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An in-pipe turbine system generates energy from water effluent

By Scott Jenkins |

Hydrofoil turbines mounted inside gravity-fed water-effluent conduits can generate significant electrical power without impeding flow, a demonstration project has shown. The in-pipe turbine systems offer chemical process industries (CPI) companies a way to extract emission-free energy from flowing wastewater discharge pipes. Based on hydropower research by Northeastern University professor Alexander Gorlov, and developed into a circular, in-pipe format by Lucid Energy (Portland, Ore.; www.lucidenergy.com), the lift-based turbines (photo) turn as water flows through the pipe, producing torque on the shaft. The rotating shaft turns a permanent-magnet generator that induces electrical current. The marine-grade fiberglass composite blades of the turbine work bi-directionally, and are coated with a corrosion-resistant material. To work cost-effectively, the system requires a minimum of 10 ft of head, pipes of greater than 24-in dia., and water volumes of at least 10 million gal/d, explains Josh Kanagy, director of business development at Lucid Energy. One turbine unit extracts between 2 and 5 ft of head from the flowing water, depending on conditions. Multiple units can be mounted in the same length of pipe, as long as they are separated…
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