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Techno-economic feasibility analysis for energy production by variable speed Francis turbines in water distribution networks
Research Areas
  • Hidraulic minicentrals
The pressure in water distribution networks is controlled through dissipating valves with a consequent waste of a huge amount of hydraulic energy. However, these networks are characterized by remarkable daily flow rate variations, which prevent the installation of traditional Francis turbines whose performance would be negatively affected by the consequent consistent net head variations. A possible solution to overcome this problem is to adopt variable speed hydraulic turbines, which are able, by varying their rotation rate, to work with high efficiency in a wider range of net head and flow rates as well as to limit the development of unsteady pulsating phenomena in the whole distribution network. This paper presents a techno-economic feasibility analysis for the installation of a variable-speed Francis Turbine in a real water distribution network with the aim of recovering the hydraulic energy, which would be otherwise dissipated by the valves. The analysis has been carried out on one site of the Tshwane water distribution network in the city of Pretoria (South Africa). A 15 kW model of the variable speed Francis Turbine has been designed for being installed in the network and then experimentally analysed to determine the working range and the performance achievable by the turbine both in fixed- and variable-speed configurations. Then, the performance curves have been exploited in a dynamic simulation model in order to verify the influence of the turbine operation with fixed and variable speed on the network behaviour and in particular on the required water level in the downstream reservoir. Once verified the technical feasibility of the turbine installation, an economic feasibility analysis has been carried out in order to determine the profitability index of the installation of both the fixed- and the variable-speed configurations.
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AFRICA 2017 Proceedings
  • Autor: Alberto Santolin (Tamanini Hydro)
  • Autor: Giovanna Cavazzini (University of Padova)
  • Autor: Giorgio Pavesi (University of Padova)
  • Autor: Guido Ardizzon (University of Padova)
  • Autor: Juan Ignacio Perez Diaz (UPM)
  • Autor: Marco Van Dijk (University of Pretoria)
Research Group, Departaments and Institutes related
  • Creador: Grupo de Investigación: Hidroinformática y Gestión del Agua
  • Departamento: Ingeniería Civil: Hidráulica, Energía y Medio Ambiente
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Cofinanciación del MINECO en el marco del Programa INNCIDE 2011 (OTR-2011-0236)
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