Natel Energy: Leveraging Hydro Power Sustainably

At a juncture where the world is making an effort to cut down on fuel emissions and adopt more and more sustainable energy solutions, Natel Energy is here with an innovative idea. 

Hydro power is a well-known source of alternative energy, but its production leads to a heavy negative impact on the local ecosystem. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to go back to fossil fuel and contribute more towards global warming and air pollution. Using water as a source of energy is still a viable option, and thanks to the scalable solution developed by this company from the U.S., it will boost the flora and fauna of the adjacent water bodies, and save them from destruction. 

Natel Energy: About the Company 

Based in Alameda, California, Natel Energy is a leading name in the alternative energy industry, owing to its innovative and eco-friendly hydropower systems. The company began its journey back in 2005, and ever since then, they have been awarded various accolades for their active contribution towards reviving the damaged ecosystems of various water bodies. 

The Solution & How It Works

Natel Energy leverages the power of water to produce energy, but not in the manner that we are accustomed to. By installing their uniquely curated turbines, they aim to create a minimal impact on the environment, and utilize the local, degraded watersheds to get access to clean, green, and low-cost energy. 

First Things First: What is Degraded Water? 

Studies have found that almost 55% of all the US waterways are fraught with degraded water. The terminology ‘degraded water’ refers to conditions such as a lack of natural flow in water, high levels of nitrogen, poor water quality, etc. among others. 

The Solution by Natel Energy: Restoration Hydro 

Image Courtesy: Natel Energy

In an attempt to produce a scalable hydropower solution, Natel Energy has developed a specialized system called Restoration Hydro. It makes use of biomimicry to create low-head structures. These systems come with the hydroEngine turbine, which ensures that the passage of fishes remains unhindered. 

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Why Is It A Viable Option? 

Besides producing hydro energy in a clean and sustainable manner, Restoration Hydro offers a number of other benefits. First and foremost, it promotes habitat creation in the degraded water bodies, leading to a positive impact on the environment. If it is possible to implement this solution on a basin, it ensures better connectivity across rivers and wetlands. As a result, the chances of flood and drought gets reduced to a certain extent. The installation of this restorative system also ensues in an improved quality of water. 

This framework is powered by machine learning, so it provides you with accurate data and forecasts regarding the system. Therefore, you can expect to survey a large project in one go. 

Restoration Hydro Turbines 

natel energy

Image Courtesy: Natel Energy

Restoration Hydro Turbines are used in these projects as a low-cost alternative. Most importantly, they do not have any detrimental effect on the environment. These are hydroelectric turbines that ensure a safe and undisturbed passage for fish, perform better than regular turbines, and offer a low cost of maintenance. 

The low head blades of the turbines are around 2 meters to 10 meters long so that fishes can pass by easily. Thanks to this, there is no need to install thin screens separately for making a fish passage, cutting down on the expense of installation. As of now, a single turbine has a capacity of up to 1400 kW, but the company is trying to push it forward to offer a larger capacity. 

  • Offers more than 99% safe passage for the movement of fishes 
  • Compact design 
  • The draft tubes are shorter than the traditional ones 
  • You can install it above tailwater since it has a low cavitation risk 
  • The HydroEngines are economical options for producing hydro energy
  • Flow: 1-200 cms 

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Other Services Offered by Natel Energy 

natel energy

Image Courtesy: Natel Energy

HydroForecast™

This latest invention from the digital cell of Natel Energy ensures efficient and accurate forecasts, even for remote locations, by using machine learning technology and satellite imagery. 

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Lens™

This is a land management tool that allows you to monitor an enormous area with utter efficiency so that you can keep an eye on the latest developments in the lands. 

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Natel Energy: Pros & Cons 

Every innovation comes with its share of advantages and disadvantages. The solutions offered by Natel Energy are indeed a boon for the world, but they are not entirely free from shortcomings. 

Pros 

  • Produces sustainable energy from existing watersheds, canals, and dams 
  • Revives abandoned or degraded ecosystems 
  • Low impact on the environment 
  • A cost-effective way of producing clean energy 
  • Doesn’t restrict fish passage
  • Allows the ecosystems to thrive 
  • Promotes groundwater sustainability 
  • Improves the quality of water 
  • Aids in the growth of a healthy local community 
  • Draws attention towards water-based infrastructures, leading to investments in this particular area 

Cons 

  • Although the system doesn’t interfere with the movement of juvenile fishes (up to 300mm), the bigger ones need a trash rack 

Conclusion

Thanks to companies like Natal Energy, we can still dream of a future where our planet is safe from the clutches of human’s selfish activities. The thought behind their modular plant is definitely a noble one, one that helps in maintaining the biodiversity, and also leads to the harnessing of clean water energy. 

Contact Details 

If you wish to know more about Natel Energy, or you are looking forward to implementing this solution, here are the contact details of the company.

Official Website: https://www.natelenergy.com/

Address: 2401 Monarch Street

Alameda, CA 94501, USA

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/natel-energy-inc-

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/natelenergy

Instagram: https://instagram.com/natelenergyhydro

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