- freely available
Water 2017, 9(2), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9020097
1. Hydropower Generation
2. Energy Recovery in Water Networks
2.1. Large Hydropower
2.2. Small Hydropower
- Power plant in flow or run-of-river: This system has no regulation reservoir and only takes advantage of the hydraulic head when the flow circulates. In mountain areas, with medium heads, the flow is diverted through a weir and a penstock carries the flow to the power house. If the topography does not allow it, the hydraulic head must be created by building a higher dam.
- Power plant at the foot of a dam: The flow is regulated by a reservoir. In the case of small hydropower, reservoirs or dams are used to ensure project viability.
- Power plant in water distribution network: The distribution network is used to take advantage of available pressure or kinetic energy, depending on the system characteristics.
2.3. Type of Hydraulic Machines
3. Micro and Pico Hydropower Solutions
3.1. Energy Recovery in Open Channel Networks
3.2. Energy Recovery Water Pipe and Irrigation Systems
3.3. Strategies for Sustainability and Energy Efficiency in Pressurized Water Networks
3.3.1. Pumped Water Systems
3.3.2. Gravity Water Systems
- Recovery systems with less installed power, called mini and pico hydropower plants. These energy recovery systems appeared due to the need to replace waste or non-renewable energy devices with renewable energy solutions. The building of large hydropower plants has been maximized in different developed countries and the development of new large hydropower plants is currently limited due to environmental and social factors. However, the experience in these facilities (i.e., large and small hydropower) has contributed to the development of new recovery systems in pressurized water networks. The most important transfer has been advances in possible recovery machines and improvement in the efficiency of impellers and in water pipe systems as a whole.
- The description of machines used in different hydropower plants (i.e., pressurized and open channel flows) has shown that on the one hand, classical machines cannot directly be used or scaled to pico hydropower plants because the adaptation of flow and head presents some difficulties in terms of viability. In contrast, similar or adapted machines can be developed based on classical machines (e.g., Francis turbine vs. radial and mixed PATs; axial turbine vs. tubular propeller or axial PATs). The development of new adapted machines and improvement in the efficiency of the current ones are fundamental challenges for increasing the installation of recovery energy systems in water pipe networks in the near future.
- For energy recovery in pico hydropower plants, the PAT is currently the most successful machine to be adapted to these systems, according to previous studies and installed pilot plants. The main positive aspects of these machines are that: (i) the installation of a PAT allows the replacement of a PRV to dissipate excess flow energy; (ii) the PATs’ efficiency values vary between 0.40 and 0.70, operating in reverse mode; (iii) theoretical studies can be developed with the current technology (e.g., computational fluid dynamics (CFD)) based on the classical theory of hydraulic machines (i.e., Euler’s Theorem), for comparison with existing experimental tests; and (iv) they have low investment costs and a high number of available machines. These advantages allow the installation of these machines in water pipe systems to be promoted. The main aspects negative of PATs are related to their low efficiency when operating outside their best efficiency point. Operation with different flows can be solved by the development of new regulation techniques (e.g., variable operation strategies (VOS)) with electronic regulation. The positive resolution of this aspect is a crucial point for expanding use of PATs in water distribution networks. Issues related to the use of the generated energy for self-consumption may include storage in batteries and integrating this renewable energy in a similar manner as other supplementary sources (e.g., solar and wind).
- Different case studies have been developed using specific software (e.g., EPANET and WaterGEMS), which have been combined with optimization methodologies to maximize the recovered energy. Future simulations should take into account the integration of VOS as well as the variation of the machine efficiency with the rotational speed. These simulations should consider discretized demand over time to improve the analyzed energy values because the majority of studies only consider the mean demand value or modulation curves. The development of a specific methodology to determine this variation of flow over time in water supply networks is crucial to improve the fit between theoretical and real values of recovered energy. Regarding the software used, it is necessary to implement operation rules for these machines in specific algorithms. This implementation is the key point in the development of optimized techniques, making possible studies similar to those with water pump systems. The primary need is for correct machine selection and establishment of the rotational speed as a function of the flow, maintaining the maximum efficiency at each operation point of the machine.
Conflicts of Interest
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|Reduction of leaks, decreasing the pressure in water supply systems and increasing the efficiency||[57,60,80,82,84,87]|
|Proposal to use adapted machines (PATs and tubular propeller) in water supply systems to reduce the pressure||[55,57]|
|Description and operation of a PAT with a review of available technologies||[56,64,67,75,76]|
|Performance and modeling PAT||[56,58,61,65,85]|
|Installation of recovery systems in water supply networks||[59,79]|
|Implementation of simulations to determine the theoretical recovered energy in water supply and irrigation systems||[26,74,77,86,106,107,108]|
|Design of variable operating strategies to maximize the recovered energy||[59,60,62,84]|
|Economic cost of implementing recovery systems in water supply and irrigation networks||[8,16,64,84]|
|Policies and analyses to help the development of rural areas||[41,58,68,69,70,71,72]|
|Pilot plants built in water supply networks||[89,90,91,92]|
|Optimization to maximize recovered energy in water supply systems|||
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