Xylem Inc., a leading global water technology company, has entered into an exclusive relationship with Rentricity Inc., to provide integrated water solutions for municipal, industrial and irrigation applications that use excess pressure in water mains and convert it into renewable electricity. The solution enables water operators to reduce energy consumption and costs for more efficient operations.
Rentricity Inc. is a clean energy company that uses hydrokinetic energy applications in potable drinking water distribution systems, industrial water systems and irrigation systems. Rentricity’s energy recovery systems convert extra pressure within water lines into electricity instead of dissipating the extra pressure through valves.
The partnership has resulted in an NSF-certified suite of products called Sustainable Energy & Monitoring Systems (SEMS) that integrate Xylem’s highly efficient centrifugal pumps with Rentricity control systems and services. SEMS are plug-and-play, requiring minimal mechanical engineering design and are installed like typical pump packages in water pipe networks. Within SEMS, Xylem pumps operate in reverse, using existing water pressure and flow to turn an impeller, which, in turn, spins a small generator to create up to 30 kilowatts of electricity.
“Xylem’s partnership with Rentricity enables us to leverage our highly efficient new products in novel system solutions to provide customers even greater opportunities to reduce their energy costs.” said Dave Flinton, Vice President of Engineering & Marketing for Xylem’s Applied Water Systems business unit. “Expanding our capabilities through smart relationships like this gives our customers even more options and highlights our commitment to energy conservation.”
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has provided support to this technology, which will help the state meet the clean energy goals set by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), a strategy to build a clean, resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers.
Since recovered energy from water lines can be sold back to the grid, the solution provides industry professionals access to an additional source of revenue and a way to offset rising electricity rates. “With the support of NYSERDA, the Xylem relationship enhances Rentricity’s goal to create smart and sustainable solutions for water infrastructure worldwide," said Frank Zammataro, CEO and Co-founder of Rentricity Inc. “We’ve identified a sizeable market opportunity for modular, plug and play configurations that can easily fit into existing any water operator's infrastructure with minimal engineering.”
In a pilot installation, SEMS were tested in the water distribution center of the North Wales Water Authority (NWWA), which serves more than 25,000 people in 11 communities in northern Philadelphia. Based on flows of 1,400 gallons of water per minute and a 23 pound per square inch of pressure within the NWWA water transfer station, the system expects to generate 12 kilowatts of electricity, or the equivalent of $7,500 per year in electricity generated (i.e., not purchased from outside sources).
Xylem continues to build on a legacy of addressing global water challenges by supporting the development of sustainable products and services through partnerships with innovators like Rentricity. The two companies are exploring the future integration of Xylem products into Rentricity systems such as smart sensors, and also leveraging Xylem’s expertise in monitoring and water quality technology.