Pump-Turbines in Conventional Hydropower Plants
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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OriginalversjonIOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science (EES). 2021, 774, . 10.1088/1755-1315/774/1/012064
This paper proposes an innovative approach to retrofit existing hydropower plants with suitable upper and lower reservoirs into pumped storage. The conventional methods are both comprehensive and expensive, mainly due to the increased risk of cavitation during pumping operation. In an existing facility, the installed runner is already sufficiently submerged to avoid unfortunate cavitation, but replacing the runner with a reversible pump-turbine demands an even further increase of the static pressure at the low-pressure side of the turbine. An alternative to the traditional method is discussed in this research by introducing the concept of a booster pump installed in the draft tube. Increasing the pressure at the inlet of the pump-turbine during pumping could eliminate the risk of cavitation and enable operation of a pumped storage plant without submerging the runner further. This conceptual paper discusses the motive for developing pumped storage and presents two uses for the proposed booster pump; eliminating cavitation and correcting for some of the necessary lifting head of the pump-turbine. The project is a part of the Norwegian Research Centre for Hydropower Technology, HydroCen.