Idenergie's River Turbine Supplies Your Off-Grid Lifestyle With Endless Electricity

Imagine if there was some way to have endless electrical energy, whether sunny, overcast, in a hurricane or snowstorm. What if...? Guess what, we're getting really dang close to that very idea, and one crew leading the way is Idenergie and their ingenious river turbine.
Idenergie's River Turbine 10 photos
Photo: Idenergie
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That's right, folks; taking the very dynamics that dams use to produce electric energy and then adapting them into a mobile and reusable system is precisely what we'll be talking about today. It seems so right-in-our-faces that it may be too good to be true. Oh, it's real, all right!

The moment I ran across Idenergie, I knew there was something different about this crew. While it's not clear when this Canadian team saw its beginnings, its Facebook page shows that it was created in 2012. Their goal? To develop systems able to capture, transform, and use the abundant energy sources our natural world already offers us. While they also provide a solar power inverter, it's the turbine system that we'll focus on today.

I want you to imagine that you just bought yourself a tiny home or some flashy RV and are about to embark upon a glamping adventure. Because you already knew about this river turbine, your destinations have been marked next to specific rivers. Because the turbine is built out of steel and aluminum, loading it into your RV or mobile home is possible. There's just no mention of how heavy this trinket is.

Once you've arrived at your destination, you'll unload your endless power source, assemble it using only a couple Allen wrenches, and then suit up to get into a raging river. Yes, you will need to submerge the entire contraption under the river's surface as it uses the water's natural flow to spin the fins/propellors you see.

River Turbine Setup
Photo: Idenergie
Here's where things get a bit sketchy. If you need more power to be produced over the course of a day, you must set up the turbine in a faster flow. Hence the suiting up I mentioned, and when I say suit up, I really mean it; with this turbine's ability to transform river speeds of 7 knots (8 mph) or more into energy, you'll need to wear a helmet, harness, and safety line.

But, it'll all be worth it because, with a 7-knot river velocity, this puppy will spit out 14 kWh of juice a day. Since most off-grid habitats and homes use anywhere between 6-9 kWh daily, that should be more than enough to run your electrical appliances, whether you have a TV, washing machine, fridge/freezer, or cooktop.

As for how the system works, it's built from two parts. The first is the large rotating blades that spin as the water hits their surface, and the second is that central bulbous wheel in the center. Here, we find nothing more than a waterproof generator with "shaftless technology" and an integrated converter that continuously controls the conversion rate your home requires. It's also equipped with safety features like an emergency brake and the ability to monitor the system remotely.

River Turbine \(Action\)
Photo: Idenergie
There seems to be another component to the system, but it's not clear whether it's essential, a bi-directional converter. This machine allows you to connect up to 12 turbines at once, monitoring energy flow and recharging available battery systems in the process. Oh, it'll also do this up to 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) away. This stuff's impressive if you ask me.

There seem to be a few catches. Overall, Idenergie's website shows that this system costs around $12,500 Canadian ($10,000 American at current exchange rates), which isn't bad considering what it can achieve. But, to set one up, you will most likely need authorization from local institutions to do so. Then there's the fact that there's been no activity on Idenergie's Facebook page since 2019, leading me to believe that maybe there are other systems out there. I know for sure I'll be exploring other ways to help you achieve a genuinely off-grid and independent lifestyle.

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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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