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Investigating Energy Flow in Water-Energy Storage for Hydropower Generation in Water Distribution Systems


Quantifying excess energy using an energy balance model is the key to designing and operating an energy-efficient water distribution system (WDS). Excess energy, which can be recovered instantly or stored in a water-energy storage is the basis to estimate hydropower potential in the system. For a given WDS with its demand, how the excess energy can be managed efficiently to design a water-energy storage to maximize hydropower generation is the focus of this paper. A single-objective optimization model has been developed to optimize the dimensions for up to six water-energy storages for maximizing hydropower generation while minimizing the pumping energy. While the ratio of total energy recovered to total pumping energy is found to be about 40% for all water-energy configurations, the recovered specific energy ranges from 0.116 kWh/m3 to 0.121 kWh/m3 showing the potential use of WDS as an energy storage. Results show that hydropower generation increases with the increase of number of storages up to a certain number representing the constraints of constant drinking water demand and storage dimensions. In-pipe turbines with pump operation for minimizing pumping energy can offer the optimal solution for WDS energy management. A higher number of storages with in-pipe turbines offers uniformity in pressure distribution resulting increase in system robustness.

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This manuscript has been co-authored by employees of the California State University Fresno and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, managed by UT Battelle LLC. This research was supported in part by an appointment to the HERE program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

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Correspondence to M. Fayzul K. Pasha.

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This manuscript has been co-authored by employees of the California State University Fresno and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, managed by UT Battelle LLC. This research was supported in part by an appointment to the HERE program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

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Fayzul, M., Pasha, M.F.K., Weathers, M. et al. Investigating Energy Flow in Water-Energy Storage for Hydropower Generation in Water Distribution Systems. Water Resour Manage (2020).

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  • Hydropower
  • Water Energy Storage
  • Design Optimization
  • Water Distribution Systems