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The fall and winter of 2012 were busy for Natel. We successfully completed a maintenance cycle at our pilot plant in Arizona. The work progressed smoothly, and we look forward to transitioning the plant from pilot to commercial operation in 2013. On the commercialization front, interest in our low-head hydropower solution continued to build with work progressing on two projects - one will be 5 MW and the other 2.1 MW.  


Look for Natel's booth at the upcoming Northwest Hydropower Association conference in Portland, OR on February 19-21, 2013.

01 project focus

California projects, the Buckeye Pilot Plant and the Monroe Drop Project
Work continued apace with several partners in California to finish project designs. A typical irrigation canal plant layout is shown at right.

At our pilot plant in Arizona, Andrew Damele managed the annual inspection and maintenance work during the irrigation district's dry period.
Over the past three years the Buckeye pilot plant has demonstrated the operation of the SLH in addition to providing data for improvements in design for efficiency and durability. The plant will be available for demonstration tours in Buckeye, AZ starting in February 2013. Finally, progress continued on the Monroe Drop project in Oregon with the signing of the Interconnection Agreement, with an expected installation date in Q4 2013.

02 product development

SLH100 development progressing
The first SLH100, a 10x scale-up of the SLH10, is scheduled for installation in Q4 2013. To build this machine, the engineers at Natel have taken the lessons learned in the design of the SLH10, and added features necessary for a system with a capacity of 500kW. The iterative product development process involves extensive fatigue testing - Erick Davidson machines a part for one of the test rigs.
The initial installation of the SLH100 will be at the Monroe Drop in the North Unit Irrigation District in Oregon. Natel also plans to have the SLH100 ready for commercial sale at the end of 2013.

03 media

Natel was visited by the Toyota RAV4EV Charge-to-Charge tour. They stopped by our offices to see one of the SLH10 systems and talk with Abe and Gia Schneider about the future of sustainable hydropower (minute 2:51).
Natel Energy video by Toyota
Natel Energy website
In December 2012, Natel released an updated website with new technical literature and an improved project calculator.

04 outreach

The 23rd NREL Industry Growth Forum and ACWA Annual Conference
Natel's booth accumulated some mileage, as we travelled to several conferences. We were selected to present at the 25th NREL Industry Growth Forum in Denver in October 2012. Eric Thompson took the show on the road to San Diego in December 2012 to present at the Association of California Water Agencies Annual conference.
Natel's low-head hydro generation technology is designed to enable distributed, low-impact, utility-scale hydropower projects - EcoSmartHydroTM. Natel first presented the EcoSmartHydroTM concept at Hydrovision in July 2012, and a second time at a U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage conference in November 2012 with an emphasis on irrigation districts.

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