Rentricity has the novel idea to put turbines in water pipes where the water flows downhill, providing a 24/7 source of renewable energy. Drinking, irrigation, and industrial water users are their target market. This is micro-hydro, small amounts of electricity is generated. However, it can be enough to help power a water treatment plant, as is being done in Utah. They have installations in other states too, providing extra power that is essentially free after the turbines have been installed, producing power 24/7 because the water is always flowing down the pipes.
Rentricity focuses on an innovative application of in-pipe hydrokinetic power generation. Water continuously flows through pipelines and offers the capability to generate electricity year-round, 24 hours per day. Over-pressurization occurs where water is stored at significantly higher elevation than the customers it serves, and must therefore flow downhill to reach them. Drinking water processors and industrial manufacturers typically install pressure reduction valves (“PRVs”) – hydraulic devices that maintain pre-set pressure ranges – to relieve the excess pressure. PRVs generally do not perform useful work with the dissipated pressure, and simply release it as waste heat. Rentricity’s innovative energy recovery systems convert this excess pressure into clean electricity.