Seattle Hydro Startup Closes Series A [VIDEO]

HydroVolts, a Seattle-based developer of hydropower turbines able to generate electricity from small streams and canals, has secured an undisclosed amount from strategic investors in a Series A round of venture funding.

HydroVolts says this inaugural round was oversubscribed and investors included two Seattle area-engineering firms. The company says it has raised over $1 million since 2009 when it won a leading award at the Clean Tech Open.

It’s unclear if the Series A is included in that amount. We’ve called HydroVolts and will post updates when we get them.

HydroVolts says the Series A will finance the development of a more efficient submersible generator that it will jointly develop with Seattle engineering firm MERA Technologies.

HydroVolts’s micro-turbines work like efficient, submergered paddle wheels.  Water-flows spin the turbines’ paddles, which generate green electricity — (see video below). The turbines can start operating as soon as they’re dropped in the water and anchored.

According to Xconomy, HydroVolts estimates that some 80,000 turbines, worth a combined  $1.6 billion, could be deployed across the western United States.

Commenting on the Series A, Hydrovolts CEO Burt Hamner said: “Development of these energy sources has been slow partly because the standard generators are not cost-effective at slow RPM.”

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