The potential energy of the water in Water Distribution Networks (WDNs) usually exceeds the amount needed for delivery and consumption and, at the present time, it is mainly dissipated through Pressure Reducing Valves (PRVs) or Open Water Tanks. The present study suggests the use of a new energy-producing device, a Cross-flow turbine with positive outlet pressure named PRS (Power Recovery System), which can provide the same service as PRVs and water tanks, with additional significant hydropower production. After a short presentation of the PRS, the management rules of the proposed device are laid out, according to two possible modes. In the ‘passive’ mode, the piezometric level downstream of the turbine is fixed at the sought after value, in the ‘active’ mode, the discharge is regulated according to the required value. The design criterion is then presented, based on a simple relationship linking dimensionless numbers. A PRS is finally designed for a typical water distribution network, serving the city of Palermo (Italy). The resulting cost-benefit analysis is compared with a similar one carried out in previous work for a regulation system based on the use of a Pump As Turbine (PAT). The comparison shows the improvement obtained by the use of the PRS, consisting of higher energy production, as well as lower construction and installation costs.
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