All water distribution systems have one thing in common: It takes energy to move water from one location to another. The energy required to move the water can come from gravity or from pumps, both of which convert the water’s potential energy into kinetic energy. In a typical water distribution system, control valves are used at some point to manage this built-up energy, otherwise known as flow and pressure.
As water travels through a control valve, energy within the water is simply ‘burned off’ in the forms of noise, heat and vibration. Conduit hydropower installations aim to recover this lost energy by converting it into electricity while still regulating flow and pressure in a distribution system.