Harnessing the World's Vast Untapped Hydropower Potential

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Bourne Energy, an energy research and development company based in California, has developed a novel hydropower technology that does not require a dam or reservoir to produce power. Bourne's RiverStar (Patent Pending) river power system, a 20-foot long self-contained energy module, is designed to be sited in-river in long arrays. Bourne plans to build a series of prototypes leading to full-scale demonstrators to promote its utility scale hydropower power systems worldwide. Bourne's new hydropower technology promises to open up vast hydropower potential creating a new age of hydropower that can help move the world toward sustainability.

Bourne Energy, an energy research and development company based in California, has developed a novel hydropower technology that does not require a dam or reservoir to produce power.

Bourne's new hydropower technology promises to open up vast hydropower potential creating a new age of hydropower that can help move the world toward sustainability. Today, hydropower is the world's major renewable energy, producing 24% of global electricity. It is also our least expensive energy having an average cost of 2-5 cents/kWh. But only 4% of the world's gross hydropower potential has been developed.

Bourne's RiverStar (Patent Pending) hydropower technology eliminates the need for dams and reservoirs. It does not stop or slow natural processes - fish migration, sedimentation and biological processes. And it does not prevent other uses of the river - commercial and private marine traffic.

Bourne's river power system is a 20-foot long self-contained energy module composed of a stabilizer, energy absorber, energy transmission and mooring system and energy conversion and control system designed to be sited in-river in long arrays. The concept behind the RiverStar is to harvest hydropower along the entire length of a river instead of harnessing energy in one massive site using a dam and reservoir.

The system can be applied to each river's environment, culture and commercial activities as seamlessly and invisibly as possible thus opening up vast untapped amounts of hydropower worldwide. In highly industrialized and populated river sites RiverStar can blend in as small islands, sand bars and rocky embankments. And it can be modified to appear as visually acceptable structures that offer dual-use such as docks, small boat marinas, wharfs, floating offices, restaurants and school buildings that produce power from river currents below the surface and solar or wind power on the roof.

In rural sites vast numbers of arrays of RiverStar modules can be seeded across rivers. Farmers around the country who already grow corn for ethanol and soybeans for biodiesel and lease their land to wind farms may soon harvest the power of rivers that border their property.

Bourne's Developing World version is composed of several modified RiverStar units that can be towed up river or trucked in to a hydro-site, and quickly set up to produce the electricity for a rural village during the day and evening and then shift, using its integrated watermaker, to fill the freshwater tanks of the village during the night. It can also be used to help in irrigating crops as well double as an emergency flood pumping system.

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C. Catlin
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