Pressurized liquids in industrial processes may be an untapped opportunity for electricity generation.
A large amount potential energy in the pipes of pressurized industrial processes such as oil refining, chemical and food processing, and water preparation, can be recovered for electricity. The energy recovered from the process can either be incorporated back into the process itself or used to generate electricity. While this is a largely untapped method of power generation, more and more companies are seizing the opportunity to be more productive with their pressurized liquids.
Energy Recovery, an equipment supplier in California, has been recycling energy in desalination plants for about 20 years. The company has developed a hydrologic device with a ceramic motor inside a three-foot long tube, which is moved by high-speed, pressurized water. The device extracts energy from the moving water and reduces the energy needed for the desalination process by 60 percent.
Energy Recovery has installed 14,000 devices in desalination plants worldwide, equaling about 12 billion kWh of energy savings, or $1.2 billion savings, annually.