[Image Source: Lucid Energy]
LucidPipe is stunningly simple. A lift-based, vertical axis, spherical turbine is attached inline to water supply pipe. When water flows, it drives the hydrodynamic turbine and generates electricity, which is then fed back into the electrical grid. The Portland project, once fully operational, will generate upwards of 1,100 MW hours, roughly enough to energize one hundred and fifty homes. The company states that the energy produced will be worth in the neighborhood of two million dollars annually – Those are significant numbers, without a doubt; depending on specific conditions, “one mile of 42” diameter pipeline could produce as much as 3 megawatts or more of electricity.”
Inline water pipe power generators are not a new idea, but one of this level of efficiency and flexibility certainly is. A few decades back, there was a resurgence in interest in small hydro power, everything from old abandoned systems to single home versions sprung up. Generally, the failure of such systems to catch on is predicated on two things, the fact that relatively few homes and places have access to a sufficient water source, and that the small, one house systems required some fairly serious pressure to generate effectively.