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Investigating the Feasibility of Hydroelectric Energy Plant Using Waste Water from Skyscrapers

October 30, 2019


    Immediately, if we observe the world that we live in today, humankind has constructed a countless number of skyscrapers, edifices, and buildings. The advancement of construction technology and the abundance of equipment and material allow any cities in any country to construct and build tall buildings. As a matter of fact, every year in Korea, there are around about 2000 buildings with over 30 floors built and in total, about 20,000 towering buildings are built in the surface of Korea for over the last 10 years.  Wherever there are people living, water is needed for innumerable reasons. For instance, people need water for hygienic conditions, hydration, or maybe to take a shower. Yet, the volume of water used is wasted every day through the sewer.     

    Nonetheless, the volume of water wasted everyday consists of a considerable amount of energy of E=mgh. There is an increment of manufacturing tall buildings not only in Korea but for most parts of the world. Especially in Korea, enormously tall apartments are increasing and this indicates more energy will keep on getting wasted. If there was a way to harness the energy that is wasted from letting water flow down through the sewer, that would save tons of energy. Perhaps, the energy wasted can possibly be used to generate electricity around the building as well.

    In this practical experiment, the main goal was to utilize the wasted energy produced by the water flowing down through the pipes of every apartment using minimized hydroelectric generators. By installing 1~3 of these hydroelectric generators, there was a clear relationship between joules of energy gained, the volume of water, and the loss of hydraulic pressure. And, our hypothesis was that if multiple hydroelectric generators were connected in series and operated, then they would produce more electricity, compared to using a single turbine generator. And, an estimation of energy capability of wasting water from a skyscraper was carried out to alert for the public living on high storied building.