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 Spherical tokamak as model for next steps in fusion energy
25.08.2016 | DOE/Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory

nachricht An effective and low-cost solution for storing solar energy
25.08.2016 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

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: Flexibel statt starr

Gezielter und effizienter Transport zellulärer Frachten durch physikalischen Mechanismus

Damit Zellen richtig funktionieren können, müssen Frachten innerhalb der Zelle ständig von einem Ort zum anderen transportiert werden, wobei es ähnlich zugeht...

Im Focus: Elektronen am Tempolimit

Elektronische Bauteile werden seit Jahren immer schneller und machen damit leistungsfähige Computer und andere Technologien möglich. Wie schnell sich Elektronen mit elektrischen Feldern letztendlich kontrollieren lassen, haben jetzt Forscher an der ETH Zürich untersucht. Ihre Erkenntnisse sind wichtig für die Petahertz-Elektronik der Zukunft.

Geschwindigkeit mag keine Hexerei sein, doch sie ist die Grundlage für Technologien, die nicht selten wie Magie anmuten. Moderne Computer etwa sind so...

Im Focus: Forscher beobachten, wie Chaperone defekte Proteine erkennen

Proteine, auch Eiweiße genannt, erfüllen in unserem Körper lebenswichtige Funktionen: Sie transportieren Stoffe, bekämpfen Krankheitserreger oder fungieren als Katalysatoren. Damit diese Prozesse zuverlässig funktionieren, müssen die Proteine eine definierte dreidimensionale Struktur annehmen. Molekulare Faltungshelfer, die sogenannten Chaperone, kontrollieren den Strukturierungsprozess. Ein Forscherteam unter der Beteiligung der Technischen Universität München (TUM) konnte nun herausfinden, wie Chaperone besonders gefährliche Fehler in diesem Strukturierungsprozess erkennen. Die Ergebnisse wurden im Fachmagazin "Molecular Cell" veröffentlicht.

Chaperone sind sozusagen die TÜV-Prüfer der Zelle. Es handelt sich um Proteine, die wiederum andere Proteine auf Qualitätsmängel untersuchen, bevor diese die...

Im Focus: Mikroskopieren mit einzelnen Ionen

Neuartiges Ionenmikroskop nutzt einzelne Ionen, um Abbildungen mit einer Auflösung im Nanometerbereich zu erzeugen

Wissenschaftler um Georg Jacob von der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz haben ein Ionenmikroskop entwickelt, das nur mit exakt einem Ion pro Bildpixel...

Im Focus: Streamlining accelerated computing for industry

PyFR code combines high accuracy with flexibility to resolve unsteady turbulence problems

Scientists and engineers striving to create the next machine-age marvel--whether it be a more aerodynamic rocket, a faster race car, or a higher-efficiency jet...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

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

VDE und IEEE veranstalten Weltkongress der Consumer-Elektronik auf der IFA

26.08.2016 | Veranstaltungen

IT-Sicherheit – Wettlauf gegen die Zeit

26.08.2016 | Veranstaltungen

Neue Ideen für die Schifffahrt

24.08.2016 | Veranstaltungen

 
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Geothermieforschung: Bund fördert Projekt am Drilling Simulator Celle mit 3,8 Millionen Euro

26.08.2016 | Förderungen Preise

VDE und IEEE veranstalten Weltkongress der Consumer-Elektronik auf der IFA

26.08.2016 | Veranstaltungsnachrichten

Körperwärme als Stromquelle

26.08.2016 | Materialwissenschaften