Wednesday 26 July 2017

Turbine technology set to create 50 jobs from river flow

Vincent McCormack, founder GKinetic and Paul Collins, managing director, DesignPro with the turbine device
Vincent McCormack, founder GKinetic and Paul Collins, managing director, DesignPro with the turbine device
Gavin McLoughlin

Gavin McLoughlin

A Limerick-based company is planning to create more than 50 jobs as it seeks to commercialise an efficient turbine designed to generate power from the flow of a river.

Earlier this year, DesignPro, of Rathkeale, secured funding from the European Union to develop the so-called hydrokinetic turbines as part of a €2.7m project under the umbrella of the EU's Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation.

"It's a very simple mechanism. What we do is we take the flow of water and we move it around on a rounded surface. When you do that, it increases in velocity two-fold," DesignPro's managing director, Paul Collins, told the Sunday Independent.

The models that DesignPro is looking to develop will be capable of producing up to 100 kilowatts per hour - the equivalent of powering around 20 houses - from a normal river flow of approximately two metres per second.

DesignPro has licensed the technology from another Limerick company called GKinetic.

It is looking to bring the turbines to a stage where they can be sold on a commercial basis as part of the €2.7m project, which will run over the next 27 months. The project formally began this week, with five new hires and three more planned in the next six months.

The company aims to create as many as 15 jobs during the project-development stage and 50 after the commercial roll-out.

Collins said DesignPro had been seeing "massive demand" for the turbines and would be looking to use a site in France for testing.

The renewable project will be hived off into a separate unit within DesignPro, which has established itself as a provider of automation and machine-building services.

Sunday Indo Business

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