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The Clean Tech Start-up Index – Aquascientific

The third addition to Greenbang’s daily dose of The Clean Tech Start-up Index is from Aquascientific.

  • Founder, CEO: Dr Adrian Janssen,
  • Prof. Michael Belmont
  • Founding date: June 2006
  • Number of employees: 4
  • Turnover: Still in R&D
  • Website: www.aquascientific.com
  • Investment: Technology Strategy Board – £250,000; Royal Society £75,000

Aquascientific is tapping the power of the ocean but the emphasis here is on tidal technology, said to be more reliable than wave power. 

The MRev (momentum reversal) is the company’s tidal turbine, a model much smaller than other propeller and hydrofoil designs that provides the same amount of power. The size of the this makes it cheaper to manufacture and its carbon footprint is smaller than other turbines because it uses less steel and concrete.

Three prototypes have already been built and provisional permission has been granted to test the turbine in the River Exe later this year. Unlike propeller-based systems, Aquascientific’s turbine is low speed, high torque so more fish should escape alive… The company also claims little disturbance to the sea bed from the system.

The Greenbang Barometer

Clever tech is all very well, but as the VCs might say, it all comes down to ‘show me the money.’ Aquascientific can do that too – it has done a lot of work on making the time to return on investment shorter than traditional turbine systems. Its work on making the turbine as undisruptive as possible to its environment is also a plus in Greenbang’s eyes. 

The big selling point in the design is that the turbine can be made to fit the site. Unlike propellers and hydrofoils, it can be tall and thin, short and fat or square to ensure that you are collecting energy in the strongest flow. So the device is not only suited to the deep sea but it is also suitable for shallow waters and estuaries. Not stopping at ocean energy, the company is also incorporating this design in a wind propeller for the domestic market. It is looking for a £3 million investment. Any takers?

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