Mumbai: Power from water pipelines could light up your home

BMC is thinking of installing turbines inside the pipelines that bring potable water to Mumbai

If everything falls in place, the state government, in association with the BMC, might start generating electricity using the pipelines that bring potable water to the city from various reservoirs.

The extent of the excess kinetic energy in a pipeline can be judged from the force of the water gushing out of a rupture. File pic
The extent of the excess kinetic energy in a pipeline can be judged from the force of the water gushing out of a rupture. File pic

The system operates on a bulb turbine, which is fitted inside the water mains. The turbine taps kinetic energy (excess pressure in the pipelines) that the flowing water creates, and micro-generators attached with its shafts produce electricity.

Since the mechanical fittings do not need any lubricants, they do not add any impurity to the water that passes though the turbine’s blades. Depending on the water pressure and other factors that help in creating more and consistent power, several such generators could be fitted inside the water mains.

This technology, called inline (in-pipe) hydropower system, is being used currently in Singapore and USA. A Slovenian company, Litostroj Power, has given a presentation to the state water resources department in this regard.

Initial stages
Minister of State for Water Resources, Vijay Shivtare, told mid-day that Litostroj Power has explained the idea to the department, which he thought was environment-friendly and cost-effective. “The company gave us a presentation a couple of days back.

We are in the primary stages and we will decide on it soon,” he said, adding that the company has proposed to make the equipment as per the requirement and feasibility of the proposed project. The exact amount of power to be generated will be arrived at only after a proper study is undertaken, said sources in the department.

They said the electricity generated at multiple points could be transmitted to the state grid, against which the BMC can use the same share for its own use at facilities like pumping stations. Four of the BMC’s major sources are located about 100-110 km from the city. Only two reservoirs are within city limits.

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  • Shashi29-Apr-2015

    Multistoried bldgs. with their water flowing from their overhead tank with tremendous force, could also use this technique to generate power which can be used for the society's domestic requirement. For eg. if this generated power is utilized to run even one of the elevators of the bldg. that could be a significant savings in their power bill. One only hopes that this innovative power generating device will not require big maintainance.

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