Pumped storage hydroelectricity is a type of hydroelectric power generation used by some power plants for load balancing. Pumped storage reservoirs aren't really a means of generating electrical power. They're a way of storing energy so that we can release it quickly when we need it.

This has little effect on landscape and there is no pollution or waste on the other hand it is expensive to build and once it’s used you can’t use it again until the water in pumped back up.

Pumped Hydro Energy Storage

Pumped hydro storage is type of hydro power plant that is used to balance out the load of a thermal power plant. During low load, the pumped storage plant draws excess energy from thermal power plant to pump water to a higher level.

When the load demand rises above the thermal power plant capability, the pumped storage runs the water from the higher level to lower level through a turbine to produce electrical energy and support the thermal power plant.

 

Pumped Hydro Energy Storage

At times of low electrical demand, excess generation capacity is used to pump water into the higher reservoir. When there is higher demand, water is released back into the lower reservoir through a turbine, generating electricity. Reversible turbine/generator assemblies act as pump and turbine. Nearly all facilities use the height difference between two natural bodies of water or artificial reservoirs.

Pure pumped-storage plants just shift the water between reservoirs, while the "pump-back" approach is a combination of pumped storage and conventional hydroelectric plants that use natural stream-flow. Plants that do not use pumped-storage are referred to as conventional hydroelectric plants; conventional hydroelectric plants that have significant storage capacity may be able to play a similar role in the electrical grid as pumped storage, by deferring output until needed.

Pumped Hydro Energy Storage

The pumped storage technique is currently the most cost-effective means of storing large amounts of electrical energy on an operating basis, but capital costs and the presence of appropriate geography are critical decision factors.

Pumped Hydro Energy Storage

This system may be economical because it flattens out load variations on the power grid, permitting thermal power stations such as coal-fired plants and nuclear power plants that provide base-load electricity to continue operating at peak efficiency. However, capital costs for purpose-built hydro storage are relatively high.

Pumped Hydro Energy Storage

Along with energy management, pumped storage systems help control electrical stability. Thermal plants are much less able to respond to sudden changes in electrical demand, potentially causing instabilities. Pumped storage plants, like other hydroelectric plants, can respond to load changes within seconds thus avoiding any such instabilities.

Pumped Hydro Energy Storage

The first use of pumped storage was in the 1890s in Italy and Switzerland. In the 1930s reversible hydroelectric turbines became available. These turbines could operate as both turbine-generators and in reverse as electric motor driven pumps.

The latest in large-scale engineering technology are variable speed machines for greater efficiency. These machines generate in synchronization with the network frequency, but operate asynchronously (independent of the network frequency) as motor-pumps.

Pumped Hydro Energy Storage

The first use of pumped-storage in the United States was in 1930 by the Connecticut Electric and Power Company, using a large reservoir located near New Milford, Connecticut, pumping water from the Housatonic River to the storage reservoir 230 feet above.

Pumped Hydro Energy Storage

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