Instabilities and influence of geometric parameters on the efficiency of a pump operated as a turbine for micro hydro power generation: A review

Review paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 9, Issue 4, 1080321
Jonathan Graciano-Uribe1 , Jorge Sierra1, Edwar Torres-Lopez2
1 Department of Mechatronics Engineering, Instituto Tecnológico Metropolitano, Medellín, Colombia
2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia


Compared to a traditional turbine (Kaplan, Francis, Pelton), pumps operated as turbine are a good alternative for micro hydroelectric power plants thanks to their low cost and easy availability. This paper presents a review of the most challenging aspects of the pump as turbine: prediction and improvement in turbine mode. First, an explanation of the theory of the pump as turbine focused on the functioning, types of pumps, selection criteria and performance predictions as shown in the literature, giving also methodologies and details on the pump as turbine selection. Afterwards, the literature shows the instabilities produced by the operation of the pumps on inverse mode, which generates S-shape curves and cavitation. Finally, as the main focus of this paper, aspects of efficiency produced by geometric parameters were discussed. Current trends and future scope for further improvement and implementation of pump as turbine are also discussed.

Keywords: Pump as turbine, micro hydropower plant, geometric modifications, performance.

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