Winnebago County Green Business Awards and the Rock River Trail announce the ‘Micro-Hydro Power from the Rock River Contest’

Purpose: To challenge all people, schools and industries along the 285 miles of the Rock River to construct an American renewable energy product—a working micro-hydro generating device—that will produce electrical energy from the flow of the Rock River.

Entry Fees: A fee of $25 per entry per classification.

Prizes: First Prize cash award is for the device that produces the highest electrical power in loaded watts on the day of the competition and least cost of commercial production. Second Prize is cash award from the same standard. Third Prize is cash award from the same standard. Prize monies will be derived from the pool of entry fees of $25 per entry and awarded as follows: First 60 percent, Second 30 percent and Third 10 percent.

Judging: Will be done by a blue-ribbon panel selected by the Rock River Trail and Winnebago County Green Business Awards community.

Scope: The scope of the contest will not be limited to current technology and/or technology that is in the patent process. Technology that is patentable should have patent protection in place prior to the submission of the contest application. All devices will compete for the highest loaded electrical output from a single standard platform and judged by watts produced at the time of the competition. The platform (base that the “turbine” is attached to) for the entry device will be limited to dock or pontoon attached to a dock. River speed will be limited to a minimum of 1 mph but less than 5 mph with no specific speed defined for the day of the contest.

The competition is open to all individuals, elementary, middle and high schools, technology schools/colleges, junior colleges, universities and commercial companies that are within the borders of the 10 counties of the mainstream of the Rock River. Address all inquiries to or 815-964-9767.

The contest devices are not limited to kinetic transference devices but are limited to two specific categories of non-ducted (no shroud, accumulation device) and ducted (shrouded, accumulation device) The devices inflow (area which receives the rivers flow) area can be no larger than the square inches in a 24-inch diameter from a 24-inch as a diameter or 434 square inches device. Contestants can enter either or both ducted and non-ducted systems category with separate entry fees.  The diameter of the ducting cannot exceed 48 inches as a diameter or a total of 1,810 square inches.

The contest will use only the regular flow of the Rock River between a minimum of 1 mph and the maximum of 10 mph. A standardized dock/pontoon attachment print will be provided to all entries. Electric connections will be specified in the official rules. Testing site will be augmented by the City of Rockford, and the winning product’s production may be explored in conjunction with the resources of Eiger Lab.

The “Micro-Hydro Power from the Rock River Contest” entries must be postmarked  by midnight, Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011, and addressed to The Rock River Times, 128 N. Church St., Rockford, IL 61101. Ten finalists’ devices will be tested Sunday, Sept. 10, 2011. Finalists will be displayed and the winners announced at the 4th Annual Winnebago County Green Business Awards, Thursday, Oct. 6, 2011.

From the Oct. 13-19, 2010 issue

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