Patent application title: Environmentally safe hydro-electric pipeline and water delivery system
James M. Ross (San Diego, CA, US)
IPC8 Class: AE02B902FI
Class name: Hydraulic and earth engineering fluid control, treatment, or containment extracting power from moving fluid
Publication date: 2012-01-26
Patent application number: 20120020734
"The Environmentally Safe Hydro-Electric Pipeline And Water Delivery
System" will provide over one million gallons of fresh water per day to
areas and communities in desperate need of clean fresh water. This will
be accomplished with a very small environmental footprint. This pipeline
will be self powered by use of gravity and siphon principals. There will
be enough flow and water pressure left over to power many water turbine
electric generators, which may be located anywhere along the pipeline,
where the power can be sold.
1. The water collection system, as outlined in component one through
three of the description of this system, will provide the least invasive
method ever used of collecting vast amounts of water from a large body of
water, which is divided into small collection sites and strategically
located in the large body of water as to provide the least impact on fish
habitat, ecological balance, and the overall environment.
2. The Water Commencement System will start the massive flow of water with only a one time use of power, enough power to pump water enough to fill the pipeline from the surface of the lake to the first restrictor valve.
3. The general route of the system will always start with a large body of water at an elevation as high above sea level as possible, in this case 2,300 feet above sea level, this drop to sea level will create an enormous amount of energy, to be harnessed to move the water through the pipe and to power hydroelectric generators.
4. This system will transport a vast amount of water hundreds of miles using only the proven principal of gravity and siphon, along with enough additional energy to power many hydro-electric generators.
5. The entire project can be built and placed into operation, with all evidence of the project completely removed from view, returning the views surrounding the body of water pre-project quality.
6. The route of the pipeline which is located off shore along the Oregon and California coast will act as an erosion barrier and a reef.
 A pipeline one thousand six hundred and sixty-five miles long (more or less) with a possible secondary route three hundred and forty miles long (more or less) all completely powered by gravity and siphon. This pipeline will deliver water to areas and communities in need using no external power to operate. There will be enough energy left over to operate many modern water powered turbine electrical generators. These generators can be located anywhere along the pipeline at locations in need of additional power. The list of components is as follows:
1. The Environmentally Safe Diversified Collection Basin. (FIG. 1) (Page 1 of 4)
 2. Protective screen with cleaning wiper (FIG. 2) (Page 1 of 4)
3. Individual Collection Lines.
 4. The central collection pipe ten feet in diameter (plus or minus) with individual flow restrictor valves for each collection line. (FIGS. 3, 4 & 5) (Page 2 of 4)
4. The Water Flow Commencement System (FIG. 6.) (Page 3 of 4)
 5. The main pipeline fitted with connections which would allow the diversion of water into additional bypass pipelines to power the hydro-electric generators, then returning the water to the main pipeline. (FIG. 7) (Page 3 of 4) 6. Flow restrictor valves at various locations along the main pipeline, manually and/or computer activated by a drop in water pressure. 7. Water powered turbine hydro-electric generators 8. Environmentally Safe Coastal Erosion Barrier Reef and pipeline preferred route.
 The hydroelectric pipeline will commence at Lake Pend Oreille, with an area of one hundred and forty-five square miles and one thousand one hundred and fifty feet deep, this lake is an ideal body of water to draw upon. The lake is at an elevation of 2,300 feet above sea level and is located in northern Idaho. Any lake of similar statistics can be used for this purpose. The size of the pipe shall be determined by an environmental study of the lake to determine the maximum amount of water that may be drawn from the lake while protecting the ecological balance and habitat of the lake. For the purpose of this document I will base power and water claims on a pipe ten feet in diameter. This project, unlike a dam, which is totally invasive to the natural environment, will leave little or no ecological impact. This project can be completed leaving the appearance and views around the lake as they are currently. Such a pipeline may have the capability of delivering one million gallons of fresh water per day.
 The first component of the system is the Environmentally Safe Diversified Collection Basin. This will be made up of hundreds of relatively small collection basins located at over a hundred sites in the bottom of the lake. These water collection stations can be easily lowered into place at environmentally sound locations to protect the ecological balance of the lake. They will rest on the bottom of the lake and be made of concrete, steel, fiberglass, and other corrosion resistant materials. (FIG. 1) They will be of size and weight so once in place they will not move or change the angle of collection. They will draw the water downward through a cone or funnel designed collection basin into a much smaller outlet tube. Once the flow into the collection basin starts it will lock the unit to the bottom of the lake. It is assumed these collection basins will enhance the pressure at the collection point which will, in turn, enhance the pressure throughout the length of the pipeline. This method of collection will allow the system to draw water into the main pipeline at small enough volumes, at any location, in such a way to prevent a torrent of rushing water.
