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Why aren't turbines used in water supply systems?

  1. Dec 21, 2014 #1
    I had an idea to put a rotating mill turbine into the pipes that supply water to home tap systems.
    So that as the water flows through, the turbine is spun and electricity is produced.

    But why isn't this actually done?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 21, 2014 #2


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    Why increase the load on a distribution system to produce less energy than you already have to put in to deliver water?
  4. Dec 21, 2014 #3
    But wouldn't the turbine in the pipe regain some of the energy used to pump the water initially?
  5. Dec 21, 2014 #4


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    Yes, and the customers would complain that tap pressure and flow was inadequate. You'd have to put in bigger pumps in the distribution system, and the extra power required to run them would not be offset by the inline turbines.
  6. Dec 21, 2014 #5


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    It is actually done, just on a larger ... and somewhat different scale.

    Lol... no doubt about that... there's always a trade off ... :oldwink:
  7. Dec 22, 2014 #6


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    Note that this idea is utilized for self powered water meters, but they don't capture much energy, lest they adversely affect the flow.

    https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/amphiro-a1-the-self-powered-smart-water-meter-for-the-shower#description [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  8. Dec 22, 2014 #7
    well were I live there's not much pumping going on, all water comes from the mountain sources above.

    I guess it affects flow though, as it restricts the passage of the water.

    For flat areas with water towers, you could probably spare money by not pumping the water so high in the first place.

    Pumping water uphill as a way to store energy when there is too much production is actually done with nuclear energy and hydroelectric dams during the night, but that's not drinking water.
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