Harvesting energy from in-pipe hydro systems at urban and building scale

Author(s): Marco Casini*
Department of Planning, Design, and Technology of Architecture (PDTA), Sapienza University of Rome, Via Flaminia 72, 00196 – Rome, Italy

International Journal of Smart Grid and Clean Energy
, vol. 4, no. 4, October 2015: pp. 316-327
ISSN: 2315-4462 (Print)
ISSN: 2373-3594 (Online)
Digital Object Identifier: 10.12720/sgce.4.4.316-327

Abstract: In addition to photovoltaic and wind systems, nowadays in-pipe water to wire power systems are becoming particularly interesting for the integration of renewable resources at urban and building scale because of the potential to harness clean energy from excess head pressure in urban and domestic water pipelines. Able to operate across a wide range of head and flow conditions, these particular micro hydro power systems can be deployed in municipalities, energy-intensive industries and agricultural irrigation districts providing a consistent amount of clean and continuous energy without the typical intermittency of wind and solar and at the same time helping in pipelines management and maintenance. The article presents an overview of the different types of in-pipe hydro systems available on the market and illustrates their possible applications at the urban and building scale and the benefits achievable in terms of energy production compared to other renewable such as photovoltaic and wind systems.

Keywords: In-pipe hydro systems, energy harvesting, renewable energy, small hydro, building integrated renewable energy, renewable energy at urban scale, distributed energy

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