A new source of power uses water pipes to generate electricity. Clean energy is being captured by small turbines which spin as water flows through pipes.
Unlike typical hydroelectric dams this new source of hydropower has no environmental impact whatsoever.
In many respects this energy generation system is better than other renewables that operate intermittently (solar only operate when there is sun and turbines only work when there is wind).
This can be a boon to water utilities which can use this energy for their own purposes and sell surplus electricity back to the city.
Such systems are already operational in Portland, Oregon and Riverside, California.
The systems were designed by Portland based startup Lucid Energy. “It’s pretty rare to find a new source of energy where there’s no environmental impact,” says Gregg Semler, CEO of Lucid Energy, the Portland-based startup that designed the new system.
This water pipe energy system works in areas where gravity propels the water. This facilitates smarter water systems similar to those we see in electrical infrastructure. The byproduct is better water stewardship as the technology alerts technicians to water loss from leaking pipes. Sensors can also monitor water quality.
This system is great for the developing world however it is ideal for California where 20 percent of the energy supply is used to move water. The system is also well suited for use in partnership with desalination plants.