The exploitation of water flows in collective irrigation networks is promising in view of enhancing renewable energy production in agriculture. To this goal, a simplified method to estimate the electricity production of small hydro power (SHP) plants integrated in existing irrigation systems is proposed. This method schematizes the water network by an “equivalent” system, consisting of a single pipeline with homogeneous diameter and material. The proposed method only requires as input data the altimetry and the maps of the irrigated areas instead of the materials and diameters of all the conduits of a common water network (often unknown by irrigation managers). The feasibility of the proposed method has been verified to size SHP plants in seven collective irrigation systems of Calabria (Southern Italy). This application has highlighted a mean error of 20% in estimating the SHP power with a more detailed model, previously developed by the same authors and verified in the same context; these estimates are more accurate for SHP plants not exceeding 150–175 kW of electrical power. These results suggest the applicability of the proposed method for feasibility studies or large-scale projects of small SHP plants.

Equivalent Small Hydro Power: A Simple Method to Evaluate Energy Production by Small Turbines in Collective Irrigation Systems

Zema D. A.
;
D’Agostino D.;Zimbone S
2018

Abstract

The exploitation of water flows in collective irrigation networks is promising in view of enhancing renewable energy production in agriculture. To this goal, a simplified method to estimate the electricity production of small hydro power (SHP) plants integrated in existing irrigation systems is proposed. This method schematizes the water network by an “equivalent” system, consisting of a single pipeline with homogeneous diameter and material. The proposed method only requires as input data the altimetry and the maps of the irrigated areas instead of the materials and diameters of all the conduits of a common water network (often unknown by irrigation managers). The feasibility of the proposed method has been verified to size SHP plants in seven collective irrigation systems of Calabria (Southern Italy). This application has highlighted a mean error of 20% in estimating the SHP power with a more detailed model, previously developed by the same authors and verified in the same context; these estimates are more accurate for SHP plants not exceeding 150–175 kW of electrical power. These results suggest the applicability of the proposed method for feasibility studies or large-scale projects of small SHP plants.
water network; irrigated area; electrical power; hydro-electrical energy; pipeline; hydraulic head; water
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12318/1215
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