Did you know that electricity can be generated using drinking water pipes and a micro-turbine?

This technology, the only one of its kind in France, will be installed at the Ternay hydro station in Annonay-Rhône.

An energy innovation at Annonay-Rhône

Four companies will be pooling their skills and know-how to produce electricity from the town of Annonay’s drinking water pipes and an axial micro-turbine.

PERGA micro-turbine

SAUR, which operates the town of Annonay’s drinking water network, PERGA, a Spanish company that manufactures the micro-turbine, Saint-Gobain PAM, which markets it, and Hydrowatt of the UNITe group, which modelled the ideal location for its installation.

This technology, which is the first of its kind in France, creates electricity from the hydraulic force of pipes, to supply the drinking water production plant at the Ternay dam in the commune of Saint-Marcel-les-Annonay.

Ternay dam, Annonay-Rhône (Photo OT Ardèche Grand Air)

The device is installed at the pressure reducers on the network to produce electricity from the kinetic energy of the water (…) With a power of 26 kW, the machine should produce 132,000 kWh annually, or 30% of the electrical needs of the production station, according to BTP Magazine

This renewable energy production system will be implemented during 2017 for an experimental phase. The energy produced will be fed into the electricity grid and sold back to EDF in accordance with current legislation.

How does a micro-turbine work?

According to Marc Barbion, project manager at Saint-Gobain PAM, quoted by Environnement Magazine, the principle is fairly simple and requires no civil engineering for installation.

Pressure reducers dissipate energy from networks to avoid the risks of excessive pressure at the end user. But this energy is lost. With the micro-turbine, we want to recover this excess energy and turn it into electricity.

Micro-turbine PERGA
PERGA micro-turbine, diagram

Video explanation: Perga micro-turbines

Micro-turbines: explanatory technical file, PERGA company

Along the Rhône

  • Drinking water: Saint-Gobain PAM installs a microturbine in Annonay, Environnement-Magazine (French)
  • In the Ardèche, a unique hydroelectric installation comes into being, BTP Magazine (French)
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