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 New tech for commercial Lithium-ion batteries finds they can be charged 5 times fast
20.02.2018 | University of Warwick

nachricht In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer
19.02.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Polymerforschung

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: Die Brücke, die sich dehnen kann

Brücken verformen sich, daher baut man normalerweise Dehnfugen ein. An der TU Wien wurde eine Technik entwickelt, die ohne Fugen auskommt und dadurch viel Geld und Aufwand spart.

Wer im Auto mit flottem Tempo über eine Brücke fährt, spürt es sofort: Meist rumpelt man am Anfang und am Ende der Brücke über eine Dehnfuge, die dort...

Im Focus: Eine Frage der Dynamik

Die meisten Ionenkanäle lassen nur eine ganz bestimmte Sorte von Ionen passieren, zum Beispiel Natrium- oder Kaliumionen. Daneben gibt es jedoch eine Reihe von Kanälen, die für beide Ionensorten durchlässig sind. Wie den Eiweißmolekülen das gelingt, hat jetzt ein Team um die Wissenschaftlerin Han Sun (FMP) und die Arbeitsgruppe von Adam Lange (FMP) herausgefunden. Solche nicht-selektiven Kanäle besäßen anders als die selektiven eine dynamische Struktur ihres Selektivitätsfilters, berichten die FMP-Forscher im Fachblatt Nature Communications. Dieser Filter könne zwei unterschiedliche Formen ausbilden, die jeweils nur eine der beiden Ionensorten passieren lassen.

Ionenkanäle sind für den Organismus von herausragender Bedeutung. Wenn zum Beispiel Sinnesreize wahrgenommen, ans Gehirn weitergeleitet und dort verarbeitet...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Erste integrierte Schaltkreise (IC) aus Plastik

Erstmals ist es einem Forscherteam am Max-Planck-Institut (MPI) für Polymerforschung in Mainz gelungen, einen integrierten Schaltkreis (IC) aus einer monomolekularen Schicht eines Halbleiterpolymers herzustellen. Dies erfolgte in einem sogenannten Bottom-Up-Ansatz durch einen selbstanordnenden Aufbau.

In diesem selbstanordnenden Aufbauprozess ordnen sich die Halbleiterpolymere als geordnete monomolekulare Schicht in einem Transistor an. Transistoren sind...

Im Focus: Quantenbits per Licht übertragen

Physiker aus Princeton, Konstanz und Maryland koppeln Quantenbits und Licht

Der Quantencomputer rückt näher: Neue Forschungsergebnisse zeigen das Potenzial von Licht als Medium, um Informationen zwischen sogenannten Quantenbits...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industrie & Wirtschaft
Veranstaltungen

Digitalisierung auf dem Prüfstand: Hochkarätige Konferenz zu Empowerment in der agilen Arbeitswelt

20.02.2018 | Veranstaltungen

Aachener Optiktage: Expertenwissen in zwei Konferenzen für die Glas- und Kunststoffoptikfertigung

19.02.2018 | Veranstaltungen

Konferenz "Die Mobilität von morgen gestalten"

19.02.2018 | Veranstaltungen

VideoLinks
Wissenschaft & Forschung
Weitere VideoLinks im Überblick >>>
 
Aktuelle Beiträge

Highlight der Halbleiter-Forschung

20.02.2018 | Physik Astronomie

Wie verbessert man die Nahtqualität lasergeschweißter Textilien?

20.02.2018 | Materialwissenschaften

Der Bluthochdruckschalter in der Nebenniere

20.02.2018 | Biowissenschaften Chemie

Weitere B2B-VideoLinks
IHR
JOB & KARRIERE
SERVICE
im innovations-report
in Kooperation mit academics