A new hydroelectric turbine concept designed for the exploitation of very low water heads (head height ranging between 1.5 and 3.4 m, and up to 4,5 m in customised reiforced configuration for the smaller machines - see the product range) originated from an intuition by a team of professionals in the field of mini hydro.
There are up to now no equipments enabling the construction of acceptably profitable hydroelectric sites with a head lower than 2 m within the economical context of developed countries. Technically speaking, some existing technologies are available, but their implementation implies such civil engineering costs that they make the global investment unaffordable.
A French patent application has been filed for the VLH turbogenerator unit in 2003 as the outcome of many years of experience in the design of low-head turbines. This patent has been given an international extension in 2006. In April, 2004 MJ2 Technologies SARL was founded in order to develop the new concept, to find funding and manage the whole project from the scientific, R&D and industrial point of view with the aim of creating the first prototype.
In 2004 and 2005 preliminary studies had been completed. In 2006, laboratory tests on small scale models had a positive outcome thus confirming the technical performances, leading to the creation of the first demonstration site in Millau, in the south of France.
On March 19, 2007 the VLH group delivered its first kW to the public network on the Troussy site in Millau. This day marks the end of the first phase of R&D and thus the beginning of the VLH concept.
The VLH in Millau has now accumulated more than 35.000 hours of operation.
Since the commissioning, the Millau demonstration site has had more than 700 visits.
Experts from all European countries, as well as from North America, Latin America, and Asia have made a trip to Millau.
MJ2 has been delivering 35 VLHs by mid-2013 and should deliver other 7 turbines by the end of the year.
Autonomus producer visit
New developments based on the experience feedback of the first VLHs have been integrated within the concept of next machineries to be built. The VLH concept is nowadays at its 4th version.
MJ2 Technologies is in its full industrialization phase. It should address new challenges: costs levels, reliability, multi-group site and island operation mode are among our next main goals.
On December 20 2012, the Italian group Sorgent.e, already present within the ownership of MJ2 from 2006, acquired 51% of the share capital. It is now the majority shareholder. This group is present in all of the renewable energies fields, both in Europe and abroad and it offers to MJ2 an important financial support within this stage of development as well as a number of commercial synergies, mostly in Latin and North America. Such smooth entrance has been executed respecting the existing team and guaranteeing sustainability and autonomy to MJ2.
A new page opens up.