A student at Leicester De Montford University in Leicester, England, is changing the way we think about toilet water.
Tom Broadbent, who is studying industrial design student at the university, has been busy designing a system that generates electricity from waste water.
Broadbent’s invention is called HighDro Power, and it utilizes an in-line turbine, turned by four blades, to generate electricity from falling waste water in the sewage plumbing of high-rise buildings.
So instead of flushing energy down the toilet and to the fishes, the energy is converted and put to use in other areas where it’s needed within a building.
Broadbent developed his invention in response to goals set at the G8 Summit by governments to reduce nations’ carbon dioxide emissions and dependency on fossil fuels by 2050.
HighDro Power works similar to a hydroelectric dam — only on a smaller scale.
The system uses water discharged from appliances such as showers, toilets, and sinks in high-rise apartments.
With Broadbent’s system, a seven-storey building could allow for big savings for the yearly utility bill. In fact Broadbent’s initial trials with HighDro Power have lead to estimated annual savings of nearly $1500 USD.
HighDro Power also creates the option to sell the energy back to the national grid on a buy-back tariff.
But Broadbent’s system is not for home use… Rather, the system is suited for commercial buildings.
Broadbent explains the inspiration for this invention…
[HighDro Power] was literally a ‘Eureka!’ moment that came when I emptied a bath in a hotel and found that it cleared very quickly and with a large amount of force…
It seemed logical that this energy should be harnessed in some way to create green electricity and help governments meet targets and it filled an obvious gap in the market.
The next stage for Tom Broadbent and HighDro Power will be having it fitted to a commercial building for a proper appraisal.
I don’t know of a better use for waste water out there… Here’s to Tom’s innovation and best of luck in taking HighDro Power to market.
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