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Recovering Energy from Pressurized Water Could Yield Big Savings

All over the world, every single day, power is spent pressurizing water and other fluids for industrial and residential use, and one company is helping to recover some of that energy and convert it back into electricity.

The industrial world is driven by a number of different kinds of ‘fluid flows’, from the pressure in our domestic water supply to manufacturing processes to oil and gas recovery and refining.

For the most part, the energy used to pressurize the fluids is lost once it’s used, but it turns out that not only can some of it be recovered, but it could also yield big savings in both energy and money.

One company, Energy Recovery, has been integrating energy recovery systems in desalination plants for the last 20 years, and is actively working to make industrial processes greener and more profitable through transforming pressure and fluid flows into clean energy.

Their main focus is on desalination plants, where over 14,000 of the company’s PX energy recovery devices are in place, which translates to 12 billion kilowatt hours of energy saved in 2012, saving an estimated $1.2 billion in energy costs.

The CEO, Tom Rooney, believes that there are plenty of opportunities to implement energy recovery systems in other fluid flow or pressurized systems, such as in our public utilities infrastructure.

According to FastCoExist, Rooney stated, “You have a very clumsy assortment of pressure up and pressure down throughout large municipal distribution systems. There’s no question that there is an enormous opportunity to go in and harvest the pressure.” He also pointed out that there are gigawatts of energy in fluid flows just being wasted because the systems aren’t in place to recover the energy.

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