VH 93 raises funds to capture wave energy – Le Journal des Entreprises
After a first fundraising round, VH 93 is preparing to raise new funds. This company, created in 2017, has positioned itself on the tidal turbine market in order to produce energy from the movement of waterways or the ebb and flow of waves. “We have been used to having constant and regular energy. Today, the consumer must learn to do things differently. We thus offer renewable energy, but which must be seized when it is available. These are our behaviors which must adapt to energy and not the other way around”, confides Stéphan Guignard, teacher-researcher at Aix-Marseille University, founder of the company, activist for the energy transition. VH 93, which currently has 4 employees, and has so far been financed through aid from Bpifrance, research tax credit, bank loans and an initial fundraising of 100,000 euros will embark on a second round at the end of March.
Stéphan Guignard is aiming for an amount of 500,000 euros via a crowdfunding platform, the selection of which is not yet complete. “With this sum, we will also be able to raise funds, in particular from Bpifrance. In the end, we should be able to count on a budget of more than one million euros. This will allow us to recruit and we will then be ten in September. next”, specifies the founder. The manager plans to intensify its commercial development in order to continue the development of its tidal stream turbines, which it rents out, and above all, to launch the installation of a demonstrator for recovering the energy of the swell, which could be in Frioul or on the Digue du Large in the port of Marseille. “We are on a more complex subject, which no one has really tackled yet, in particular because of the alternating movement of the waves”.
Tidal turbines designed to be recycled
VH 93 technology is based on the principle of the Savonius-type rotor with flexible blades. A proven technology that rotates slowly and causes little interaction with the watercourse, but which Stéphan Guignard has improved to obtain a yield of 30 to 40%. “We are working on a product that is largely environmentally friendly. In addition, the tidal turbine, made of 95% biosourced materials, based on locally sourced plant and plastic waste, has been completely designed to be recycled by crushing and reconditioning. In this kind of project, there are two solutions. Do we commit to a high-tech product or do we choose low-tech by reducing manufacturing-related pollution as much as possible and making the product reusable? obviously chose the second solution…” But, if his product already appeals to individuals, a few managers of irrigation canals or large water management accounts, the manager is aware that his device, limited to courses of water, will not change the energetic face of the world. “The real challenge is to capture the energy of the waves offshore,” he enthuses. And rather than just generating electricity, he imagines other uses. “Why not produce hydrogen or fresh water, in a less polluting way than on the coasts”.