Micro-Hydro Installed Within Public Water Supply

Aquarion Water Company and alternative energy company Rentricity will launch a pilot program to transform excess pressure within water pipes into electricity by using a new microturbine technology designed by Rentricity. Aquarion will install Rentricity’s new Flow-to-Wire devices to pressure reduction valves (PRVs) in vaults that currently relieve excess pressure from water being delivered to customers at lower elevations than the water source.

Bridgeport, Connecticut – November 19, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] This pilot program represents the first application of a Rentricity Flow-to-Wire device in a public water supply system and intends to enhance infrastructure while providing a new source of clean, renewable energy and revenue for utilities. The power can be delivered to consumers through connections to the electric utility grid, or offset existing demand by the water utility. Rentricity said a single device of theirs is expected to produce enough power to meet the energy needs of between 20 and 100 average homes, thereby reducing the electrical load traveling into the area on heavily stressed transmission lines. The nine-month pilot program will involve the installation of a Flow-to-Wire system in a number of locations in the Southwest Region of Connecticut. “While the Flow-to-Wire devices will initially be targeted for use within public water supply systems, we believe the technology is capable of recovering untapped energy from other commercial and industrial pressurized piping systems,” said Frank Zammataro, president and co-founder of Rentricity. “The arrangement we have with Aquarion Water Company will establish a basis for validating this new form of renewable energy.” Besides adding a new source of revenue from energy recovery, the Flow-to-Wire device works to provide important information about the water flowing through the pipes and valves found within typical underground vaults. The Flow-to-Wire devices consist of a microturbine, generator, sensors, processors, electronic controls, and communications equipment that operate autonomously. Integrated “smart” sensors will enable Rentricity to offer utility partners its RenFlow information services, which provide real-time system performance data to improve operational efficiencies. Rentricity expects to take advantage of concentrated water flow to ramp operations and is exploring additional sites in Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. The company believes that there is a sizable network of domestic water systems that can take advantage of the Flow-to-Wire system. The international “micro-hydropower” market is projected to be five to 10 times larger than the U.S. market, with between 7,500 and 25,000 potential locations worldwide. Golder Associates, a global environmental engineering firm, is supporting the pilot. Rentricity was named one of the “Most Promising Companies” by the over 200 investor attendees at the recently held Energy Venture Fair IV in Philadelphia where 75 emerging energy sector companies presented. Rentricity will next present at the National Renewable Energy Lab’s 16th Annual Growth Forum in Austin, Texas, November 17 to 19.
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