October 2015 NorCal AIChE Meeting

Tuesday, October 27, 2015, 6:00pm PDT
Event format: 
In-Person / Local
Posted by Thomas Fogwell
Natel Energy, Inc.
2175 Monarch Street
Alameda, CA 94501
United States

Synopsis of presentation:  Natel Energy, Inc. produces a new hydropower product enabling cost-effective production of low impact, distributed baseload energy from existing low dams, irrigation canals, and other low head hydropower resources.  This is accomplished by the use of an innovative, patented hydraulic turbine, called the hydroEngine, which operates with high efficiency but requires low head pressure for its application.  As water flows through the hydroEngine, the blades are driven along two parallel shafts.  Power is taken off either or both shafts to drive conventional generators.  Water enters the unit and exits the draft tube near stream velocity.  The hydroEngine is designed for high performance at heads from 2 meters to 18 meters over a range of flow rates as low as 0.4 cm/s.  This allows Natel's generator packages to be used over a wide range of low head applications, including irrigation canals and existing dams, with a minimum of modifications to existing structures.  The modular design allows for easy maintenance and repair.  The design is fish friendly, operates without cavitation, minimizes the need for extensive site modifications, enables speedy maintenances, reduces costs associated with repairs, delivers high performance at low head pressures, and maintains high efficiency as flows decrease.  The equipment has demonstrated 75% to 80% hydraulic efficiency in laboratory and field tests, with over 10,000 in-field operating hours.  Applications have included a 35 kW stream setting, irrigation canal drops producing 25 to 180 kW, and a thermal power plant cooling water outfall.  Natel supports project development with detailed computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analyses.  Details of the design and Natel's approach to product development will be presented. 

Presenter:  Gia Schneider

Gia is Natel’s CEO, responsible for setting strategy and company direction, and defining the commercial execution plan.  Gia holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from MIT and has 13 years of experience in the energy and renewable industries.  She provided strategic and tactical solutions to several major energy companies as a consultant for Accenture and has significant experience in energy-related strategy development and deal valuation.  In 2005, Gia started the carbon emissions trading desk at Credit Suisse, growing it to a profitable business in its first year.  Prior to Credit Suisse, she worked in the Strategy Group at Constellation, a leading power generation company.  Gia is passionate about finding economically viable solutions to mitigate climate change, foster sustainable development and produce inexpensive renewable energy. 

Tour description:  A tour of Natel's facilities will include the fatigue and performance testing facilities, where components are tested for their robustness, and systems are tested for their efficiencies.  Also, systems are evaluated for their ease of maintenance and repair, as well as any differences between design parameters and actual performance parameters.  Details of control strategies are worked out.

Program consists of: 

6:00-7:00 pm  Networking & Light Refreshments (We thank Natel Energy for providing the light refreshments.)

7:00 -8:00 pm  Presentation and Tour

8:00-8:30 pm  Questions and Wrap Up

The number of places available for this event is limited to 30.  Please register by sending us an e-mail at