Forum für Wissenschaft, Industrie und Wirtschaft

Hauptsponsoren:     3M 
Datenbankrecherche:

 

Electricity from water mains

11.12.2012
PolyU's novel inline hydropower system for power generation from water pipelines. In full operation, an array of in-pipe turbines is expected to save 700kWh of electricity and reduce 560 kg of carbon dioxide emission per year.
Generating electricity from water is not a new thing. Hydro power stations have already sprung up across the world in China, United States and Canada. However, scientists will not stop exploring advanced technologies for further improvement to benefit people’s lives.

Recently, PolyU’s Department of Building Services Engineering and the Water Supplies Department (WSD) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government have been working together to turn water mains into an alternative source of power.

Hong Kong has a network of water mains travelling over 7,800 km, which is comprehensively monitored by WSD using monitoring devices to make sure our water supply remain clean and well-maintained. Water mains need power for those devices. Conventionally, they are putting small turbines into our pipes to produce electricity from drinking water.

Our water main pipes present a real challenge. They are just one metre across and hold far less water volume and potential energy compared to giant water dams, say for example. In pushing the boundaries, specialists in hydrodynamics, mechanical engineering and renewable energy have created a highly efficient device in harnessing the power of water. The resulting turbine is small enough to fit into a pipe, and uses just a fraction of hydro-energy to generate about 80 volts, enough to power four compact fluorescent light bulbs.

The novel device consists of an external hydroelectric generator and highly efficient spherical water turbine which dips into flowing water and reclaims residual pressure. When water passes through, the turbine drives a central rotating shaft and a micro generator to produce electricity.

The key lies in a number of intelligent designs to extract more energy from flowing water. The 8-blade turbine would only take away a fraction of kinetic energy because it strikes an accurate balance between water volume, water pressure and consumption of hydrokinetic energy, which boosts efficiency without reducing the momentum of running water to guarantee a reliable water supply. Turbine blades are carefully sized to intersect the largest possible area of water flow and minimise water bypassing.

To achieve maximum power output, a revolutionary design made the central rotating shaft hollow on the inside to minimise energy losses when driving the generator and utilize the harvested energy in full. The team also made the water more energetic and produced a strong current with a special metal block placed at the centre of the pipe to compress and accelerate the water flow. To further protect our drinking water, the turbine does not have moving parts and does not need any lubricant to eliminate the slightest change of contamination.

The mini-hydro power has been put to test in a number of locations including underground pits and outdoor environments. The principal investigator, Prof. Hong-xing Yang from Department of Building Services Engineering commented, “We have made the water pipes self-sufficient.” In full operation, an array of in-pipe turbines is expected to save 700kWh of electricity and reduce 560 kg of carbon dioxide emission per year.

It is not only a green innovation to further cut our reliance on coal-based power plants, but also an engineering triumph that gives WSD an easy access to electricity in areas without power grid, such as treacherous terrains and underground. “This technology also points to viable turbine solutions for waters that have little potential for energy generation,” added Prof. Yang.

The invention won a Silver Medal from the 40th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva in Switzerland in April this year, validating the growing excellence of PolyU in creating working solutions to curb energy consumption and carbon footprint. PolyU spares no effort in the research and development of groundbreaking technologies that help protect the environment, and our experts are gear up for that challenge.

Wilfred Lai | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.polyu.edu.hk

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Cooling buildings with solar heat
26.09.2016 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

nachricht Philippines’ microsatellite captures best-in-class high-resolution images
22.09.2016 | Hokkaido University

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantenboost für künstliche Intelligenz

Intelligente Maschinen, die selbständig lernen, gelten als Zukunftstrend. Forscher der Universität Innsbruck und des Joint Quantum Institute in Maryland, USA, loten nun in der Fachzeitschrift Physical Review Letters aus, wie Quantentechnologien dabei helfen können, die Methoden des maschinellen Lernens weiter zu verbessern.

In selbstfahrenden Autos, IBM's Watson oder Google's AlphaGo sind Computerprogramme am Werk, die aus Erfahrungen lernen können. Solche Maschinen werden im Zuge...

Im Focus: Synthese-chemischer Meilenstein: Neues Ferrocenium-Molekül entdeckt

Wissenschaftler der Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) haben zusammen mit Kollegen der Freien Universität Berlin ein neues Molekül entdeckt: Die Eisenverbindung in der seltenen Oxidationsstufe +4 gehört zu den Ferrocenen und ist äußerst schwierig zu synthetisieren.

Metallocene werden umgangssprachlich auch als Sandwichverbindungen bezeichnet. Sie bestehen aus zwei organischen ringförmigen Verbindungen, den...

Im Focus: Neue Entwicklungen in der Asphären-Messtechnik

Kompetenzzentrum Ultrapräzise Oberflächenbearbeitung (CC UPOB) lädt zum Expertentreffen im März 2017 ein

Ob in Weltraumteleskopen, deren Optiken trotz großer Abmessungen nanometergenau gefertigt sein müssen, in Handykameras oder in Endoskopen − Asphären kommen in...

Im Focus: Mit OLED Mikrodisplays in Datenbrillen zur verbesserten Mensch-Maschine-Interaktion

Das Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP arbeitet seit Jahren an verschiedenen Entwicklungen zu OLED-Mikrodisplays, die auf organischen Halbleitern basieren. Durch die Integration einer Bildsensorfunktion direkt im Mikrodisplay, lässt sich u.a. die Augenbewegung in Datenbrillen aufnehmen und zur Steuerung von Display-Inhalten nutzen. Das verbesserte Konzept wird erstmals auf der Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE), vom 18. – 19. Oktober 2016, in Berlin, Stand B25 vorgestellt.

„Augmented Reality“ (erweiterte Realität) und „Wearable Displays“ (tragbare Displays) sind Schlagworte, denen man mittlerweile fast täglich begegnet. Beide...

Im Focus: OLED microdisplays in data glasses for improved human-machine interaction

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.

“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics
Veranstaltungen

Von der Probe zum digitalen Modell - MikroskopieTrends ´16

26.09.2016 | Veranstaltungen

300 Experten diskutieren auf größter Entrepreneurship-Konferenz im deutschsprachigen Raum

26.09.2016 | Veranstaltungen

Idealer Ablauf für GMP-konforme Projekte

26.09.2016 | Veranstaltungen

 
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Phänotyp auf Knopfdruck

26.09.2016 | Biowissenschaften Chemie

Effiziente elektrische Antriebe: TU Graz startet Christian Doppler Labor

26.09.2016 | Maschinenbau

Methodenentwicklung an BESSY II: Automatische Auswertung beschleunigt die Suche nach neuen Wirkstoffen

26.09.2016 | Biowissenschaften Chemie