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Hydroelectric Aqueduct

An aqueduct ending with a waterfall and a turbine.
  [vote for,

Hydroelectric dams are large and require flooding a vast area of usually fertile land.

Hydroelectric aqueducts can be installed wherever white water or a swift current are present. Canyons or mountains are no longer required.

Unlike windmills they they provide constant power.

Unlike waterwheels they use a significant fraction (or all) of the river's water, and use more than just the kinetic energy of the water near the wheel.

Unlike dams they allow the fertile land below to be used for agriculture or parks.

No bridges are needed to cross the now raised river.

If the aqueduct is constructed from a full pipe, then nesting grounds for mosquitoes or other urban parasites are reduced.

Dams are usually not kept half empty so do not really provide much protection against floods. But if required then a dam, which is kept empty, may be built just before the end of the aqueduct and thereby prevent downstream flooding. This is optional and requires the usual depressed terrain.

Just before the end of the aqueduct a waterwheel of nets perpendicular to the current can catch fish and deposit them into a corkscrew slide where they may gradually descend without passing through the turbine.

emaveneau, Jun 13 2003

[halfbakery] "Rivers in the Sky" (Hydro-power from humidity) http://www.halfbake..._20from_20humidity)
Similar but different. This uses preexisting water ways. [emaveneau, Oct 04 2004]

CIA world factbook 2002 http://www.cia.gov/...ctbook/geos/us.html
US // Electricity - production by source: fossil fuel: 71% // [emaveneau, Oct 04 2004]

World population http://futuresedge....ues/wp_details.html
[kbecker, Oct 04 2004]

Fish eggs http://www.underrep...ead&order=0&thold=0
// Half of male fish in English rivers have eggs due to hormones in water supply // [emaveneau, Oct 04 2004]

Tokatee Hydroproject http://en.wikipedia...ect.jpg#filehistory
A project to make hydroxtricity [reensure, Jun 05 2011]

Limits to renewable energy use http://www.newscien...-energy-source.html
[pocmloc, Jun 06 2011]


       Any suggestions for a less redundant (hydro & aque) name?   

       aquelectroduct? Hydroelectrict duct?
emaveneau, Jun 13 2003

       The idea may work in a few places, but I don't see them as replacement for dams and/or windmills. I certainly would not like the sky to be filled with aquaeducts whereever there is a little whitewater.
kbecker, Jun 13 2003

       Granted aqueducts would fill more of the skyline than windmills, but please do not make energy decisions based on aesthetics.   

       Windmill projects in the states (off the coast of Maine?) have been turned down due to the fossil fuel lobby which promoted residents' claim of harming the beauty of the coast.   

       Mind you 71% of the US's energy comes from burning fossil fuels (see link), mostly coal. UK 73%.   

       I'd take aqueducts and windmills over breathing smog any day.
emaveneau, Jun 14 2003

       I have seen those wind farms in Germany. A dozend windmills here and there is fine, but if they are everywhere it gets ugly.   

       Just spread it out, there are solar cells, solar water heaters, tidal turbines, dams, windmills, methane from waste, ...   

       I agree that there is way too much fossile fuel in use, but I see no single other perfect source for energy. The best long term solution to cut down on fossile fuel consumption may actually be less people. They didn't do too bad in 1960, when the world population was about half of what it is now (see link).
kbecker, Jun 14 2003

       [emaveneau], have you considered the cost of relocating all wetland species made homeless by this pipe dream? Also, how much fossil fuel would be burned in the production of pipe, access road construction and all future maintenance of such? How much would be burned pumping dry the eternal sump that was once a river bed after spring melt and every rain fall to preserve these parks and manage the agricultural fields now in place?
Tiger Lily, Jun 14 2003

       "Unlike windmills they they provide constant power."
Er, as long as there's water. Dams cache water to ensure a constant supply.

       "No bridges are needed to cross the now raised river."
No bridges are needed to cross a dam (potentially).

       "If the aqueduct is constructed from a full pipe, then nesting grounds for mosquitoes or other urban parasites are reduced."
Not a problem in swift water scenarios, anyway. Note that you're removing a source of water for the local flora and fauna.
phoenix, Jun 14 2003

       [Tiger Lily] // have you considered the cost of relocating all wetland species made homeless by this pipe dream? //   

       For the benefit of wetland fauna, limit the aqueducts to short sections of river where the current is swift. The aqueduct then slows the current and gently lets them down a slide. Optional "fish ladders" (as used in dams) allow fish to swim upstream.   

       Larger aqueducts may be reserved for where the wetland species are better off migrating to cleaner streams (see egg link).   

       As for the sump pump, good point, perhaps the land is not fully usable as dry land and a smaller river will remain.   

       [phoenix] // Dams cache water to ensure a constant supply. //   

       Dams are ideal where reservoirs are possible. But if a river does not regularly run dry and a reservoir is not possible then aqueducts generate near constant power.
emaveneau, Jun 14 2003

       If you are talking about swift water on flat land ("Canyons or mountains are no longer required")... I don't get it. How does the water leap up into the pipe?
lurch, Jun 14 2003

       Regarding the employment of a shallow J-bend culvert, placed inline with the current below a natural rapids section and having its exit rise somewhat vertically; would this be enough incentive for the water to leap upwards into a pipe? Perhaps awarding rainbow rosettes for good behavior? (Always, I digress to child's play at the helm of any garden hose!)
Tiger Lily, Jun 15 2003

       I was doing a search of this, when voilà! HB prior art. No surprise there.   

       Anyway, a good idea at several levels. ~:º)
reensure, Jun 05 2011

       We must be aware that wherever we remove energy from 'natural' sources, we will have a direct effect on the local ecosystems. This is especially true in locations where it is possible to extract most of the energy from, in this case, running water. I am in favour of renewable energy, and certainly concur with emaveneau's comments about energy vs aesthetics. I live in Norfolk, where tourists come to see the Broads with all the old windpumps and there are significant lobbies opposing windfarms on aesthetic grounds. It is better to extract a small proportion from a large energy reserve. Tidal power is an obvious candidate, especially on an island with vast quantites of coastline.
Twizz, Jun 06 2011


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