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Pumps can be used as turbines to generate low-cost electricity from existing pipe systems with no associated environmental impact.

Hydropower energy recovery is an effective response to rising energy prices. SAER has an extensive product range that can be used as pump as turbine (PAT): small and medium-scale modular hydropower generating sets suitable for sites up to 500+ kilowatts of nominal power.

Pumps used as turbines can transform the surplus hydraulic energy of water into electricity and the newly generated electricity can be self-consumed or exported to the grid. With low investment and maintenance costs, pumps as turbines (PAT) allow the recovery of the energy from existing pipe networks and achieve considerable energy savings.

Instead of a specifically designed conventional turbine, SAER proposes a standard water pump designed for reverse operations, which is easy to maintain and offers a low lifecycle cost. This technology allows water-intensive organisations (e.g. water, irrigation, mining companies) to conveniently exploit an untapped energy source in a cost-effective way. Due to the use of existing infrastructure, all of this can be done with negligible environmental impact.

How?

PATs are suitable for applications in existing pipe systems where water pressure needs to be reduced or where water flows by gravity into a reservoir.

Competitive advantages

  • Short investment return time, especially in the presence of high energy prices
  • The turbine is optimised to operate in a reliable and fail-safe way
  • Easy maintenance, with spare parts readily available
  • Real-time information: a complete telemetry system can be supplied for real time monitoring
  • SAER’s PATs are made in Italy with a quick lead time with a wide choice of performances and design configurations to fit your system

Where?

PATs can be installed on either man-made water networks (e.g. drinking water or irrigation networks) and natural ones (rivers, lakes); next to the water supply of underground mines; or at the outfall of wastewater treatment plants or in pressurised irrigation pipelines, etc.

Due to the different materials available in the SAER range, from cast iron to super duplex, several kinds of liquids may be handled.

Case study: pilot energy recovery installation at a mine site

Pictured is a successful installation recently designed by SAER partner Easy Hydro.

Head: 210m
Flow: 22L/s
Maximum output: 30kW
Annual generation: 200MWh

The PAT has been installed in parallel to an existing pressure reducing station on a DN 150 pipeline carrying cooling water from the surface into the depths of the mine.

The turbine location is 300m underground. Instead of just dissipating the water pressure as heat and noise via the pressure reducing valves, the E-TMZ multistage turbine is generating power, which helps the mine operator to reduce the electricity import from the grid.

This sponsored editorial is brought to you by SAER. For more information about the project, visit easyhydrosolutions.com.

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