E-Vortex: Energy from Waste & Storm Water Conveyance Systems(harvesting energy from our urban rivers) Dr. Erez Allouche & Dr. ArunJaganathan Trenchless Technology Center Louisiana Tech University November 5, 2009
Summary Statement The primary role of drop structures is to direct flow from shallow surface sewers to deeper collection tunnels via a vertical shaft. There are thousands of drop structures across North America, some 300 feet tall, which convey billions of gallons per day. We are developing an innovative method for harvesting the kineticenergy from the flow and converting it to electric power.
Flow in Rotating Turbine blades Flow out Research Context and Prior Work Develop a low profile, low cost micro turbine-alternator assembly that can be retrofitted within the inner wall of the vertical pipe in a Vortex Flow Insert drop structure with minimum obstruction to passage of fluids while maximizing the number of revolutions for a given flow rate.
Challenges Determine the optimal geometry and orientation of blades as well as the optimal number of blades in the turbine. Mechanical design – minimize the vertical load (or weight) applied to the turbine structure. Electrical Design – design of alternator for power generation; variability in frequency and voltage of the produced electric power due to the highly variable flow rate.
Accomplishments to Date • Development of a 3-D numerical model of the vortex drop structure using a computational fluid dynamics package (Flow-3D) • Design of a 5 ft tall experimental prototype to be fabricated at LTU hydraulic laboratory.
Plans for 2009-10 Complete numerical model and optimize blade design Fabricate a physical model to validate predictions from numerical model Fabricate and test a micro turbine-alternator assembly Interest in technology by the City of Indianapolis(currently planning construction of a 250 tall drop structure; hope to use power production to off-set construction costs)
Value Proposition Uniqueness - Emerging renewable hydro technologies are river and tidal based; little development aimed at harvesting ‘urban rivers’. Potential – Infrastructure already exists (there are 250 drop structures in Chicago alone); generate power where the customers are (urban centers); significant energy potential (some 300 ft tall, 4500 cu.ft. per second) Adaptability – can be easily adapted globally (sewer systems around the globe are nearly identical)