The free energy source we’ve been wasting

M2 magazine had an interesting article about a new way of generating electricity this month. It focused on generating electricity with turbines in the water pipes flowing underground. These turbines were developed by a company called Lucid Energy and they have been installed in Portland, Oregon. It has been estimated that they will generate US$2 million over twenty years. Not bad when you think it would be otherwise wasted.

The article goes on to talk about how Portland’s geography make it ideal for this to work, along with the size of the city. They also discuss if it was to be able to work in New Zealand. Given the infrastructure being rebuilt in Christchurch that would be a logical place to start. Unfortunately it’s not likely to work too well there –  the city is rather flat and being a small city the pipes are rather small and the flow low. This means that there is limited capacity to generate power and therefore the return on investment means that it probably isn’t worth the capital outlay.

Something like this could be modified to work in NZ though. Maybe a turbine attached to your loo that generates power when ever you flush the toilet? Or a turbine in your taps that uses the flow of the water before it comes out of your tap to generate power?

Read the article for yourself:

Patterson, T. (2015, April). The free energy source we’ve been wasting. M2 Magazine, p. 56.

Or read an excerpt of it online at


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