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Energies 2016, 9(7), 534; doi:10.3390/en9070534

Numerical Analysis of the Transient Behaviour of a Variable Speed Pump-Turbine during a Pumping Power Reduction Scenario

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Padova, 35131 Padova, Italy
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Academic Editor: Juan Ignacio Pérez-Díaz
Received: 10 March 2016 / Revised: 27 June 2016 / Accepted: 27 June 2016 / Published: 12 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydropower)
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Abstract

To achieve the carbon free electricity generation target for 2050, the penetration of renewable energy sources should further increase. To address the impacts of their unpredictable and intermittent characteristics on the future electricity grid, Pumped Hydro Energy Storage (PHES) plants should enhance their regulation capability by extending their continuous operating range far beyond the optimal normal working range. However, for the time being, the regulation capability of the new generation of PHES, equipped with reversible pump-turbines due to their cost-effectiveness, is limited at part load by instability problems. The aim of this paper is to analyse, during a pumping power reduction scenario, the onset and development of unsteady phenomena leading to unstable behaviour. A 3D transient numerical simulation was carried out on the first stage of a variable-speed two-stage pump-turbine from full load to the unstable operating zone by progressively reducing the speed from 100% to 88% rpm corresponding to a power reduction from full load to about 60% with a ramp rate of 1.5% per s. Two three-dimensional unsteady flow structures affecting the return channel and the wicket gates at the end of the first stage were identified and their evolution in the power regulation scenario was fluid-dynamically and spectrally characterized to determine the fluid-dynamical conditions causing the head drop in the hump zone. View Full-Text
Keywords: pump-turbine; adjustable speed hydro plants; dynamic response of hydro plants; hydro plant control pump-turbine; adjustable speed hydro plants; dynamic response of hydro plants; hydro plant control
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Pavesi, G.; Cavazzini, G.; Ardizzon, G. Numerical Analysis of the Transient Behaviour of a Variable Speed Pump-Turbine during a Pumping Power Reduction Scenario. Energies 2016, 9, 534.

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