Rain used to illuminate low income homes

Mar 25, 2014

By collecting rainwater, students of the Technological University of Mexico (UNITEC) were able to generate electricity using a microturbine and supplying the vital liquid to homes in a poor community in Iztapalapa, in Mexico City.

This system is similar to that used in dams, which uses rainwater to rotate a microturbine and generate electricity. Currently, it is only possible to recharge portable 12 volt batteries, whose energy is sufficient to power LED lamps but not to provide power to the entire house.

The system called "Pluvia" collects rain from the roof of the house, where the surface must be adapted so the will flow into a gutter, if unable to modify the ceiling, sheets to simulate a slope are added, routing fluid in one direction, said Omar Enrique Leyva Coca , who developed the project with Romel Brown and Gustavo Rivero Velázquez .

To choose the right pipe, an arithmetic operation that determined the diameter of the tube in relation to the roof area was performed. Thus the liquid reaches the first filter, which is responsible for separating the water from the first two weeks of the season, which generally contains higher acidity, soil and contaminants, sending it to a storage tank.

Through a pump the necessary water pressure is exerted to drive the microtrubine that was designed with the purpose of generating electricity, which is accumulated in portable rechargeable 12-volt batteries, used to power LED lamps, Coca Leyva added.

Rain used to illuminate low income homes

Through a half-inch pipe the connection is made so when the microturbine turns, the battery is loaded. The has the shape of a cylinder and its measures do not exceed two inches wide by ten inches high.

After the water passes through the turbine, it is directed to an activated charcoal filter, which removes smells, flavors, colors, and excess. "With this latest filter the liquid is equal to or cleaner than the water in the network supply system of Mexico City," Coca Leyva finished .

This energy can power LED lamps and other small appliances such as refrigerators or table fans that occupy a maximum of 12 volts. However, architecture students at UNITEC are looking to increase the power of both the storage system and the microturbine to supply power and water to more homes.

This "Pluvia" system illustrates the theme "Generation and Transmission of Water and Energy" that is promoted by this year's United Nations World Health Day to be held on March 22.

Explore further: New energy storage system for renewable technologies

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New energy storage system for renewable technologies

Dec 03, 2013

Hitachi today announced that it has developed an all-in one, container-type energy storage system as a core energy product for ensuring the stable use of distributed renewable energy such as wind and solar ...

Nissan Leafs can now power the office, as well as the home

Dec 17, 2013

Nissan has carried out a successful early field test of a system that will allow companies to regulate their electricity bills using the batteries of Nissan LEAFs used by their staff to commute to work. "Vehicle-To-Building" ...

'Tribo-electric,' the buzzword of the future?

Mar 04, 2014

Out at sea, gentle waves provide power for thousands of homes. In cities, dancefloor moves generate electricity for nightclubs. In the countryside, hikers use leg power to recharge their phones.

Recommended for you

Scientists get set for simulated nuclear inspection

2 hours ago

Some 40 scientists and technicians from around the world will descend on Jordan in November to take part in a simulated on-site inspection of a suspected nuclear test site on the banks of the Dead Sea.

Seoul to provide smartphone-charging down by the stream

Aug 29, 2014

Seoul's mobile users will be able to make use of outdoor charging stations at a popular downtown stream, powered by mini-hydroelectric turbines that use the stream's current. The city is building the recharging ...

User comments : 0