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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

Division of Water Sciences, University of Applied Sciences Dresden (HTWD), PF 120701, D-01008 Dresden, Germany
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Water 2019, 11(7), 1403; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11071403
Received: 6 May 2019 / Revised: 19 June 2019 / Accepted: 29 June 2019 / Published: 9 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Efficiency of Bank Filtration and Post-Treatment)
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Abstract

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 (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. View Full-Text
Keywords: water supply; storage tank; drinking water hydropower; turbine; energy generation; renewable energy water supply; storage tank; drinking water hydropower; turbine; energy generation; renewable energy
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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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Voltz, T.J.; Grischek, T. 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. Water 2019, 11, 1403.

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