Hydrocratic generator

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【摘要】A hydraulic power generation system is provided for generating power using a pseudo-osmosis process which efficiently exploits the osmotic energy potential between two bodies of water having different salinity concentrations. The method and apparatus of the present invention does not require the use of a semi-permeable membrane or other specially formulated material, nor does it require heating or cooling of the fresh water or salt water solution. Moreover, the device may be used to recover energy from a wide variety of fresh water sources, including treated or untreated river run-off, treated waste-water run-off or effluent, storm-drain run-off, partly contaminated fresh water run-off, and a wide variety of other fresh water sources. The device is well suited to power production in a wide variety of geographic locations and under a wide variety of conditions. The invention has particular advantage for use in remote regions where electrical power generation by conventional means may be commercially infeasible or impractical.


What is claimed is: 1. A method for generating power utilizing the difference in osmotic potential between relatively low salinity water and relatively high salinity water, the method comprising: conducting the relatively low salinity water through a first tube having a non-rotatable portion and a rotatable portion, the rotatable portion having at least one aperture through which the low salinity water exits the first tube; directly contacting the relatively low salinity water with the relatively high salinity water in a second tube to form a mixture, wherein the second tube is in fluid communication with the relatively high salinity water through one or more openings in the second tube, the contacting causing an increase in recoverable energy of the mixture in the second tube; and conducting the mixture through a power generation unit to generate mechanical and/or electrical power; and rotating the rotatable portion of the first tube using the recoverable energy of the mixture by selectively discharging the relatively low salinity water in a predetermined location relative to the power generation unit. 2. The method of claim 1, wherein the power generation unit comprises: a plurality of propellers, at least one of the propellers being mounted on the rotatable portion of the first tube such that the propellers, when rotating, rotate the rotatable portion of the first tube, the propellers being located inside the second tube; and an electrical generator coupled to the sh