turbine is a complete integrated system on a barge allowing the easy implementation of the hydro turbine and all installation or maintenance operations. The turbine is located under the barge and can get up on deck and down into the water in less than a minute.

It allows quick implementation, easy maintenance, installation by one person only in a couple of hours, without underwater intervention. The barge, which is motorized, installs its mooring lines itself, or moves them according to seasonality, completely autonomously, without the help of any external support such as tug, crane, support ship or ROV.

Hydro-Gen has been conducting sea trials since 2006 and has found that river hydrokinetic energy is particularly interesting because it is non-intermittent, therefore does not require energy storage, and produces among the cheapest kwh in the world. The Hydro-Gen 20 has a nominal power of 20 kw, is 7.5 m long, 2.3 m wide and weighs 1400 kg.

Learn more about the Hydro-Gen technology at L’Aquaphile.

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