At ADT we deal with many complex turbomachinery optimizations. In that vein, we discussed trade-offs in pump-as-turbine runners for the December 2019 edition of Pump Engineer Magazine.
This is a short extract from the article. You can read it in full by clicking the button below.
Restricting greenhouse gas emissions is one of the most pressing challenges facing the world today. As the basis for sustainable development is set, climate-related factors play an increasingly large role in the adaptation of the power generation and energy storage sectors.
Pumped storage hydroelectricity is the world’s largest contributor to grid energy storage. The main driver of its success is the fact that the impellers can operate as either a pump or a turbine, depending on demand. When demand is low, the excess capacity can be used
to pump water from a low-elevation reservoir to a higher one. During peak periods, water can be released from those high-elevation areas through the same turbomachinery component, working as a turbine, to produce electric power.
Designing components for challenging turbomachinery-based schemes, like the one described above, is a complex process that includes
the exploration of trade-offs: operating requirements, such as head/power at a given volume flow rate and rpm, need to be respected in both pump and turbine mode, and cavitation needs to be minimized while efficiency is maximized to reduce pump power usage and increase energy generation in turbine mode.
If you would like to learn more about the development of the process, you can explore more of its background by reading the papers that formed the basis of this article. They are: