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Natel is hiring engineers!  Read more below or visit our website for details. 

Natel has released a 2015 Photo Review recapping progress over the past year.

01 Product Development

Free jet hydroEngine initial development & testing

Natel has completed the initial development and testing of a new “Free Jet” type of hydroEngine.  The Free Jet hydroEngine does not require a draft tube (reducing civil works costs), and features a space saving horizontal machine layout.  The Free Jet also has a “jet deflector” which can rapidly depower the machine, eliminating the risk of water hammer during rapid shutdown.
First Free Jet belts designed and fabricated
In late 2015, the blade attachment system used for the Fully Flooded SLH100 hydroEngine was modified for use with the Free Jet.  In mid December the first set of belts and belt attachments were machined and assembled.  Here mechanical technician Tristan Nillo completes the assembly of a Free Jet belt.

SLH100 belt testing

After the first season of operation at the Monroe Hydro Project, components from the SLH100 hydroEngine were inspected to ensure limits on wear and fatigue were met.  Here mechanical and testing technician Alex Conn measures the circumference of an SLH100 belt.

02 Project Focus

Freedom Falls

The Freedom Falls project in Maine continued to progress, with the setting of the penstock.  The civil works is now largely complete, and a Free Jet hydroEngine will be installed in the spring. 
Scott’s Mill
Scotts Mill Hydro, LLC is developing the Scotts Mill project in Lynchburg, VA on the James River on a dam and mill site. The developer has submitted FERC PAD documents and progressed on PPA, permitting and other development conversations. Scotts Mill is considering the Natel turbines for the approximately 4 MW project, and Natel's Eric Thompson participated in the FERC All-Agency meeting in December.  The dam was originally constructed in 1839 for the City Of Lynchburg’s  water supply where water power from a water wheel driven pump at the dam filled water tanks high on top of Radio Hill in Lynchburg.  

Bhutan Update

Natel’s Bhutan project lead, Michael Spolum, visited a number of sites in December with representatives from Druk Green Power and Bhutan Power Corporation. Five sites were selected for more detailed assessment and will be reviewed in a downselect process for the pilot project in 2016.

03 Business Development

Building 23 facility and move

Natel finalized a lease for a new facility at Building 23 on the Alameda Point Naval Air Base in December 2015. The new facility will house Natel’s corporate, R&D and initial assembly operations. Natel completed the initial move-in in December 2015.

04 Media and Outreach

Natel at COP-21: Spreading the word about climate resilient hydropower

Gia Schneider spoke on panel on Innovation in Energy at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP-21) in Paris on December 5, 2015 in the US Pavilion of the Gallery of Low Carbon Solutions. 


Natel’s hydroEngine featured by the U.S. DOE at COP-21

Natel’s hydroEngine was one of five energy technologies highlighted by the U.S Department of Energy at COP-21.  The booth was in the Gallery of Low Carbon Solutions alongside the UNFCCC negotiations. Over 13,000 delegates from 58 countries visited the Gallery, including US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, and several US Senators, who were given an overview of the hydroEngine technology by Adam Atkinson-Lewis. 

ASEAN Conference 

Adam Atkinson-Lewis spoke on a panel focused on new renewable energy generation technologies at the ASEAN Energy Infrastructure Symposium in San Francisco on December 11, 2015 . The Symposium was sponsored by the US Trade Development Agency and co-sponsored by the US State Department. Throughout the event, delegates exhibited significant interest in the hydroEngine as a technology suitable for Southeast Asia’s rapidly growing hydropower sector. 

NHA - CA Regional meeting

Abe Schneider presented Watershed Recharge and Distributed Hydro concepts to the NHA California Regional meeting December 8, participating in an active discussion about how to design and build climate resilient hydropower.

Upcoming conferences

  • Natel will be represented on a panel on Financing Hydro Development at Irrigation Leader’s 4th Annual O&M Workshop in Phoenix, Arizona on January 27-28
  • Come see Natel at our booth at the NWHA Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon on February 16-18
Natel Mentioned in Hydrovision 2015 Keynote
A video of Natel’s mention in the keynote is available here.

05 Hiring

Natel is hiring! Check out the open positions on our website, including:

  • Field Engineer / Technician
  • Senior Mechanical Engineer
  • Civil Engineer - Hydropower
  • Civil Engineer
  • Mechanical Technician
  • Mechanical Engineer- Mechatronics & Controls
New Intern: Jani Adcock
At Natel, Jani works as an intern on the design of the Freedom Falls Project hydroEngine. She is an undergraduate at MIT studying Mechanical Engineering. Previously, she worked in the MIT Active Adaptive Control Lab analyzing the role of renewable energy in the electricity grid. She also designed novel robotic sensors at the University of Washington Center of Intelligent Materials Science.

New Intern: Abe Gertler

At Natel, Abe works as an intern on the design of the Freedom Falls Project hydroEngine. He is in his second year studying mechanical engineering and design at MIT.  Abe is interested in research related design, and hopes to work on projects which make the world a better place.

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