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Directory:Zotloterer Gravitational Vortex Power Plant

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The first prototype
The first prototype
Zotlöterer was looking for an efficient way to aerate the water of a small stream when he hit upon this idea of a plant that not only gives air to the medium but also takes from it some of the kinetic energy that is always inherent in a stream. [1]

Austrian engineer, Franz Zotlöterer, has constructed a low-head power plant that makes use of the kinetic energy inherent in an artificially induced vortex. The plant can be installed with a water drop as little as 0.7 meters.

"The Water Vortex Power Plant Technology is a worldwide first and unique technology that clears water in rivers and produces electricity." -- Franz Zotlöterer (Nov. 13, 2008)

The system is similar to one set forth by Viktor Schauberger, except that it has a dual purpose of aerating water, whereas Schauberger's design was optimized for generating electricity.

In Zotlöterer's system, the water's vortex energy is collected by a slow-moving, large-surface water wheel, making the power station transparent to fish. There are no large pressure differences built up, as happens in normal turbines. The cost of construction for such a plant is half that of a conventional hydroelectric installation of similar yield; and the environmental impact is positive, instead of negative.

"People from all over the world contact us because of our water vortex power plant - a technologie which makes our rivers clear again and produce electriciy." -- Dipl.-Ing. Franz Zotlöterer; Nov. 5, 2008


Official Websites



(12 seconds)

  • Gravitationswasserwirbelkraftwerk - gravitational water vortex power plant - - (Google Video; Oct. 26, 2007)

How it Works

The aspect of the power plant reminds a bit of an upside-down snail. The water passes through through a large, straight inlet, then passes tangentially into a round basin, forming a powerful vortex (whirlpool), which finds its outlet at the center bottom of the shallow basin.

The turbine does not work on pressure differential but on the dynamic force of the vortex. Not only does this power plant produce a useful output of electricity, it also aerates the water in a gentle way.

Of course the use of water vortices has been pioneered by another Austrian - Viktor Schauberger, who was also known as the "water wizard". He floated hard-to transport heavy logs from remote regions of the Austrian forests, not accessible at the time by streets, to where they would be milled and processed. The feat was accomplished by carefully regulating the water's temperature and by inducing a rolling, longitudinal vortex motion in the water.


Image:Zotloterer gravitational turbine prototype 300.jpg
The prototype cost 57,000 Euros, and produced 50,000 kilowatt-hours in its first year of operation. The head (difference between the two water levels) is 1.6 meters.


Classification: - international: F03B1/00; F03B1/00; (IPC1-7): F03B3/00; - European: F03B1/00
Also published as:
WO2004061295 (A3)
WO2004061295 (A2)

The aim of the invention is to create a hydroelectric power plant that is better and less expensive than previous embodiments. Said aim is achieved by a hydroelectric power plant which supports the formation of a stable gravitational vortex which tends to be formed also in the upper reaches directly in front of the turbine inlet of conventional river stations as a lost vortex and is therefore prevented as much as possible there. The inventive hydroelectric plant, however, ensures that the necessary current-related conditions are fulfilled for reinforcing the rotational movement of the water, which is created when the water flows off, in an unimpeded manner into a stable gravitational vortex without using pressure lines and directing devices. A turbine that rotates in a coaxial manner within the gravitational vortex and is impinged upon along the entire circumference thereof withdraws rotational energy from the gravitational vortex, which is converted into electric power in a generator. In addition, the inventive hydroelectric power plant allows the body of water that is used for generating power to be aerated so as to enhance the self-cleaning properties thereof and the water temperature to be reduced during the summer while decreasing the tendency thereof to be covered with ice during the winter and improving the water quality by activating the water.


Company: Wasserwirbeltechnik

list here

Inventor: Franz Zotlöterer

Austrian engineer


Nominated for the ENERGY GLOBE AWARD AUSTRIA, to be held November 30, 2007.


In the News

  • Zotloterer Water Vortex Plant Gaining Momentum - It looks like the baton has been picked up by a well-known name: Bertrand Piccard, who flew the first round-the-world balloon flight and launched the famous SolarImpulse all-solar plane. Now investors and licensees are lining up. (Free Energy Blog October 6, 2013)
  • Water Vortex Drives Power Plant - In a fairly radical departure from the principles that normally govern hydroelectric power generation, Austrian engineer Franz Zotlöterer has constructed a low-head power plant that makes use of the kinetic energy inherent in an artificially induced vortex. (Hasslberger blog; June 30, 2007)
  • Zotloterer Gravitational Vortex Power Plant - Mini-power plant is simple to construct, has a turbine efficiency of 80% but is safe for fish due to low turbine speed. The gravitational vortex hydro technology can be applied with water drop as little as 0.7 meters. The cost for installation of the prototype was close to $1/watt capacity. (PESWiki)


Image:Zotloterer thumbnail 300.jpg Display File Source

The Gravitational Vortex Power Plant was exhibited at the Top 100 Clean Energy Technologies Display at the Environmental Hall of Fame in Chicago, 2008


UID: ATU61395001
Dipl.-Ing. Franz Zotlöterer
Wildgansstraße 5
A-3200 Obergrafendorf

Tel+Fax: 0043-(0)2747-3106
Mobil: 0043-(0)699-88807708

phone: 0043-(0)2747-3106


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