BladeRunner is pivotal to a project that has been awarded $3.3 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), through their SHARKS program. The funding will be used to advance the BladeRunner system by tackling three new and innovative features that will result in lower operating costs and improved LCOE for remote riverine settings:
(1) Scaling and optimization of the BladeRunner rotor to increase the efficiency and power capacity and improve debris mitigation and resiliency.
(2) Implementation of C-Motive’s novel electrostatic generator to efficiently convert low speed mechanical rotation into grid-voltage electricity.
(3) Development of a shore-based deployment and retrieval method to reduce OpEx while increasing availability and significantly reducing infrastructure and personnel requirements on site.
BladeRunner along with prime awardee University of Alaska Fairbanks and partners C-Motive, Moshman Research and FibreMax, are excited to kick off this work which includes multiple field testing campaigns in the Tanana River Hydrokinetic Test site that is operated by UAF. This grant is a huge milestone for BladeRunner and brings us one step closer to bringing Hydropower to the People!