Portlanders in America now they will be able to generate renewable energy simply by turning on their water taps, washing their toilets or taking a shower. Fast Company reports that the city of Oregon is using a system to generate green energy using water flowing through the city’s pipes. The small turbines installed inside the pipes are activated when the water is flowing, the energy is sent to a generator and this to the electricity network.
This idea is not new to us. A few years ago we talked about a very similar project, on a smaller scale, but closely related to this one. We are talking about ES Pipe Waterwheel, a mini turbine capable of accumulating light with the pipes. An idea from the designer Ryan jongwoo cho to enlighten the most disadvantaged populations without access to electricity.
“It is very rare to find a new source of energy without environmental impact”
said Gregg Semler of Fast Company. Semler is the CEO of Lucid energy.
“But this technique is developed inside a pipe, so there are no animals, fish or other endangered species. This is what is exciting. “
According to Semler, water utilities tend to use large amounts of electricity, so the new power generation system can help lower the cost of delivering clean water to cities. Companies can decide to use this energy for their own use or to sell it as a new source of income.
“We have a project in Riverside, Calif. Where they are using it to power streetlights at night,” says Semler. “During the day, when electricity prices are high, they can use it to offset part of their operating costs.”
As for Portland, one of its main water lines uses the Lucid system to generate power like small hydro, and although the system cannot produce enough power for the entire city, the pipes can produce enough to power a building such as a school or library.
Unlike other forms of renewable energy production, such as solar or wind power, the Lucid system can generate energy at any time of the day, because the water is still flowing. The only catch is that turbines can only produce power where water flows naturally downward by gravity. Lucid pipes contain sensors that can monitor the quality of the water flowing through the pipes, so besides being an electric power generation technology, they can be a valuable source of information.