Flush a Toilet, Create Some Energy
My good friend Kelly, who knows a thing or two about a thing or two, scooped me to this, and I love it. I love it as much as it’s possible to love a story about a city making electricity with the water that’s already flowing through its municipal water pipes.
Portland Oregon is currently testing a new system that uses hydroelectric turbines installed in a portion of its water main pipes to create electricity. Apparently, it works pretty well. Even in a small test situation, the turbines are already starting to recoup some of their cost.
It works a little something like this (I’m not an engineer or a scientist, so this’ll be a very rudimentary explanation. It’s all I can do.): Water pipes have water in them. That water is always moving. From residential homes to large businesses and factories, water’s always in use. It’s sent from a water plant through a complex system of underground pipes, is used, then is returned to a water treatment plant. It’s like a huge system of underground rivers and streams; Portland, in conjunction with a company called Lucid Energy and their product the LucidPipe Power System, thought that with all that moving water under foot, why the heck not harness some of that energy to make power?
Moving water contains a lot of energy. That’s why we have dams. Hydroelectric turbines (or as I like to call them, water turbines) act just like a wind turbine, only with water. The water turns the turbine blades, which then magically somehow create electricity. I told you I’m not a scientist. It has something to do with magnets. I think. However it works, it works. That’s the important part.
While there’s been a lot of studies done on water turbines in natural settings like rivers and oceans, placing them in water pipes presents a unique opportunity for cities with large water systems to harness power from an already-existing infrastructure.
Portland estimates that if the water turbine program was expanded to the entire water system, they could create enough energy to power hundreds of thousands of homes. HUNDREDS. OF THOUSANDS!! From just one city.
I wrote more seriously about this new potentially revolutionary renewable energy development HERE.
If you’d rather just watch a video about it rather than read about it (too late!), watch this:
Thanks again to Kelly the Kitchen Kop for the heads up! If you’re looking for info on healthier living with REAL FOOD, home-schooling, religion, or any combination thereof, I suggest heading over to kellythekitchenkop.com right now.