Dutch sustainable energy developer Water2Energy has installed a vertical axis water turbine in the Port of Antwerp. According to the manufacturer, the innovative design makes it much more efficient than standard turbines.

In a vertical axis water turbine, the blades revolve vertically in the water around an upright, central shaft containing the generator. 'One of the advantages of this model is that the generator is above water. In most other types of water turbines, the entire energy management system is under water,' explains Reinier Rijke, General Manager of Water2Energy. The new turbine is therefore much less expensive to manufacture and maintain. According to Rijke, the vertical axis water turbine can operate both in freely flowing water and in canals with a limited flow.

The turbine developed together with the Port of Antwerp and DeMeyer construction company measures 2 m in diameter and stands 4 m tall. It has been installed in a 2.5 m wide drainage canal alongside the Kallo sluices, and is expected to generate around 120 kW of power. The intention is to add a further fifteen to twenty turbines in other such canals in the port. There are also plans to install them at the Brouwersdam in the southern Netherlands. 

The turbine has been proven to pose a minimum threat to fish. Recent tests using a scale model showed the turbine to be up to thirty times safer than standard blade turbines.

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