Optimization Strategy for Improving the Energy Efficiency of Irrigation Systems by Micro Hydropower: Practical Application
Analyses of possible synergies between energy recovery and water management are essential for achieving sustainable advances in the performance of pressurized irrigation networks. Nowadays, the use of micro hydropower in water systems is being analysed to improve the overall energy efficiency. In this line, the present research is focused on the proposal and development of a novel optimization strategy for increasing the energy efficiency in pressurized irrigation networks by energy recovering.
... energy recovering. The recovered energy is maximized considering different objective functions, including feasibility index: the best energy converter must be selected, operating in its best efficiency conditions by variation of its rotational speed, providing the required flow in each moment. These flows (previously estimated through farmers' habits) are compared with registered values of flow in the main line with very suitable calibration results, getting a Nash-Sutcliffe value above 0.6 for different time intervals, and a PBIAS index below 10% in all time interval range. The methodology was applied to a Vallada network obtaining a maximum recovered energy of 58.18 MWh/year (41.66% of the available energy), improving the recovered energy values between 141 and 184% when comparing to energy recovery considering a constant rotational speed. The proposal of this strategy shows the real possibility of installing micro hydropower machines to improve the waterenergy nexus management in pressurized systems.