Amjet begins process to build full scale model of hydro turbine

A $100,000 award from the Iowa Economic Development Authority is going to help the Amjet Turbine System company continue their production of a hydro electric power turbine.

The turbine that is being developed will be used in rivers and streams that have a drop at a dam of less then 40 feet.

Some rivers that are in the area that could be considered for this low head hydro turbine are the Des Moines River and even the Skunk River or Fabius.

Steve Bisenius is the executive director of the Lee County Iowa Economic Development Group and he said,"A lot of people, when he first started talking about it were cynical as to whether this concept would work. And it's proven it does work and now we need to take it to where it can get to element of production. The market, the world demand for hydro power is very very strong right now.

According to statistics from the United States Department of Energy, there are approximately 82,000 dams in the United States and of that number, about 20,000 dams could accommodate this kind of turbine.

For the past several months, a scale model of the turbine has been undergoing testing at the University of Iowa in Iowa City and recently, Amjet was notified their unit had passed the testing.

"His one eighth scale worked very effectively at the University of Iowa hydrology department validated the technology in the one eight scale, now he has to go to full size. Going from a 14 inch scale model to a full five foot diameter turbine. And that's what he wants to do, is specialize in those engineering studies. And once there the next step it will be a very important step
," Bisenius said.

He added that since this project started as just an idea and concept back in 2009, it has taken time for the unit to be drawn up and to have engineers look over the plans. Once the full scale model is designed and produced, you can expect to hear more from the company.