World first technology increases small-scale generation

15 November 2004 – The world’s first Ecobulb units have been commissioned in Paullo, Italy after trials increased energy generation by ten per cent. STE Energy have contracted VA Tech Hydro, a company of VA Tech, for two 1 MW units, each with a runner diameter of 2600 mm and a nominal speed of 150 rpm.

Franz Strohmer, member of the Board of VA Tech Hydro, said, “The successful preparation of the Ecobulb concept is based on the pooling of the hydraulic and electrical strengths of VA Tech Hydro. This pooling allows an economic and environmentally friendly solution for small-scale hydroelectric power plants.

The Ecobulb concept for small-scale hydropower plants is based on bulb turbines with direct driven generators. An industrial prototype has been in trial operation in Aubas, France for 18 months, resulting in greater efficiency, cost savings and environmental advantages and additional units with outputs of up to four MW are under construction for projects in France and Canada.

The Ecobulb range covers heads between 2 and 15 meters and outputs between 500 and 5000 kW.