Our framed marine grade parachutes create extreme pull forces from low speed water flows to form a power stroke. We call them water pistons
Our piston collects .035 PSI from flows at just 1 F/S. A 44" dia. Piston has 1520 sq./in. By increasing flow and/or diameter, kilowatts of power can be created!
When done, they transforming into a hydrodynamic configuration, and can be retrieved with minimal force for an almost effortless return stroke
The piston travels downstream under force creating
the power stroke. The line in red represents collapsing
of the piston
When at the upstream end the piston expands, completing the power cycle to begin another
Equations show that our pistons create energy at a non-linear rate. A 2x scale in velocity or piston diameter results in an approximate 4x growth in power
The HydroChute water piston is not just a device, it's a technology.
Placing a water piston in a cylinder, creates a power-cycle similar to that of a piston-and-cylinder combustion engine; but, without the combustion. Just as the first single piston engine has evolved into computer-controlled, multi-cylinder, power plants our technology is poised for similar evolution!
The cylinder protects the piston, contains the pressure from the flow, and also creates the intake and exhaust systems. The intake port is always open and under pressure from the oncoming mass. The piston is controlled by, and works synergistically with, an actuator, to expand and collapse to restrict flow through the cylinder. On the power stroke, with the piston expanded, the pressure form the flow drives the piston downstream. Once end of the stroke, with one single linear activation of the actuator, the piston collapses into a hydrodynamic, fish friendly, configuration to begin the return stroke. Here it exhausts the mass back into the resource and can be retrieved upstream, where re-activating the actuator expands the piston to begin another power cycle.
On a power stroke, our 44" diameter prototype test piston in a 30" diameter cylinder creates 47 lbs. of dynamic drag from a 1 f/s water flow. When collapsed, can be retrieved with less than 2 lbs. pull force. Mechanical energy experiments indicate that best energy generation efficiency was 1/2 dynamic drag force traveling at 1/3 flow velocity. Drag equations show that increasing flow velocity and or piston diameter will have extreme non-linear effects on force! This also shows how extreme amounts of force can be created from natural resources with a minimal footprint.
In a simple psi /area equation;
Preliminary calculations indicate that a 5' diameter cylinder with an 88" diameter piston in a 6 f/s flow should generate approximately 1.3 kilowatts of energy. We are now preparing our prototype to drive a generator and a hydraulic pump for electrical output and hydraulic pressure measurements.
With minimal hydraulic head requirements, our technology can be implemented with minimal infrastructure, which minimizes costs, simplifies deployment, and offers nearly unlimited upscaling options, all while remaining environmentally friendly. We anticipate that systems may be designed with materials which are easily sourced, recycled and water resistant, such as plastic and nylons, which creates sustainability.
The functions and components of the piston/actuator assembly are completely adjustable and tunable to achieve desired performance; not to mention the possible variations in piston shape, design, and porosity. In addition, it is conceivable that system activation can be accomplished mechanically, hydraulically, pneumatically, or electronically providing for unlimited development options. In addition to controlling the piston via the actuator, the forces on an open piston can be used to control an actuator. This is also what enables one piston to control an opposing piston in a dual piston self-cycling system.
Just as each engineer designs their version of the most powerful/efficient engine, we look forward to the evolution of our technology. Although we are currently designing our own engine, we invite all interested engineers to take on this challenge in order to present a global front in the fight against climate change.