Microturbines at Drinking Water Tanks Fed by Gravity Pipelines: A Method and Excel Tool for Maximizing Annual Energy Generation Based on Historical Tank Outflow Data

Thomas John Voltz, Thomas Grischek
2019 Water  
Wherever the flow of water in a gravity pipeline is regulated by a pressure control valve, hydraulic energy in the form of water pressure can instead be converted into useful mechanical and electrical energy via a turbine. Two classes of potential turbine sites exist—those with (class 1, "buffered") and those without (class 2, "non-buffered") a storage tank that decouples inflow from outflow, allowing the inflow regime to be modified to better suit turbine operation. A new method and Excel tool
more » ... thod and Excel tool (freely downloadable, at no cost) were developed for determining the optimal hydraulic parameters of a turbine at class 1 sites that maximize annual energy generation. The method assumes a single microturbine with a narrow operating range and determines the optimal design flow rate based on the characteristic site curve and a historical time series of outflow data from the tank, simulating tank operation with a numerical model as it creates a new inflow regime. While no direct alternative methods could be found in the scientific literature or on the internet, three hypothetically applicable methods were gleaned from the German guidelines (published by the German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water (DVGW)) and used as a basis of comparison. The tool and alternative methods were tested for nine sites in Germany.
doi:10.3390/w11071403 fatcat:pfplytyxincebahqms4xakqpmq