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 Thermo-Optical Measuring method (TOM) could save several million tons of CO2 in coal-fired plants
25.05.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Silicatforschung ISC

nachricht Atomic precision: technologies for the next-but-one generation of microchips
24.05.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT

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: Tiroler Technologie zur Abwasserreinigung weltweit erfolgreich

Auf biologischem Weg und mit geringem Energieeinsatz wandelt ein an der Universität Innsbruck entwickeltes Verfahren in Kläranlagen anfallende Stickstoffverbindungen in unschädlichen Luftstickstoff um. Diese innovative Technologie wurde nun gemeinsam mit dem US-Wasserdienstleister DC Water weiterentwickelt und vermarktet. Für die Kläranlage von Washington DC wird die bisher größte DEMON®-Anlage errichtet.

Das DEMON®-Verfahren wurde bereits vor elf Jahren entwickelt und von der Universität Innsbruck zum Patent angemeldet. Inzwischen wird die Technologie in rund...

Im Focus: Worldwide Success of Tyrolean Wastewater Treatment Technology

A biological and energy-efficient process, developed and patented by the University of Innsbruck, converts nitrogen compounds in wastewater treatment facilities into harmless atmospheric nitrogen gas. This innovative technology is now being refined and marketed jointly with the United States’ DC Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water). The largest DEMON®-system in a wastewater treatment plant is currently being built in Washington, DC.

The DEMON®-system was developed and patented by the University of Innsbruck 11 years ago. Today this successful technology has been implemented in about 70...

Im Focus: Optische Uhren können die Sekunde machen

Eine Neudefinition der Einheit Sekunde auf der Basis von optischen Uhren wird realistisch

Genauer sind sie jetzt schon, aber noch nicht so zuverlässig. Daher haben optische Uhren, die schon einige Jahre lang als die Uhren der Zukunft gelten, die...

Im Focus: Computational High-Throughput-Screening findet neue Hartmagnete die weniger Seltene Erden enthalten

Für Zukunftstechnologien wie Elektromobilität und erneuerbare Energien ist der Einsatz von starken Dauermagneten von großer Bedeutung. Für deren Herstellung werden Seltene Erden benötigt. Dem Fraunhofer-Institut für Werkstoffmechanik IWM in Freiburg ist es nun gelungen, mit einem selbst entwickelten Simulationsverfahren auf Basis eines High-Throughput-Screening (HTS) vielversprechende Materialansätze für neue Dauermagnete zu identifizieren. Das Team verbesserte damit die magnetischen Eigenschaften und ersetzte gleichzeitig Seltene Erden durch Elemente, die weniger teuer und zuverlässig verfügbar sind. Die Ergebnisse wurden im Online-Fachmagazin »Scientific Reports« publiziert.

Ausgangspunkt des Projekts der IWM-Forscher Wolfgang Körner, Georg Krugel und Christian Elsässer war eine Neodym-Eisen-Stickstoff-Verbindung, die auf einem...

Im Focus: University of Queensland: In weniger als 2 Stunden ans andere Ende der Welt reisen

Ein internationales Forschungsteam, darunter Wissenschaftler der University of Queensland, hat im Süden Australiens einen erfolgreichen Hyperschallgeschwindigkeitstestflug absolviert und damit futuristische Reisemöglichkeiten greifbarer gemacht.

Flugreisen von London nach Sydney in unter zwei Stunden werden, dank des HiFiRE Programms, immer realistischer. Im Rahmen dieses Projekts werden in den...

Alle Focus-News des Innovations-reports >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

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

Wie sieht die Schifffahrt der Zukunft aus? - IAME-Jahreskonferenz in Hamburg

27.05.2016 | Veranstaltungen

Technologische Potenziale der Multiparameteranalytik

27.05.2016 | Veranstaltungen

Umweltbeobachtung in nah und fern

27.05.2016 | Veranstaltungen

 
B2B-VideoLinks
Weitere VideoLinks >>>
Aktuelle Beiträge

Stressoren erkennen, Belastungen reduzieren, Fachwissen erlangen

27.05.2016 | Seminare Workshops

HDT SOMMERAKADEMIE 2016

27.05.2016 | Seminare Workshops

11 Millionen Euro für die Erforschung von Magnetfeldsensoren für die medizinische Diagnostik

27.05.2016 | Förderungen Preise