Turning water flow into power

A new tech-based programme has brought together SHYFTinc and Rentricity, using the latter’s method of developing electricity production from gravity-fed and pressurised water pipelines and applying it to mining operations.
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A look at some components of Rentricity's technology

Rentricity has been working in the drinking water industry since 2010 to implement its renewable energy in-pipe hydro system. It now is seeking out mines that have large water flows to use its MinetricitySM line to help offset the costs of powering their operations.

"In-pipe hydro energy recovery within water distribution networks is proven, reliable and cost-effective," the two companies said, calling the technology both simple and elegant.

"It uses traditional and proven pumps as turbines with advanced controls to manage pressure while creating clean electricity. The clean, renewable electricity is then used for powering systems in the immediate area of the mine, or can be easily integrated into a mine's electrical system, or stored on energy storage systems for back-up purposes."

Rentricity CEO and co-founder Frank Zammataro said it selected SHYFTinc as a partner because of its expertise in the mining environment along with its capabilities to bring sustainable microgrids to mines.

"The products can be installed in the mine's water distribution piping from 4-inch to 36-inch diameters and mimic the function of pressure reducing valves," SHYFTinc president Tyler Samson said.

"Usually, the energy in those valves produces heat in what's already a hot environment; we can turn the pressure into power instead."

SHYFTinc will be working with BESTECH Engineering to provide a full design, installation and support package that can be applied to the industry. SHYFTinc and BESTECH are members of the INOVINTA Group of Companies.