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Water-to-Wire Turbine Produces Power From Pipes

Water-to-Wire Turbine Produces Power From Pipes

RE: Water-to-Wire Turbine Produces Power From Pipes

Hey!  A pipeline turbine meter with a generator stuck to it.  Can we still count pulses and get a flowrate from it?

OK, so $3,000-5,000/kW puts them in the range of anywhere from twice the cost of NatGas fired generators to slightly higher than solar PV.  All that when hydroelectric is maybe 3/4 the cost of NatGas.  Next time I need 500 MW, I know who not to call.    

What would you be doing, if you knew that you could not fail?

RE: Water-to-Wire Turbine Produces Power From Pipes

Hey the water system guys will like that. The cost of breaking the water pressure, by say spraying it into a wall, is costly. The erosion rate of the wall can be big.

We started using pelton wheels to generate electricty from the high pressure water, but the cost there isen't cheep to have a person checking on it.

This is better than solar, because it is 24/7.

The nice thing is a solar inverter can be used avoiding most of the protection issues with a rotating generator.

And no it isen't 500MW, but it can have a purpose other than just power generation.

RE: Water-to-Wire Turbine Produces Power From Pipes

We did a successful demonstration project back in 1982 -- sticking a turbine in a natural gas pipe to recover some of the energy used to compress it by the pipeline company.

Flow was 20 million cubic feet per day
Transmission line pressure was 500 psig
End user pressure was 90 psig

There was a simple pressure-reducing valve taking the 500-to-90 drip.

Put a turbine in parallel with the PRV, got about 950 kW out of it, 24/7.  Simple induction generator.  Cost back then was just a hair under $400,000.  We used a plain steam turbine with special seals, controlled it to 90 psi backpressure.

We had to heat the gas back up to send it on to the plant, due to ground-freezing issues.  

Net sale (electric revenue minus cost of gas burned to re-heat the gas stream) was over $150,000 per year.

It was a really fun project! It worked dandy for about 10 years, then fell victime to maintenance neglect.

Good on ya,

Goober Dave

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RE: Water-to-Wire Turbine Produces Power From Pipes


 Your cost estimates are probably right for large scale hydro projects but for smaller scale hydro power <20MW 3000$-5000$/KW can be competitive.
U.S. DOE on Hydroelectric power

Comprehension is not understanding. Understanding is not wisdom. And it is wisdom that gives us the ability to apply what we know, to our real world situations

RE: Water-to-Wire Turbine Produces Power From Pipes

Yes hydro does require a lot of the same heavy duty equipment whether it is 1MW or 100 MW, so it probably doesn't scale down very well.

What would you be doing, if you knew that you could not fail?

RE: Water-to-Wire Turbine Produces Power From Pipes

Now that a turbine flow meter has been scaled up to produce useful energy, maybe someone will start working on scaling a magnetic flow meter to produce useful energy. grin

"Why not the best?"
Jimmy Carter

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