To combat the scarcity of reliable power, US Synthetic, Advantage Products, Inc., New Energy Corporation, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and Himalaya Currents, Inc. have teamed up to develop a local, sustainable, clean energy system that can provide Himalayan villages with continuous power. The clean energy project relies on an in-stream hydrokinetic power generation system that is submerged in a flume in a nearby river. The 5 kW EnCurrent power generation system converts kinetic energy in the river’s water current into electrical power. The pollution-free electricity is then transmitted to the village.
The biggest challenge facing the hydrokinetic system is the underwater abrasion and wear on the turbine’s rotor. As water moves downstream in Himalayan rivers, it picks up more and more debris and sediment—turning the water brown from all of the mud, gravel, and sand churning up from the river bottom. The melting ice from Himalayan glaciers is laden with abrasive sediment. These abrasive particles can quickly destroy standard sealed bearings and wear components on traditional turbine rotors; however, New Energy designed the project’s underwater turbine rotor to work with PCD bearings from US Synthetic. PCD bearings are ideally suited for operation in harsh process fluid environments where abrasive particles can cause accelerated wear. US Synthetic diamond bearings are the perfect match for the harshest, most demanding conditions and environments.