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Big data technology finds ideal river locations to generate hydro-power

14/04/2015 by Sharon Shahzad


A technology in development with the University of Leicester has the potential to revolutionise the sourcing of renewable energy from rivers.

A software app developed collaboratively by the University of Leicester and High Efficiency Heating UK Ltd. automatically selects appropriate locations in UK rivers to site a large range of micro renewable hydro-power turbines in UK rivers and determines the environmental sensitivity of the location.

This innovative prototype software saves thousands of pounds in initial survey costs: saves time and paper work, by making use of free publicly available data sourced from satellites to pinpoint the best locations in Britain's rivers for sourcing energy.

The news comes as the University of Leicester prepares to showcase its partnerships with industry at the first Innovate UK-funded Venturefest to be held in the East Midlands at the East Midlands Conference Centre, Nottingham (Tuesday 14 April).

Experts claim the technology has the power to shake up the micro hydropower industry.

The idea was the brainchild of a small renewable energy company based in Greater Manchester - "High Efficiency Heating UK Ltd.". Andy Baxter, MD of High Efficiency Heating, turned to the team at the University of Leicester to utilise their expertise in "Big Data" processing using data obtained from satellite and aircraft-based earth observation, following an initial meeting with the team at G-STEP, the University's SME support programme (part-funded European Regional Development Fund).

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