Small scale energy harvesting from water sources

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GRØN DYST 2012 Technical University of Denmark

Small scale energy harvesting from water sources
Author:Henrik Teglborg (Physics and Nanotechnology, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
Erik Vilain Thomsen (DTU Nanotech, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
Thomas Glasdam Jensen (DTU Nanotech, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark)
Date: 2012-06-22     Track: Main     Session: 1

NTRODUCTION One of the reasons I joined Physics and Nanotechnology was due to my interest in energy – and more specific energy storage. Another fascination of mine is gravity – a still not fully understood force of nature. This made me think of ways to combine these interests to harvest energy from gravity. At first I thought of retrieving energy from falling raindrops but that proved ineffective due to the small mass of a raindrop. A realistic method to harvest more energy would require more water. Then I thought of downspouts for gutters or toilets. The water flow is bigger and therefore has more kinetic energy and potentially more energy to harvest. To realize this idea I set up a 3-week special course to manufacture a device to harvest the energy and look at the efficiency. THE SETUP I planned this course to be an experimental course rather than theoretical. I would like to see if a model could in fact make a lamp glow or charge a battery only by water and gravity. In theory it sounds plausible, but many unforeseen factors can appear to make the idea fail completely. Originally I had two ideas - a turbine or a watermill structure. Due to the constant pressure around us, I will continue working on the watermill structure. I will start with a small scale version – and if there is time within the 3-week period, a full scale model. If this works then such a machine could be attached to drains/urinals/waste pipes or other vertical fluid systems. GRØN DYST Abstract - Hydropower / Pump Storage