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A New Use for Gas Pipelines

Posted in Renewables,UK by Cheryl Morgan on the January 6th, 2009

A gas pipeline is a long tube containing material moving at speed. And that means that you can…

…put a turbine in it and generate electricity.

Or at least that’s the latest whizz idea for carbon-free generation in the UK. The Guardian has more on the story. The pilot scheme will be a 20MW unit, but the proponents believe that there is potential for up to 1 GW of generation throughout the UK.

Update: Capacity of pilot system correct – thanks Mike.

One Response to 'A New Use for Gas Pipelines'

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  1. on January 6th, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    But doesn’t that material move due to compressors installed along the pipeline that keep the gas moving? (For example, see all of the red squares marked on this map of U.S. gas pipelines. So if I insert a device to extract out some of the energy in the moving material, doesn’t that mean that compressors elsewhere on the pipe will have to work a little harder?

    Oh, now that I read the linked article, the system extracts energy from the natural compression of gas in an underground reservoir, and the natural pressure is too high for local distribution systems. So the system will capture some of the energy as the pressure is reduced to distribution levels rather than discarding it.

    (But note that the pilot scheme is for 20MW, not 20GW.)

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