Generating electricity through your water pipes
Looks like we'll soon be generating some of our domestic/commercial electricity via tiny hydro turbines embedded in pipes.
SA Water is now recovering energy from the River Murray, thanks to innovative hydro electric technology at SA WaterÂs Hope Valley Terminal Storage tank site in AdelaideÂs north east.
A joint venture between SA Water and Hydro Tasmania has resulted in the development of a mini-hydro plant capable of producing electricity from the flow of water in large water mains.
The Hope Valley mini-hydro turbine came on-line in 2003 and is powered by water as it flows through the pipes from the Anstey Hill storage tanks in the Adelaide Hills into the Hope Valley Terminal Storage tank.
The mini-hydro diverts the water to flow from pressure dissipater valves through a turbine located within a powerhouse where water jets drive the turbine buckets causing the "runner" to spin. This kinetic energy is transformed into electricity - supplied into the grid via a high voltage connection.
The mini-hydro plant is designed to produce up to 7000 megawatt hours per year or enough electricity to power 1000 homes. This will reduce carbon emissions by more than 8000 tonnes - equivalent to taking about 1900 cars off the road.
SA Water is continuing to explore mini-hydro opportunities for the future.
The micro-hydro news just keeps getting weirder: Bridgeport, Connecticut's water company is launching a project to "transform excess pressure in water pipes into electricity by using a new microturbine technology."
Jin Woo Han's Faucet Mini Hydro Generator
The device would capture the "free" energy of your tap to spin a little generator. It can be attached to the end of your faucet or between two pipes.