Pumps as turbines (PATs) in water distribution networks affected by intermittent service

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A hydraulic model was developed in order to evaluate the potential energy recovery from the use of centrifugal pumps as turbines (PATs) in a water distribution network characterized by the presence of private tanks. The model integrates the Global Gradient Algorithm (GGA), with a pressure-driven model that permits a more realistic representation of the influence on the network behaviour of the private tanks filling and emptying. The model was applied to a real case study: a District Metered Area in Palermo (Italy). Three different scenarios were analysed and compared with a baseline scenario (Scenario 0 – no PAT installed) to identify the system configuration with added PATs that permits the maximal energy recovery without penalizing the hydraulic network performance. In scenarios involving PAT on service connections, the specification of PAT operational parameters was also evaluated by means of Monte Carlo Analysis. The centralized solution with a PAT installed downstream of the inlet node of the analysed district, combined with local PATs on the larger service connections, proves to be the most energy-efficient scenario.

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