New Pipe Design Turns Taking A Shower Into An Energy-Generating Activity

The ES Pipe Waterwheel, designed by Korean innovator Ryan Jongwoo Choi, is a simple plumbing accessory that turns simple workaday activities -- running a bath, washing your hands, hosing off the dog -- into hydroelectricity generative tasks.

The ES Pipe Waterwheel can be attached to most any standard water piping, simply by screwing it into place between any piping juncture. Once attached, generating energy is as simple as turning on the tap.

As water churns through the ES Pipe's interior waterwheels, hydroelectric energy accumulates and is stored in the removable bulbs that fit into the top of the pipe. When needed, the bulbs can be removed and used for light.

While developing the product, Choi researched certain African countries where access to a running water supply network is disproportionate to electricity. The ES Pipe Waterwheel is one proposed solution for energy saving in countries that need it. It has been named a finalist in the Industrial Designers Society of America's 2012 International Design Excellence Awards and is currently being pitched to product manufacturers for production. [Yanko Design via Inhabitat]


    This only has benefit if the water is not pumped to you but flows naturally

      This +1.

      Otherwise you will lose energy because the pumps will have to work harder.

      Nope. The pressure of the water coming out of the tap will just be slightly less.

        ok then dont pump the water that hard in the first place, it would be more efficient. Save at the pump end.

    If we put larger versions of these on the main water supply pipes running to towns and city's you could produce allot of electricity

      U would produce less than the cost of running the pumps that pressurize the mains lines for the town. .

    Works with naturally running water too if you have a geographically suitable location. Simply run the water into a tank which has a tap on its outlet and there you go. It would not be as efficient sure but it would work.

    Still a very clever, out of the box idea that could be put to a lot of uses. Every town has a constant, non stop supply of water going through the mains as Steve said. Just get rid of the bulbs and run wires to a main power feed and add megawatts to the system.

    Cmon guys, this whole concept is rediculous!

      You're rediculous! This is an awesome idea. Plus you spelled ridiculous wrong

    This would only be suitable for gravity fed systems as the benefits of the power gained would be negated by the friction losses created by the waterwheel, i.e. conservation of energy. This might not be such a problem however as most dams that supply cities/towns are at a higher elevation anyway, but it would affect the long term maximum flow rate available through the pipeline. This could however be offset by increasing the diameter of the pipe (albeit at greater material cost).

    Most Town water systems are gravity fed....

    They pump the water up to a header tank, and it gravity feeds to the users.....

    The energy needed to pump is not directly used to Pressurise the mains, but to lift the water up to its New "head height.... (Of course the potential energy them creates static pressure.... but the Pressure is not maintained by the pumps).....

    So what is New about this.... Every house with a water-meter already uses a similar principle (similar to a gear pump) to measure the water through the meter... All they are doing is taking some (small amounts of) useful energy out of the system..... Thereby reducing the Pressure, and hence the flow rate at the tap.
    Nothing New here....

    Hydro electricity is already generated by some gravity feed water systems (as opposed to purpose built hydro systems) ... I know that the City I live in has several small generators along their main water supply pipeline, remembering that you can't take too much energy out of the system, or the flow rate will be too slow for the Population's demands..

    However there is no point having surplus pressure at the water treatment plant (for potable water) outlet, because there the water is processed at atmospheric pressure (the pressure is gain is lost)... and then the water (often) has to be pumped to the distributed header/pressure tanks..

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