In a few of our previous blogs posts, we covered the development of geothermal energy and the use of dams and rivers to create hydroelectricity. On the American Water College Facebook page, we shared a link demonstrating how Texas is actively pursuing both fresh water and energy production at the same time by building a natural gas-fired power plant next to a seawater desalination facility along the Texas Gulf Coast to produce both electricity and freshwater. Looking back 2,000 years into history, the first recorded use of hydropower was documented by the Greeks. Flowing water was used to turn water wheels for grinding wheat into flour, and has since been used to power sawmills, textile mills, dock cranes, domestic lifts, and power houses. It seems that no matter where you look, water and energy go hand-in-hand, linked by society’s dependence on both resources, and the myriad ways water can be used to produce energy.
As more and more companies invest in green energy sources, such as solarpower and natural fuels, water would seem a natural starting point. One of the latest and most innovative developments we’ve seen on the water-to-energy front is a cutting-edge product from Sweden, the world’s first water-activated charging device that runs on either fresh or salt water. The PowerTrekk is designed to provide power to recharge battery-operated devices that charge via USB connections, like cell and smartphones, digital cameras, ipods and GPS. The company is looking into developing their fuel cells to function for larger devices like laptops. “(Y)ou can charge your devices anywhere without electricity — provided there is a water source nearby. Just add a spoonful and get instant power, anytime anywhere.”
As the world continues to research, develop and implement newer sources of power, our most valuable resource is still one of the most versatile and ingenious methods of energy production. And now, water-to-energy technology will be even more readily available to consumers.