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Design and performance evaluation of a pump-as-turbine micro-hydro test facility with incorporated inlet flow control


Giosio, DR and Henderson, AD and Walker, JM and Brandner, PA and Sargison, JE and Gautam, P, Design and performance evaluation of a pump-as-turbine micro-hydro test facility with incorporated inlet flow control, Renewable Energy, 78 pp. 1-6. ISSN 0960-1481 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 Elsevier

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.renene.2014.12.027


In the context of micro-hydro power schemes the initial cost of conventional Francis turbine units is often prohibitive. As such there is growing interest in pump-as-turbine (PAT) technology offering a more cost effective, yet still highly efficient, power generating alternative, finding uses in remote area power supply and energy recovery systems. However, the implementation of a PAT is highly problematic in terms of predicting the installed best operating point coupled with poor off-design performance due to the fixed geometry and absence of inlet flow control. In the current work a micro-hydro test facility and turbine unit is developed utilising a commercially available pump impeller together with a customised housing for incorporation of inlet flow control. Working initially from established PAT theory, this paper presents the design and performance testing of a hydraulic turbine unit suitable for use in rural micro-hydro, and energy recovery installations. Maximum efficiency of the unit was found to be 79%, marginally higher than that of the parent pump, while the off-design efficiency offered considerable improvement over previously published data of traditional PAT systems. The design provides a cost effective power generator in comparison to small scale Francis turbines, while providing a greater operational range than traditional PAT units.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:micro-hydro, hydro power, pump-as-turbine, power generation
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Mechanical engineering
Research Field:Energy generation, conversion and storage (excl. chemical and electrical)
Objective Division:Energy
Objective Group:Renewable energy
Objective Field:Hydro-electric energy
UTAS Author:Giosio, DR (Dr Dean Giosio)
UTAS Author:Henderson, AD (Associate Professor Alan Henderson)
UTAS Author:Walker, JM (Dr Jessica Walker)
UTAS Author:Brandner, PA (Professor Paul Brandner)
ID Code:97971
Year Published:2015
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (LP110200244)
Web of Science® Times Cited:40
Deposited By:Engineering
Deposited On:2015-01-23
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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