Agriculture and Irrigation
The BlueCap Hydro Technology can be installed in valves or gates of small weirs in irrigation canals and pipes. Reports demonstrate that a reduction of energy consumption of the irrigation process of 20% is feasible. Repair or renewal of the weirs will lead to reduction of water spillage and water fees. The generated electricity may be used for increased and more powerful irrigation activities and water storage, resulting in an enlarged irrigation area and irrigation potential during the dry season.
We focus on reducing water use and energy consumption. Only in the Bible the ratio water to wine is one to one. The current standard irrigation technology requires a ratio of water to wine of more than 350 liters to one. Precipitation and glacier volume will change. In mountainous areas, one can expect a progressive decrease in peak snow accumulation. These evolutions will impact runoff volumes and seasonality. Moreover, change in climate patterns will affect seasonality of streamflows, particularly in snow- or ice-dominated catchments. Water scarcity is increasing, and water allocation for vineyards is under pressure. Irrigation (pump) activities consume substantial electricity quantities (together with cooling and storage facilities) and agricultural machinery use a substantial amount of diesel. By applying the BlueCap Hydro Technology, vineyards can reduce their carbon- and water footprint and respond to the growing popularity of ecological and biological wines.
Water Conveyance Systems
The BlueCap Hydro Technology can be applied in water transport systems to control the flow and the pressure of the water. Installing the BlueCap Hydro Generator at the intake and/or outtake points, drinking water companies and wastewater treatment facilities can substantially reduce their electricity costs and carbon footprint.
The water industry became one of the most energy intensive sectors during the last decades, consuming 4% of global electricity in 2014 for the extraction, distribution, and treatment processes. This share is projected to double in 2040 (source: Crespo).
BlueCap Hydro Generators can be installed at the intake weir of a run-of-river hydropower installation, in a water conveyance pipe or canal, and/or directly in the penstock. Installation in the in the tail race is the cheapest and most efficient application of the technology. The generation capacity of existing power plants can be more cost-efficient since the water is discharged anyway. Further, all the civil and electrical works and transmit connections are already there.
Worldwide there are many small hydropower run-of-river hydropower installations that are non-functional, broken, or have been shut down. Application of the BlueCap Hydro Technology can make them economical viable again.
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With the BlueCap Hydro Technology, it becomes technologically and economically feasible to develop micro hydropower plants in remote areas, often in combination with other renewable energy sources. A mini grid can be constructed, and if needed, several existing and planned public functions and economic activities can be connected. The local community can be trained for operational management and maintenance and repair, with long-term back-up (also financially) of the local partner of BlueCap Hydro.
The policy debate regarding the sustainable management of water resources is reflected in two European policies: the Water Framework Directive (WFD)(2000/60/EC) and the RES Directive (2009/28/EC) on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources. The directives stipulate also that fish obstacles are to be removed even in small rivers. In Bavaria alone, there are several thousand existing traverse structures, such as weirs, that will have to be converted. Many of those weirs also meet the prerequisites for the BlueCap Hydro Technology.
With respect to new micro hydropower development, only recently new methods like Artificial Neural Networks and regression models are used to predict the energy recovery potential for micro hydropower in on-demand pressurized irrigation networks across a large spatial scale. Using these technologies, it was concluded that 21.05 GWh of energy potential could have been recovered using micro hydropower during the 2018 irrigation season in the Spanish provinces of Seville and Cordoba.