Each unit will have a outer screen, perhaps in the shape of a large round bird cage, to prevent much of the aquatic life and plants of the lake from entering the system. The collection unit itself will be fitted with a rotating screen at the top of the funnel or cone shaped collection basin as a final filter to prevent unwanted material from entering the system. (FIG. 2) The screen will be powered to rotate by an impeller located on the shaft that supports it. The screens, upside down cone shaped funnels, once activated to rotate will cause the screens to pass under wipers which will keep the screen clean and the flow of water unimpaired.
 The second component of the system will be the individual collection lines, to be made from flexible plastic, vinyl, or other materials that will have enough rigidly to stand up to the pressure. The line will be manufactured to withstand the corrosive effects of water. These lines will connect the collection basin to the main pipe line with a connection device which shall allow the line to be removed, if needed for servicing. The line shall be a solid, air and water tight connection between the collection basin, the collection line, and the main pipeline. These lines of various lengths will be located on the bottom of the lake in such a way as to not interfere with the ecological balance of the lake.
 The third component of the system is the main collection pipe, for the purpose of this patent I am assuming a ten foot, plus or minus, diameter pipe. Upon future investigation of lake flow rates and environmental conditions the pipe size may be increased or decreased. This pipe will be constructed of steel, concrete, carbon fiber and/or othermaterials as determined to provide the lowest flow resistance on the interior of the pipeline. These materials will be air and water tight quality, and strength to withstand the pleasure created by the large water volume. Also, the design and material choice must offer the best protection to the pipeline from the pressure of the depth of collection and funneling, along with the pressure created by the siphon. This pipeline shall be the main artery of the system, at times being under fresh and salt water, buried, and above ground. At every location the best material and construction methods shall be used to ensure the integrity of the pipeline. (FIGS. 3, 4, & 5) The pipeline will have at various locations flow restrictor valves which can be used manually to stop the flow of water, but also shall be equipped with computer activated shut offs in the event of sudden water pressure drops in the pipeline. This pipeline will be equipped with bypass pipelines and docking sites as needed to connect water driven turbine electric generators at various locations. (FIG. 7)
These will be in areas where electrical power can be harnessed and sold to communities and others who can use the electricity. After the bypass pipeline has powered the generator, the water shall be returned to the main pipeline, or channeled off and sold to water thirsty communities. The fourth component of the project is the Water Flow Commencement System, which will be used once to start the flow. (FIG. 6) This system will not be needed again unless the flow is disrupted by some unforeseen circumstance between the bottom of the lake and the first flow restrictor valve. The first flow restrictor valve shall be placed at a location where the elevation of the main pipeline is approximately seven hundred feet below the surface of the lake. The flow commencement system is very simple and consists of a six inch (plus or minus) pipeline running parallel to the main pipeline from the bottom of the lake to the maximum attainable elevation of the main pipeline. This pipeline will be filled by a high volume pump of sufficient power to fill this six inch pipeline and keep it full to that elevation. Once the highest elevation is located on the main pipeline, the six inch pipe will be connected to it via a coupling and a flow restrictor valve. At this same location an air pressure release valve shall be installed in the main pipeline. This will allow the trapped air in the main pipeline to escape as the pipe is filled with water, between the lake surface and flow restrictor valve installed seven hundred feet below the surface of the lake. Once the entire main pipeline is filled and the air in the main pipeline has been released, the commencement of flow in the main pipeline can begin by opening the flow restrictor valve located seven hundred feet below the surface of the lake. This valve should be opened slowly and allow the entire pipeline to fill in order to prevent a hydro-hammer.
 The fifth and seventh component of the pipeline will be the electrical generators located where power will be needed, and can be marketed. The Frances Turbine Generator Units show much promise for this application. However, Kaplan or Tubular Turbine Generators, or others, may also be used to optimize the electrical output of the pipeline. These generators might produce thousands of megawatts of power along the delivery route of the pipeline. The process will draw energy from the pipeline via water pressure and flow, then return the water that was used to transfer power for the generators to the pipeline. The water may then be sold at communities or destinations where it is needed.
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