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How

the LucidPipe Power System Technology


Generates Hydropower
Contrary to what was primarily believed, hydropower is no longer a reliable source of
energy due to its dependence on ever-changing climatic conditions. Severe droughts in several
regions, including the state of California, means water reservoirs and dams can no longer be a
dependable source of hydroelectricity. According to research done by NASA, California lost 4
trillion gallons of water due to drought conditions in 2014 alone. The two most important reasons
for water reservoirs unreliability for power generation are shortage of rainfall and rising
temperatures.

However, it is also highly vital to keep renewable sources prevalent for their eco-
friendliness and cost effectiveness. In order to continue our use of renewable sources, our need for
another source that can harness energy from water to produce electricity is greater than ever. The
purpose of this document is to present a new technology LucidPipe Power System that can solve
this problem.

What is LucidPipe Power System?


LucidPipe Power System is a hi-tech system that generates eco-friendly, renewable
hydropower using the flow of water through pipelines. Pipelines are generally only associated with
the flow of fluids, most likely water. However, Lucid Energy the company behind this innovation
has been successful in taking a pipelines capability to a whole new level. LucidPipe pipelines are
regular pipes with turbines installed within them. These turbines spin with water flow, consequently
generating electricity.

The unique selling point of this technology is that it generates electricity without
interrupting the flow of water, and can operate in a wide variety of pipe diameters and
pressure/flows. This is possible because the system is designed to not require conventional
hydropower technologies and in-pipe pressure reduction valve replacement technologies.1 With
LucidPipe Power System, we can now harness energy that would otherwise be lost, in a way only
imagined before.

Figure 1: LucidPipe Power System


1
LucidEnergy (2015). LucidPipe Power System: How It Works.
www.lucidenergy.com/how-it-works/
How does it function?
LucidPipe Power System uses the basic fundamentals of hydropower, except it does so
using uniquely designed water pipelines. These pipelines use water flows mechanical energy to
convert it to electrical energy. In simple terms, water flows through the hydrodynamic turbine and
generates power as the turbines spin, which is then fed back to the power grid. Essentially,
LucidPipes use the force of gravity acting on water to harness energy. Generally, it is desired that
gravity fed water transmission pipelines have lower pressure head to prevent pipeline leakages and
excessive strain caused by excess pressure. Instead of lowering water pressure, the power system
extracts this excess pressure head from pipelines and converts it to low-cost, clean and renewable
energy. Since these pipelines extract a very minimal amount of pressure (1 psi 6 psi), the water
flow remains virtually unaffected allowing consumers continue their regular consumption of water.
This system can be installed in large pipe transmission systems supplying water to municipalities, to
achieve two goals from the same infrastructure supply of water and energy.

The said advantages are made possible through the LucidPipe Power Systems unique lift-
based design that allows power to be generated across a wide variety of flow rates, volumes and
flow conditions.
The LucidPipe design consists of three major components:

spherical lift-based turbines


vertical generators
sensors and smart control system

Spherical Lift-Based Turbines

- The system is installed with 42 DIA2, keg-size


turbines that look like giant egg-beaters, known as
spherical lift-based turbines.
- Unlike conventional turbines, spherical lift-based
turbines have a skewed central axis of rotation. This
allows the water stream to have a helical trajectory,
through the five airfoil shaped turbine blades seen in
Figure 2.
- Made of stainless steel and composite fiber, this
design creates enough lift via its aerodynamic effects.
This increases options for turbine placement within
the pipe.3
- Consequently, these turbines can be installed in pipes
of a wide variety of diameters. These can produce Figure 2: A unit showing the design of
between 14kW and 100kW depending on pipe spherical lift-based turbines in a pipeline
diameter, as seen in Table 1.


2
DIA is an abbreviation of diameter.
3
TechXplore. (2015). Nancy Owano. Water in Oregon pipeline is tapped for electricity.
http://techxplore.com/news/2015-02-oregon-pipeline-electricity.html
4
Table 1: LucidPipe Power Data Overview

LucidPipe Rated Gauge Pressure Required Head Extraction at


Diameter (in.) Power (kW) for Rated Output (psi) Rated Output (psi)

24 14 48 5.2

42 50 43 5.9

60 100 43 5.0

The data provided in Table 1 shows the minimum pressure required from the flow of water in
pipelines, and the extracted pressure by LucidPipe Power System to produce the respective rated
power output.

Vertical Generators

- The inline water pipe power generators are connected to the spherical turbines through a
shaft.
- Excess pressure is built up in the pipeline as the water moves from high elevation to low
elevation. These generators are tasked with converting this excess pressure to electricity.
- With head pressure extraction as low as 1 psi per unit, the generators installed on these
units are extremely flexible and efficient. Due to this flexibility, the generators can be
mounted in series, up to 3 to 4 generator diameters apart from each other.

Sensors and Smart Control System

- The smart control system consists of sensors that are installed inside the LucidPipe
pipelines, which form a network of connections established between multiple units.
- These sensors continuously monitor the waters pressure and quality, providing
performance data and maintenance requirements. Essentially, the sensors can be useful
in forewarning of leakages and water contamination.5
- The remote control system is also capable of stopping or slowing down the turbine, as
per requirement.

Conclusion
In a world, where dam generated hydropower is not only unreliable, but also harmful to the
environment, Lucid Energy has contributed with a groundbreaking solution through LucidPipe
Power System. In addition to utilizing power from thousands of gallons of water that rushes beneath
cities every year, it also does so in a cost-effective and technologically advanced fashion. LucidPipe
Power System, truly, is a revolutionary means of generating hydropower.


4
Team, Purdue ECT, "LUCIDPIPE POWER SYSTEM" (2016). ECT Fact Sheets. Paper 224.
http://dx.doi.org/10.5703/1288284316353
5
Popular Science. (2015) Virginia Gewin. Harnessing Power From Urban Water Pipes.
http://www.popsci.com/gregg-semler-turns-tiny-turbines-mighty-generators