Israel-based clean technology company HydroSpin used Autodesk Inventor software and other digital prototyping tools to develop a micro-generator solution that produces energy from the flow of water inside distribution pipes. Using the software saved hundreds of hours of development time and hundreds of thousands of development dollars.
The generators power a wide range of “smart water” devices that monitor the movement and quality of water, along with other parameters, throughout the distribution network—these can include sensors, probes and transmission devices. In turn, the devices send data that might indicate a leak or a broken pipe, helping to prevent waste of one of the world’s most precious resources.
“The demand for safe and clean water is growing exponentially. With the help of Autodesk design and simulation technology, we are creating a solution that enables water monitoring devices to be deployed in locations that do not have ready access to an electrical supply,” said Gabby Czertok, CEO of HydroSpin.
As a member of the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program—an initiative that provides the company’s software to emerging and established clean tech companies—HydroSpin was able to access a variety of Autodesk tools that sped up the product development process, while local reseller Omnitech provided training and support.
HydroSpin used Autodesk Inventor software to support the design of its generator—similar in appearance to a fan-like turbine—so that it fit precisely within the confines of the Israel national water company’s detailed specifications without disrupting the flow of water. This helped avoid the head loss that could cause customers to experience weak water pressure.
Using computational fluid dynamics software, the design team was able to perform extensive stress tests and flow simulations on the generator to ensure that it could withstand the flow of water at a variety of pressures over an extended period of time.
The company reports that the CFD simulation software was able to provide insight on the long-term performance of its generator within a matter of hours—a process that otherwise would have required an actual generator to be placed inside of a pipe for hundreds of hours at a potential cost of several hundred thousand dollars.
“Clean technology companies like HydroSpin save significant time and money when they incorporate digital prototyping tools into their workflow. This kind of efficiency enables more resources to be dedicated toward innovations that can have a real impact and create a better world,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior VP, Design, Lifecycle and Simulation at Autodesk.
Filed Under: Fluid power, Green engineering, Software