In-pipe hydro systems implies the use of micro turbines that can be embedded inside an existing network of pipelines, or onto them, and make use of the natural gravitational water flow within the pipes towards the high pressure heads. The micro turbines are able to convert the kinetic energy of flowing water into electricity that can be fed to a local power grid, or sent back to the main grid. The overall technology used for in-pipe hydro systems does not need additional infrastructure. Because of this unique perceived benefit, the market has been making impressive progress.
The global in-pipe hydro systems market to expand at a CAGR of 7.2% within a forecast period from 2017 to 2025. The market which was valued at US$8.83 mn in 2016 and is expected to reach US$ 16.13 mn by the end of 2025.
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In-pipe hydro systems can be advantageous in the sense that they are relatively easier to set up than conventional hydro systems and do not require users to install bulk supportive infrastructure thereby saving them quite a bit in costs. Other factors creating a more optimistic growth curve for the global in-pipe hydro systems market include the swift urbanization rates in key emerging economies and an equivalent high rate of construction activities across the world. Governments of nearly all nations are showing a high inclination towards supporting the developments in renewable energy as well energy storage and conservation technologies, creating a heightened demand for in-pipe hydro systems.
These factors are opening up a massive scope of implementation in the current scenario of pipeline networks, not just in terms of laying down new networks to suit these systems, but their use in existing ones. And this will require moderate to low investments in restructuring or redesigning the existing pipeline networks. The incorporation of renewable energy production technology would certainly boost the overall cost effectiveness of a pipeline network project by reducing its dependency on grid electricity.
However, the essential conditions of natural gravity flow of water and high pressure heads within the pipeline is posing a challenge to the global in-pipe hydro systems market.
Internal systems have so far been the more preferred type in the global in-pipe hydro systems market. This segment took up a massive 80.0% of the market’s demand volume in 2016 and is likely to continue this trend for the coming years. Internal systems are embedded inside the pipe, and hence their specification depend upon the diameter of the pipe. External systems are installed onto the pipe but they require enclosure vaults.