what's new

Natel's fourth video release in its ongoing update series is below, and also up on our website.  This release focuses on the assembly of the power takeoff system, and insertion of the SLH100 cassette into the housing.


01 Product development

Power takeoff system completed
The SLH100 ships with a power takeoff system (PTO), which couples the mechanical output of the SLH100 to a gearbox and generator.  Here mechanical engineer Peder Aune and mechanical technician Alex Conn test the alignment of the cassette, gearbox, and coupling.  
First spin of cassette
With the PTO system complete, the next step is testing the SLH100 cassette in the dry by rotating it to simulate operation.  The cassette contains many hydraulic, electrical, and mechanical connections.  Rotating the belts and blade assemblies verifies the fit and function of these connections and components.
SLH100 housing delivered
In December, the SLH100 housing arrived.  The housing is a large metal case which contains the cassette. It is watertight and has flanges to connect to the intake and draft tube.  Its arrival marks the end of a substantial process of design and supply chain management.  Here the team inspects the housing before unloading it at our Alameda, CA facility.
First cassette insertion
The  insertion of the SLH100 cassette into the housing is one of the final steps in assembly of the SLH100.  The unique housing and cassette architecture  of the SLH100 allows most of the moving parts to be accessed easily in the field for maintenance.  Here a gantry crane is used to lower the  cassette onto the insertion guides contained inside the housing.
Submerged belt articulation tester
The  components of the SLH100 belt attachment system have been validated by  more than 75 million cycles of testing without failure.  The next step in testing was achieved with the commissioning of a machine submerged in water.  The submerged tester accumulated more than 4 million cycles through the end of December and the belt attachment components have continued to function perfectly.

02 Project Focus

Finalization of Monroe design

The team completed the final preparation for construction to commence, with a careful review of the final plant drawings and schedule with the external project engineer and construction firm.  The project will be in construction in Q1 2015.
Agreement to supply SLH100 for Arnold Development's Dover-Foxcroft, Maine dam retrofit.
Arnold Development Group and Natel Energy finalized an agreement to supply an SLH100 for the developer's Mayo Mill project.  Kleinschmidt Associates is assisting Arnold Development with the retrofit and is working with Natel to develop a cost effective turbine installation.  The dam repower is part of Arnold Development's downtown Dover-Foxcroft, ME rehabilitation converting a large mill complex into low income and senior housing, office and retail space all powered by renewable energy.  The dam has  20 feet of head and substantial flows which is a good match for the SLH100.   Project construction will start later this year.  

Interconnection and environmental permitting underway at Buin site

Development of Natel's first project in Chile continues to progress, with environmental permitting and interconnection studies underway. Natel's engineers are working with local contractors and Natel's partner in Chile, Wireless Energy, to provide the technical background and basic plant designs necessary for these steps. 

03 Business Development

Initial trip to Myanmar
International Business Development Lead, Adam Atkinson-Lewis, headed to Myanmar in November to explore the potential for EcoSmartHydroTM to play a strong part in providing electricity to the 51% of Myanmar’s population that does not currently have access to electric power.  On the trip, Adam met with project developers, government regulators, and local hydroelectric and irrigation system operators. Adam visited potential sites, including existing irrigation infrastructure and existing micro-grid small hydro, and identified over 10 MW of potential projects in just a few days. 

Site analytics capabilities keep growing

The Natel team, with help from Wireless Energy, has cataloged over 90 sites in Chile into our GIS database.  Natel is also working on methods to screen potential sites using elevation, water rights, and interconnection data.

04 Media and outreach


Natel selected as an Imagine H2O finalist

Natel was selected as a finalist in the Imagine H2O water tech accelerator program. Natel and the 12 other finalists will receive mentorship from industry leaders, introduction to investors and a global network of beta customers and utilities.
Natel’s hydroEngineTM technology featured in Oak Ridge National Laboratory article
Natel’s hydroEngineTM technology is featured as a promising upcoming low head hydro technology in an Oak Ridge National Laboratory article published in HydroReview last month. We support the article’s call for a greater modeling effort on low head sites.

Natel selected as finalist for East Bay Innovation Award

Natel Energy was named one of 3 finalists for the East Bay Economic Development Alliance (East Bay EDA) “Innovation Awards.” The awards, given annually, spotlight “the East Bay’s most innovative and forward thinking companies in eight categories.”

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