LEVIATHAN’S in-pipe turbine system hydro-electric 311.
(photo credit: Leviathan Energy)
Leviathan Energy Hydroelectric Ltd. has announced it was awarded a EUREKA grant
of over €1 million to continue to develop and test its Benkatina in-pipe
RELATED:The politics of solar powerPlanning and Building Council okays solar power plan
Leviathan said last week that it has partnered with two Italian
companies, Fontana SRL and ENCO Engineering Consultants SRL, to develop a model
that delivers up to 50KW per hour, which will be tested in northern Italy. The
turbine is installed within a pipe and uses the water flowing through it to
What is unique about the Benkatina as a
hydro-electric turbine is that it uses the water pressure to generate
electricity but must also ensure that there is sufficient pressure for the water
to continue to flow through the piping system, founder Dr. Daniel Farb told The
So far, a smaller model has been installed in
national water company Mekorot’s system to produce enough electricity to power
the adjacent needs of the system.
“However, the turbine could also
produce electricity to sell back to the grid,” Farb pointed out.
this be a water-based energy generating system for countries like Israel that
don’t have enough water to build massive dams to harness hydro-electric power?
Farb believes it can.
Hydro-electric power is one of the “baseline”
energy sources used to power electricity grids. While the Benkatina would never
replace a dam, Farb said it was applicable to the Israeli terrain.
are a lot of ups and downs in the piping as it goes over hills, and the
Benkatina can harness that energy,” he told the Post.
constantly concerned about increasing capacity as electricity demand continues
to rise 4 percent a year. This past hot summer saw demand reach record levels.
The government has also committed to producing 5% of electricity from renewable
resources by 2014 and 10% by 2020.
The company has also contracted with a
city in the Philippines to sell them a system.
In the context of the
EUREKA grant and label, the Israel-based design team would build the turbine
here to the specifications of the Italian partners, and testing would occur in
“Fontana SRL and ENCO SRL, partners de facto in the hydroelectric
power plant construction sector, have been looking for products suitable for
their niche market and Leviathan’s represents a great opportunity for them to
reach this market, which is still in an embryonic state,” the partners said in a
EUREKA is a pan-European network to promote industrial
research and development without military applications.
and companies within them, are members.
Israel achieved membership in
2000 as the only non-European country involved and this year holds the rotating
presidency, which is being is being run out of the Chief Scientist’s Office of
the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry.
Partnerships between countries
and companies form the basis of all EUREKA grants, on the assumption that
collaborations can lead to marketable products in shorter amounts of time. One
of Israel’s goals this year is to encourage the cleantech sector to take
advantage of the generous funding.
In addition to the grant money, a
EUREKA label, which Leviathan’s project has achieved, signifies a level of
quality in the European market.
Farb explained the origins of the
turbine’s unique name.
“Ben Katin was a high priest in the Second Temple
Period who designed a system to raise water from the groundwater to the Temple.
He’s mentioned several times in the Gemara and I decided to name the turbine
after this little known early Jewish engineer. It’s especially fitting as I am a
kohen [member of priestly line] as well,” he said.
“Israel is a world
leader in reusing and recycling water. I hope we can become a world leader in
harnessing the energy of that water as well,” he concluded.
Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>