Hydropower, Storage

R&D Forum

Issue 6 and Volume 30.

EPRI releases white paper on energy storage technology

EPRI announces availability of “Electricity Energy Storage Technology Options – A White Paper Primer on Applications, Costs and Benefits.”

The white paper presents the results of a comprehensive analysis of energy storage applications and technology options and assesses the potential benefits and markets for energy storage in the U.S.

Among the technologies covered are pumped storage hydro, which provides storage to support system and renewables integration. The report says pumped storage is the most widely used form of energy storage, with more than 127,000 MW installed worldwide. EPRI says this is a mature technology with an efficiency of 80 to 82 percent that costs $2,500 to $4,300 per kW or $420 to $430 per kWh. The white paper indicates the primary constraints to this technology involve identifying developable sites, environmental permitting and available transmission assets.

The paper also says that the total U.S. energy storage market could be as large as 14 GW if systems could be installed for $700 to $750 per kWh and operators could monetize the estimated benefits.

— An executive summary and the full paper can be downloaded for free from EPRI’s website at http://my.epri.com/portal/server.pt?Abstract_id=000000000001020676.

Council recommends three ocean research projects

The Northwest Power and Conservation Council has recommended three ocean research projects for funding by the Bonneville Power Administration.

The projects, and organizations that will conduct them, are:

  • Ocean survival of salmonids, NOAA Fisheries;
  • Salmon shelf survival study, Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans; and
  • Coastal ocean acoustic salmon tracking, Kintama Research.

The council will determine the content of the specific recommendations for these projects. Part of the recommendation for each project will be to participate, in FY2012, in completing a coordinated synthesis report. There is no guarantee of funding after FY2012 for any project, pending review of the synthesis report.

The council’s Fish and Wildlife Committee recommends funding the first two projects through FY2012 to complete the synthesis work and one year of ongoing research. For the third project, the committee recommends funding in FY2012 to help complete the synthesis report but not conduct any research. In making this recommendation, the committee indicated this is an expensive research project that has already received six years of funding and research, it was intended to be a demonstration project but remains in the “proof of concept” stage, and it is focused on what is now a lower-priority issue of the delayed mortality effects of transportation vs. in-river migration.

Total funding for the three projects is US$3.26 million, with more than $2.1 million of this going to the first project.

In addition, the council calls for the project sponsors to jointly complete a comprehensive synthesis report on the research. The sponsors hope to complete this report by the end of 2011.

Work completed on AxialT research project

Scientists with Laval University in Quebec, Canada, have completed work on AxialT, the first project of the Consortium on Hydraulic Machines.

The project was centered on flow measurements in a turbine model at the LAMH Hydraulic Machines Laboratory and on numerical analysis performed by the partners and LAMH students.

The objectives of AxialT were to:

  • Develop customized measurement techniques of flows in the turbine model;
  • Confront classical and in-development numerical simulation approaches with reliable and precise experimental results; and
  • Gather knowledge to improve understanding of flows inside the turbine for different operating regimes.

Nine operating points were targeted to give information on partial load, the best efficiency and overload conditions. Three heads and seven flow rates were involved.

The results of this project include a detailed mapping of velocity fields from the inlet of the intake to the outlet of the draft tube. Thus, AxialT led to improvements in the dynamic behavior of the turbine, optimization of the power output and higher equipment reliability, says Claire Deschenes with Laval University.

AxialT ran from April 2007 to March 2011 and was supported by the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada through a Cooperative Research and Development Grant.

The next research project, implemented in May 2011, involves flow measurement for bulb turbines.

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