Green School, John's Green World

Never give up: the 7 year vortex saga

Vortex at Green School Bali

At Green School we believed that micro hydro was off the table because we didn’t have more than a two meter drop in the river which runs through the school grounds. Then we read about the miraculous achievements of Franz Zotlöterer, a mad Austrian who made a vortex in a swimming pool. We saw that we could get hydro in the two meter drop we had, so we proceeded. And things were looking good until we had a little problem. Village politics played up and the dam we had built to send water through our vortex ended up with a two meter hole in it. So we then ended up spending about two years rebuilding relationships as well as the dam.

Just when we thought we were back in the game and well on the road to having the vortex become a reality we got side-tracked with some unorthodox engineering ideas and this ate up a good part of another year. Finally, we went back to Mr. Zotlöterer who was, needless to say, not very happy with us; our file had reached an epic thickness on his desk and he was not used to having our sort of chaos in his ordered world. After years of trial and error our vortex budget was now gone so we had to find a compromise to get the help we needed – his name would be put up in lights above the vortex. Mr. Zotlöterer sent us new plans together with some fancy turbine blades and we were on our way. Rather than follow his plans “to a T”, however, we added a Green School touch and created a beautiful hybrid with bamboo and steel. We finally found a motor in China and got it to Bali not long ago and now we are producing power.

This has been helped along the way by many people, but our big supporter on the project has been Akuo Energy. They have done a great job of keeping this project on the road.