Michael Bernitsas, professor in the Department of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Photo credit: Scott Galvin
An array of VIVACE Illustration credit: Omar Jamil
VIVACE, prototype Photo credit: Scott Galvin
Hydro-power systems are by far the most widely used form of renewable energy on the planet, but despite their eco-friendly appeal the implementation of large scale facilities - particularly where dam building is involved - has some serious environmental and economic drawbacks. One solution to this impasse that is growing in support is to use leaner, less destructive systems to better harness current flow and provide energy at a local level. This is the thinking behind VIVACE, a machine developed at the University of Michigan which applies the same principles fish use to swim efficiently in order to generate power from currents much slower than those required to drive designs based on turbines and water mills.
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