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Burt Hammer

Burt Hammer

Organization: Hydrovolts

What is Hydrovolts?

An affordable "Switchblade" turbine and "Flipwing" turbine rotor that enables reliable hydroelectricity generation from canals and other managed-flow water courses.

Floating hydrokinetic turbines deployed in artificial water channels and waterfalls that will create new development possibilities along millions of miles of canals.


While hydrokinetic energy from water currents in canals, rivers, streams, and waterfalls has incredible potential, it has remained untapped due to regulatory hurdles and an inability to access it affordably.


The Hydrovolts “Switchblade” turbine and “Flipwing” turbine rotor enable an adaptable hydrokinetic turbine chassis suitable for artificial water channels, where a scalable machine can be installed in fleets to make power from water flows. Hydrovolts turbines are based on a horizontal rotational axis oriented perpendicular to the direction of water flow. This allows access to a much greater fraction of the canal cross-section than axis-parallel (pipe) or vertical-axis designs, and creates high efficiency without significantly affecting water flow. The turbines are easy to install (simply “plug and play”) and are being developed in three sizes (with prototypes for several more underway) to suit a variety of needs.

“Our portable floating turbines turn a water canal into valuable real estate that generates clean energy. Leveraging Hydrovolts technology in these waterways, whether in rural India or the farmlands of North America, can open a new pathway to sustainable, affordable, and clean distributed energy generation.” – Burt Hamner, Founder and CEO of Hydrovolts


Hydrovolts will be a leader in hydrokinetic energy generation by delivering a revolutionary turbine design that can be efficiently deployed and provides clean energy at a price that is competitive with fossil fuels. The opportunity to generate clean, renewable power from water is significant – one large turbine can power a village in India.

“We aren’t just harvesting power from canals; we’re changing the paradigm of how water can answer our energy challenges. Our vision is to enable renewable energy generation throughout the world’s artificial water channels.” – Burt Hamner, Founder and CEO of Hydrovolts



Innovator News

February 08, 2012

A plan to capture micro-hydropower bubbling up out of wastewater treatment plants   ...

December 01, 2011

Hydrovolts was recently featured at LAUNCH: Energy at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida as one of ten transformative innovations demonstrating promise to make a tangible impact on society. Hydrovolts is a floating hydrokinetic turbine technology deployed in artificial water channels and waterfalls that will create new development possibilities along millions of miles of canals.

I found LAUNCH to be unique among other forums I’ve participated in. Many investment conferences give coaching to the companies that will present at the conferences. The significant difference between that coaching and the mentoring at LAUNCH is threefold:
  • First, The LAUNCH Core Team is amazingly diverse, representing NASA, USAID, the US Department of State, NIKE, entrepreneurs and sustainable business experts. They have a perspective that’s just fundamentally different from “ordinary” investors who screen hundreds of startup companies a year.
  • Second, the LAUNCH team coached us how to tell a compelling human story, not just a business case. And as one famous investor recently said, “you need the audience to love you before they will consider investing in you.” LAUNCH helps you get the love!
  • Third, the LAUNCH Council meetings include detailed documentation and follow-up of all the comments, suggestions and promises made during the extensive discussions, so it’s a lot more likely that they will come to pass.
The LAUNCH team is committed to transforming the Innovators into successes, and they know what makes a real impact on human well-being and not just profits.
I can give a first hand example of how the LAUNCH experience is already bearing fruit.
The LAUNCH Core Team helped me refine and focus the presentation I give to investors on the value and impact of Hydrovolts on the future landscape of sustainable energy generation capabilities. Five days after participating in LAUNCH: Energy, I was one of ten companies presenting at the Keiretsu Forum Angel Expo in San Francisco, attended by over 300 accredited investors and 150 other sponsors, VCs, media, etc.
Members of the audience were each given three fake $1 million dollar bills and each profiled company’s booth received a box labeled “Bank” with a slot in the top. At the end of all the presentations, the audience voted with their fake money by “banking” it with the company of their choice, with a show of confidence for the company they consider the best investment opportunity. 
Hydrovolts won by receiving the most money invested by the audience - $95 million in fake money!!! Even more importantly, dozens of investors expressed interest in investing real money with Hydrovolts afterwards.
I was told my presentation was the best of all ten. I give direct credit to the LAUNCH Core Team for the improvements they suggested to make my presentation better. Thanks Team, and thanks to all the LAUNCH Council and others at LAUNCH for helping me optimally position my presentation and approach. Your work and support provides tangible results!
In summary, the LAUNCH program gives value to the innovator that is really unsurpassed among business plan contests I know of.
By Burt Hamner - Hydrovolts