New Energy was formed on December 29, 2003, for the express purpose of developing the technology and products that harnesses the energy from moving water and turning it into a clean renewable energy source. While most companies involved with hydrokinetic power generation were focused on large tidal projects, New Energy felt a more prudent approach was to start with small freshwater applications. The concept chosen for development was based on a vertical axis cross flow turbine utilizing conventional above water components (generator, gearbox, bearings) resulting in easy access to the drive train and rapid testing of the design concept.
Initial testing was conducted in 2005 culminating in the first functional system which was installed in a wastewater treatment plant in Calgary, Alberta, Canada during the winter of 2006. This first system gave New Energy insight into both our system design, and a broadened appreciation of the scope of applications that could be harnessed using this technology, putting us on the development path that has led to our current product designs.
In 2007/2008, these insights were put to the test in a one year comprehensive test program at a site in Manitoba situated on a hydro dam supply channel. Testing was conducted over a broad range of environmental conditions with temperatures as cold as -39C, ice buildup, ice breakup, and debris, over the course of the year. Many design modifications resulted from this rigorous test program.
In 2008, the EnCurrent line of 5 to 25 kW systems was launched with the first commercial demonstration of a 5 kW system in Alaska on the Yukon River. This was followed by 25 kW systems in 2009 and low flow 25 kW systems in 2010/11. These systems were installed in uncontrolled rivers, a flow control channel, and a hydro supply canal. Each type of installation provided a wealth of information regarding real world operating conditions and issues to which the equipment must respond (floods, debris, ice, manmade surges, operator impact, variable flowrates). This field experience has put New Energy in a class of its own in terms of domain knowledge and experience with hydrokinetic power generation.
Armed with this experience, New Energy has developed a 2nd Generation of hydrokinetic power generation systems. Branded as the EnviroGen line of power generation systems, they incorporate a gearless oil free design (direct drive) with a patented ‘diamond’ bearing suitable for submerged operation, and other drive train features that simplify the design and make assembly and installation a breeze. Without a gearbox, the drivetrain operates almost silently as it spins in the passing water. Power conditioning has also been simplified since batteries are not required for this continuously generating source of power. A range of power conditioning options is available depending on the specific customer needs.
The concept for the 2nd generation systems was also influenced by a growing realization of the benefits of this technology for communities in the developing world. Continuous power production means these systems can be used as a base load power source. The extreme remoteness of some communities has demanded that components be light weight and that site assembly be simple with minimal tools required. This has all been incorporated in the 2nd generation EnviroGen line of hydrokinetic power generation systems.
The 5 kW EnviroGen model becomes available for purchase, delivery, and installation with the 25 kW EnviroGen model soon to follow in June 2016.
Two 5 kW EnviroGen turbines installed in Myanmar powering a school that previously was running on a diesel generator.
New Energy Corporation wins contract from the Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) to provide a power generation system to the Sagkeeng First Nation community in Manitoba.