Aquarion Water installing new clean energy recovery devices
Aquarion Water Co. and alternative energy company Rentricity Inc. will launch a pilot program to transform excess pressure within water pipes into electricity by using a new microturbine technology designed by Rentricity.
Bridgeport, Conn., Nov. 12, 2003 -- Aquarion Water Co. and alternative energy company Rentricity Inc. 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-WireSM 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.
This pilot program represents the first application of a Rentricity Flow-to-WireSM 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. A single Rentricity device 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-WireSM system in a number of locations in the Southwest Region of Connecticut. "We are excited to explore the use of this new technology to improve our existing infrastructure and operations while helping to address the area's power problems with an environmentally friendly solution," says Peter Galant, Aquarion Water Company's vice president of technology, environment and planning.
Besides adding a new source of revenue from energy recovery, the Flow-to-WireSM device works to provide important information about the water flowing through the pipes and valves found within typical underground vaults.
The Flow-to-WireSM 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 RenFlowSM information services, which provide real-time system performance data to improve operational efficiencies.
"While the Flow-to-WireSM 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," says 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."
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-WireSM 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.
Aquarion Company's principal business is public water supply. Through its Aquarion Water Company subsidiaries, it is an investor-owned water utility, serving 211,000 homes and businesses, or approximately 677,000 people in 53 Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and New Hampshire communities. Aquarion Water Company of Connecticut provides high-quality water to 170,400 customers, or more than 587,000 people, including approximately 19,000 in Fairfield. For more information on Aquarion Company and its subsidiaries, please contact us on the Internet at www.aquarion.com or www.aquarionwater.com.
Rentricity, Inc. is an early-stage Delaware corporation focused on transforming untapped energy in various man-made processes into renewable electricity. Rentricity is part of the Rensselaer Incubator Program. The Company's founders can be reached at www.rentricity.com.