Remember sitting outside at EcoFitness (on one of the hottest days of the year) hearing Mike Carroll talking about his Powerball small hydro technology at our June 21 MeetUp? remember his excitement about being close to having a microgrid going operational in the Philippines with one of his units and some solar in a hybrid configuration? Well he did it! It is all operational now. You can learn more about the system that has provided first power to 150 people here: https://biofriendlyplanet.com/green-alternatives/solar/installation-of-the-firsthybrid-solar-micro-hydro-grid-project-in-the-philippines-is-complete/. Mike adds, “With this system we have changed the architecture of the Powerball’s take off system which increased the power output of each of the units from 300 watts up to over 500 watts from the same water flow. This has enabled the village to expand the power usage well beyond what was originally intended. In the next phase of this project the Hydrofarm will be expanded by adding more PowerBall™ units and the battery storage will be doubled in size. The local electric co-op is expected to purchase the system to meet some of its RE credit requirements and also as a means for extending its supply grid to far flung areas of the Philippines such as Balingasag.” Mike also got an investor commitment to proceed with his 100-times larger capacity unit. “We plan on this being the largest size unit we will manufacture,” Mike says. “This generator is approximately 2 meters in diameter, so it can be shipped in containers standing vertically. It will be able to produce up to 30 kW of power and multiple units can be installed in the same PowerWheel™ to produce more power.” While most of his attention has been focused overseas on rural areas without access to grid power, Helios also has a commitment from the Nevada Irrigation District to purchase 10 o fhte larger units when they are ready. The next big milestone will be in putting together the $13 million in funding he is seeking to stay on track for over $200 million in sales in the next five years. Great stuff!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Gary Simon is the Chair of CleanStarts Board. A seasoned energy executive and entrepreneur with 45 years of experience in business, government, and non-profits.