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Quest For Innovation At The Trenchless Technology Center
The emergence of the FutureScan technology provides municipal engineers, consultants and city administrators with a new tool to assess the structural integrity of their buried infrastructure and ensure public safety. The FutureScan technology could also assist in detecting boulders or other objects that might apply point loads onto the wall of a buried structure, as well as detect concrete encasement zones prior to pipe bursting operations. The ability to ‘see’ into the pipe wall and beyond, will enable administrators, engineers, and contractors to make more informed decisions and reduce the risk associated with the operation, maintenance and rehabilitation of underground infrastructure systems.
eVortex: Energy harvesting from waste, storm water
There are thousands of sewer drop structures across North America ranging from five to over 300 feet in height, which convey flows of up to 4,500 cubic feet per second year round. Drop structures direct flow from shallow surface sewers to deeper collection tunnels via a vertical shaft. An advanced version of drop structure known as 'vortex drop structure' is becoming popular and its primary objective is to dissipate energy so that the otherwise free falling flow within the drop shaft does not erode the concrete base of the shaft and to minimize the water turbulence in the drop structure that would otherwise allow odor-causing dissolved gasses to escape into atmosphere. In this innovation, a novel low-cost turbine with an integrated electrical generator called 'eVortex' is under development for harvesting the enormous kinetic energy available in waste water passing through the municipal drop structures. TTC researchers Dr. Arun Jaganathan and Dr. Erez Allouche, supported by EPA, DOE and IPEX Inc., are involved in this research.