In most gravity fed water transmission pipelines, it is desired to reduce excess pressure head to prevent undue strain on a pipeline and lower the incidence of leaks. Normally this is done with pressure reducing valves that essentially burn off this excess pressure as heat. The LucidPipe™ system converts it to low cost electricity thereby removing unwanted pressure and generating energy at the same time – energy that can be put used behind the grid or put back on the grid.
The LucidPipe™ system extracts a small percentage of pressure head providing nearly invisible operation allowing water operators to fulfill their primary mission of delivering water to consumers. Because the LucidPipe™ system extracts only a small percentage of pressure head when operating, and about 1 psi of pressure head when stopped, it is virtually invisible in a pipe network and can be placed directly in-line without the need of a bypass for the turbine.
Traditional hydropower turbines effectively halt the flow of water when stopped, and can cause dangerous water hammer when grid power is disconnected so they must be placed in a bypass to not interrupt the safe delivery of water. Also, traditional hydropower turbines operate in a narrow band of pressures and flows whereas the LucidPipe™ system has a wide operating range typically found in municipal water transmission system. The LucidPipe™ system adjusts to meet the demands of water delivery rather than a water operator having to adjust the water to meet the demands of the turbine.
Source: Purdue University
Authors: Purdue ECT Team