Stormwater Symposium

Oral

398063 - Utilization of Rainwater Power to Drain Flood Water from Low-lying Areas

Wednesday, June 6
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Mirage Room
Co-Authors: Yunjie Li, Piscataway, NJ – Rutgers University

The concept of “rainwater-driven pump” was proposed and assessed. It was proposed to harvest hydropower from building rooftops during rainfall events to pump out flood water from low-lying urban areas. Amount of rainwater power generated from building tops and remained after conveyance through the drainage pipe system was calculated and compared to the power needed for draining the flood water. A drainage system in City of Hoboken, New Jersey (across Hudson River from Manhattan) with the building heights from 5 to 51 meters was selected for the quantitative assessment. Drainage systems sized for two different design rain storms under eight different rainfall events were examined. In the drainage system designed for 25-year storm, excessive power would be generated from the building tops for all the eight rainfall events with the return periods from 6 months to 100 years (300 to 460 kw vs. 80 to 320 kw). In the drainage system designed for the 10-year storm, excessive power would be generated from smaller storm events with the return periods from 6 months to 25 years but not for larger storm events with return periods from 50 to 100 years. Therefore, for densely populated urban areas with high-rise buildings and low ground surface elevations, it is possible to generate sufficient amount of hydropower from rainfall to pump out the flood water from the low-lying areas. Utilization of locally available green rain power would reduce the consumption of external electrical power for pumping, and in the case of emergency when the external electrical-grid power is down during severe storm events, the local rain power could serve as a viable alternative for urban flood relief.

Send Email for Qizhong Guo

Eleni Athanasopoulou, PhD

Rutgers University

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Send Email for Eleni Athanasopoulou


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