Lucid Energy

Lucid Energy

The LucidPipe Power System spins gravity into renewable energy by harvesting an otherwise untapped resource: excess pressure in gravity-fed water pipelines. We designed LucidPipe with municipal water agencies in mind. After years of research, development and discussions with water managers across the country, we developed and patented a unique, spherical, in-pipe hydropower turbine that generates electricity without removing all of the pressure or disrupting water delivery. Because the turbines operate inside of pipes, LucidPipe doesn’t harm ecosystems. This hydropower is clean, consistent and controlled by the water agency. For many cities and towns around the world, drinking water comes from mountain reservoirs and high elevation storage tanks.

Company details

2420 NE Sandy Blvd., Suite 203 , Portland , OR 97232 USA
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Business Type:
Industry Type:
Renewable Energy
Market Focus:
Globally (various continents)

Our Mission
To turn millions of miles of gravity-fed water pipelines around the world into generators of clean, environmentally-friendly, renewable energy from in-pipe hydropower.We envision a future where in-pipe hydropower is a widely available form of renewable energy that helps reduce reliance on fossil fuels while making water delivery more economically sustainable.
Our Story
Lucid Energy's focus has always been on the development of hydropower technologies. Our initial efforts began in 2007 and focused on the development of small, hydrokinetic turbines for use in open waterways. But open waterways have a high degree of complexity: water flow is unpredictable and weather-dependent, turbines are subject to damage from debris, fish and other inhabitants of water ecosystems and anything placed in a river or stream can harm the environment.
We knew there must be a better way. So we asked ourselves: Where is there a source of free-flowing water that is clean, controlled and outside of a natural habitat?
The answer: Gravity-fed drinking water systems.
For many cities and towns around the world, drinking water comes from mountain reservoirs and high elevation storage tanks. As the water flows downhill through gravity-fed pipeline systems, it builds up considerable pressure - pressure that can be far too high for residential and commercial water delivery. Water agencies use pressure reducing valves (PRVs) to remove some of that pressure, but all that energy potential is lost. There's an opportunity!putting turbines inside of those gravity-fed pipelines, we knew we coul produce reliable, renewable hydropowerthat doesn't harm the environment. There was only one catch: how to do it without removing too much pressure or disrupting water delivery.
It was time to talk to the water people.
In 2008 Lucid Energy formed a strategic relationship with Northwest Pipe Company, the largest manufacturer of steel water transmission pipe in the United States. This resulted in our introduction to water agency managers across North America. We learned about their needs and concerns. They made it abundantly clear that our product needed to work without impeding their ability to deliver clean drinking water at the proper pressure.
Out of this collaboration came the innovation and development of the spherical, LucidPipe in-pipe turbine design that harvests some of the excess pressure in gravity-fed pipelines and turns it into renewable energy - without disrupting water delivery. In 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded Lucid Energy a phase 1 SBIR grant to field-test LucidPipe. We conducted turbine design research and testing at the Utah Water Research Laboratory and did in-system testing at our pilot site at Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) in Riverside, California.
Between 2010 and 2011 we successfully field-piloted three iterations of the 42' turbine design at RPU. We received our first patent in June 2011 and incorporated as Lucid Energy, Inc. in August of that same year. We secured a second patent in January 2013 and are in the process of filing international patents in countries around the world.
We've installed two 42' first-generation LucidPipe Power Systems: a single-turbine system at RPU and a four-turbine system in a Portland Water Bureau pipeline in Portland, Oregon. We've won water and energy industry awards, received more than $1.2 million in SBIR grants, earned accolades in the media and secured funding from an active syndicate of investors.

Where We’re Going Next

We’re now developing our second generation LucidPipe turbine design. This design will utilize advanced manufacturing technologies, significantly increase power output, operate across a wider range of pipe sizes and flows and significantly reduce capital cost. Dollars-per-kilowatt is our key metric.

The Gen 2 LucidPipe Power System will enable us to reduce costs and expand the potential number of installation sites around the world, helping us reach our goal to turn the world’s gravity-fed water pipelines into generators of clean, renewable energy.