Advanced Professional Training on "Pressure Control with Energy Production by PAT (Pump as Turbine) in Water Supply Networks"

September 11, 2017 — September 15, 2017


  • Armando Carravetta (Università di Napoli "Federico II", Napoli, Italy)

Pressure reduction in water supply networks is one of the key topics in hydraulic engineering. The benefits of pressure control are the containment of water leakages, reduced stress for pipelines and waterworks, and a better energy efficiency in water transportation. Pressure Reducing Valves (PRVs) are used to dissipate hydraulic energy and reduce pressure to the required value. The installation of micro and pico hydro power plants in substitution of PRVs could recover part of this energy.

PATs are commercial pumps used in reverse mode to generate energy. These devices are very reliable and inexpensive. The coordinator and the lecturers have performed extensive research activities on reverse pumps, covering the mechanical conditions, the design criteria for water supply networks, the mechanical reliability of the equipment, and the system life cycle.
The course is designed for advanced graduate students and for postdoctoral researchers across several engineering disciplines (e.g., Civil, Mechanical, Electrical), to provide participants with the tools and techniques to identify potential sites for PATs, to select the most reliable pump to be used at each site, to determine the best regulation mode for the power plant, and to address the life cycle performance of the system.

The followings paragraphs summarize the broad subtopic breakdown introduced by the course:

PAT Theory
The complete theory of pump working in reverse mode will be developed. A summary of the existing methodologies for pump selection to be used as turbines will be given. Lectures on PAT theory will be focused both on the PAT operating conditions, and on the industrial aspects for PAT design improvement.

Power plant location in water networks
The potentiality of small hydro power plant for pressure control in water supply networks will be fully analyzed. All aspects involved in power plant locations and the optimization of water network management will be considered, including energy production, reduction of water leakage through improved network control, and water network protection in case of power plant failure.

Power plant regulation modes
In water supply networks, PATs work under variable operating conditions for the daily and space variability of flow rate and available pressure head drop. The existing methods for PAT regulation will be explained and the objective functions in power plant design will be described.
Economic and environmental evaluation, resource assessment
The reduction of energy consumption for a sustainable use of natural resources is a real global challenge. The income from energy production is only one of the benefits of PAT diffusion. A methodology for the economic and environmental evaluation, and the resources assessment of the proposed technology will be provided.

Reliability and life cycle
As an effect of the variability of working conditions, the PAT could operate far from the machine’s best efficiency point, and many components could work with larger stress than in pump mode. The presence of suspended sediments could further affect the PAT life cycle. PAT reliability and its effect on power plant design will be fully analyzed.


See also