This paper proposes the bi-objective optimization for the installation of pumps operating as turbines (PATs) in systems of transmission mains, which typically operate at steady flow conditions to cater to tanks in the service of water distribution networks. The methodology aims to find optimal solutions in the trade-off between installation costs and generated hydropower, which are to be minimized and maximized, respectively. While the bi-objective optimization is carried out by means of a genetic algorithm, an inner optimization sub-algorithm provides for the regulation of PAT settings. The applications concerned a real Italian case study, made up of nine systems of transmission mains. The methodology proved able to thoroughly explore the trade-off between the two objective functions, offering solutions able to recover hydropower up to 83 KW. In each system considered, the optimal solutions obtained were postprocessed in terms of long-life net profit. Due to the large geodesic elevation variations available in the case study, this analysis showed that, in all systems, the optimal solution with the highest value of generated hydropower was the most profitable under usual economic scenarios, with payback periods always lower than 3 years.
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