Small Scale Hydro Power for Buildings

by | Dec 17, 2013

olympianA property developer in Hong Kong has invented a system that uses a building’s water system to generate hydroelectric power, reports the New York Times.

Executive director of property company Sino Land Daryl Ng’s first system is installed at Olympian City, one of the company’s shopping malls. The system uses excess pressure in building’s water system to spin a Swiss-built turbine that, in turn, generates energy to power lights in a back room.

Ng also has plans to install a similar system in the company’s newest apartment development in Hong Kong. That system uses energy to power stairwell, lobby and elevator shaft lighting.

The developer has since pitched his product to the governments of Singapore, Hong Kong and Beijing. Hong Kong has given positive feedback, the newspaper reports.

Ng has hire engineering firm Arup to develop a “plug and play” turbine system that would be relatively cheap to install. He has also asked them to design a system that would charge his electric car while he is at work, the paper reports.

Hong Kong’s water services department uses a turbine to generate power from one of its water treatment works. Arup estimates that turbines in the public water system in Hong Kong could provide enough power for up to 6,000 homes.

In January, Honda released a video showing how a team at its Marysville, Ohio, plant built a small scale power plant from spare parts and materials. The waterwheel-like gadget captures energy from water as it falls from a cooling tower, cutting the plants CO2 emissions by 77,000 pounds per year.

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