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Galvanic plumbing

water to electricity
  [vote for,

Have been reading about using the galvanic potential of falling water to generate a static charge [http://www.amasci.com/emotor/kelvin.html] and was wondering if it could be done in pipes (I know this happens somewhat naturally already). If so the plumbing of a house could used as a generator. (I'd suggest using incoming fresh water vs previous suggestions of waste water). Given the fairly long distance between most water supplies & the sink, and the amount of surface area involved, one would assume a fairly large potential could be developed and then harnessed. Taking this further: the voltage could be used to power a heating element in the pipe, thus generating hot water en route (I know there was a previous baking about this).
drinkh20, Mar 18 2002

[drinkh20]'s URL as a link http://www.amasci.com/emotor/kelvin.html
[hippo, Mar 18 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Hydroelectric Sewer Power Generation http://www.halfbake...0Power_20Generation
[phoenix, Mar 18 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

microhydroelectric turbines http://www.halfbake...electric_20turbines
[phoenix, Mar 18 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

Bathtub Hydroelectric Generator http://www.halfbake...lectric_20Generator
[phoenix, Mar 18 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]


       Mmmmmmm - I don't think so. The effect you're talking about relies on separating charge in water by breaking off drops of water with either a +ve or -ve charge. I'm not sure how domestic plumbing systems could be made to work with drops of water. Also, pipes are usually made out of copper, and they're earthed.
hippo, Mar 18 2002

       I think [drinkh20] is refering to using the flow of water for generation. I've added links to some similar HB ideas.
phoenix, Mar 18 2002

       While you can use dripping water and tubes and grates to produce high voltage difference, it's a -very- inefficient way to extract energy from an elevation change in water.
lumpy, Mar 18 2002

       Phoenix, he's not talking about using the water to turn a turbine. He's talking about the 'oil drop' experiment/generator. The problem is, it requires discrete drops, rather than the constant flow of a house's pipes, and they are generally vertical.
StarChaser, Mar 18 2002

       aside from that, static electricity is unruly, and difficult to use effectively. But, the term "galvanic" got me thinking about zinc. when water runs along a copper surface (pipes) they take on a + charge, when watter run across a Zn surface it takes on a - charge, so perhaps alternating pipes Zn and Cu and insulation connections, could generate a useable potential. (though I'm not that sure of the actual potential its just a fact I know from sailing)
LED Prism, Jun 18 2003

       Why not just use a waterwheel too generate your electricity? Rather than trying to use tricky statick charge you could use a magnet-driven electric generater which was powered by the water coming down from upper floors through drainage and sewage pipes, multiple could be fit in a house plumbing system and even in a chain-like sequence to generate the maximum electricity from the waste
Twist, Mar 29 2006


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