Portland Installs Turbines in City Water Pipes To Create Free Electricity

Leave it to Portlandia to figure out how to create hydro-power without building a dam! Portlandians are now generating free electricity every time they turn on the tap! If you live in Portland, Oregon, your lights are now powered in part by the water flowing through your pipes.

The city recently installed new municipal water pipes equipped with four 42-inch turbines that create electricity from the water passing through them.

Historically, hydropower has been created by damming rivers and installing turbines inside the dams, which can be damaging to fish and the river itself.

Tap-water hydropower creates virtually no effect on wildlife, as it is simply harnessing the energy of water that’s already flowing through the pipes […]

via Portland Installs Turbines in City Water Pipes To Create Free Electricity — Return to Now

5 thoughts on “Portland Installs Turbines in City Water Pipes To Create Free Electricity

    • It appears that these water turbines don’t affect the water pressure in the system BUT they can only be used in pipes that are in locations where the water naturally goes downward.

      They also have sensors in the pipes that measure water pressure, a great indicator for determining leaking pipes, and sensors that also monitor water quality.

      Interesting idea.


      • I like the idea, don’t get me wrong on that, but we are learning about the downside of any new technology, aren’t we! Gain versus loss, and applicability. Who really benefits, etc. Here for example the town is in a flat plain surrounded by hills (mountains) that are gradually infilling with residential developments. So any water movement is horizontal or being pumped severely uphill. Thus, no electricity-generating turbines possible for us. “Our” Vancouver on the other hand, if they located the pumping systems at its highest point which is kind of central to the main city, could distribute water “downhill” in all directions. It might work there. Then there’s the question of costs in re-designing the infrastructure. Lots of jobs, if we weren’t enslaved to a predatory capitalistic economic structure.


    • Interesting questions that are raised here. I suppose time will tell how efficient this system is. In my view, the whole question of urban piped water systems needs to be reviewed from a public health perspective. Not only do we waste far too much filtered and sanitized water washing our cars and watering our gardens, but it’s becoming more and more common for heavy metals to be introduced without being detected and there’s growing evidence the chlorine being used to kill pathological organisms is killing our intestinal bacteria.


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