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Dirty Energy’s Waste Water Can Generate Clean Power

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In an odd fusion of dirty energy and clean energy, a Texas company is devising a way to generate hydropower from the effluent stream of water emitted from traditional power plants following cooling cycles.

Gulfstream Technologies has successfully run a pilot project for a year and a half at a power plant by a lake in Texas, generating electricity with a hydrokinetic turbine that harnesses the flow of water that regularly and consistently comes out of the plant.

Not only coal plants’ discharges are involved. Nuclear plants also discharge waste water. The devices invented by Todd and Phillip Janca, the brains behind Gulfstream Technologies, can harness the flows from any kind of municipal pipes and commercial discharge canals, as well as natural flows from rivers or ocean currents.

The design of the patented Gulfstream Technologies’ hydrokinetic turbine was based on their experience in designing, constructing, operating and maintaining sophisticated sub-sea machinery. Each of their turbines is up to 750 kilowatts and they can be grouped in clusters. A coal or gas plant looking to reduce its carbon load would be a likely customer for these devices.

It may seem counterproductive to modify or adapt coal plant output in this way as, of course, if successful, it would just serve to perpetuate the use of coal power which we know causes climate change, stupidity, heart and lung problems and other immediate health effects. But the political reality is that coal will be with us regardless, due to our suicidal stupidity.

Given that, there are several ways to reduce at least the climate impact of the remaining coal plants. This could be one of them. If you could double the output of electricity per unit of coal burned, then in a sense you’d halve the CO2 produced per unit of electricity supplied.

Susan Kraemer@Twitter

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Written By

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.


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