A new strategy to increase the energy efficiency in a water network exists using turbo pumps, which are systems consisting of a pump and a turbine directly coupled on a same shaft. In a turbo pump, the pump is fed by a turbine that exploits a surplus head in a freshwater network in order to produce energy for one system (wastewater) and reduce the excess pressure in another (drinking water). A pump as turbine (PAT) may be preferred over a classic turbine here due to its lower cost. The result of such a coupling is a PAT–pump turbocharger (P&P). In this research, the theoretical performance of a P&P plant is employed using data from a real water distribution network to exploit the excess pressure of a freshwater stream and to feed a pump conveying wastewater toward a treatment plant. Therefore, the P&P plant is a mixed PAT–pump turbocharger, operating with both fresh and wastewater. A new method to perform a preliminary geometric selection of the machines constituting the P&P plant has been developed. Furthermore, the plant operation has been described by means of a new mathematical model under different boundary conditions. Moreover, the economic viability of the plant has been assessed by comparison with a conventional wastewater pumping system working in ON/OFF mode. Therefore, the net present value (NPV) of the investment has been evaluated in both situations for different time periods. According to the economical comparison, the PAT–pump turbocharger represents the most economically advantageous configuration, at least until the useful life of the plant. Such convenience amounts to 175% up to a time period equal to 20 years.
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