Experimental setup and methods for a novel low-head pumped storage system

Justus Hoffstaedt*, Ruben Ansorena Ruiz, David Schürenkamp, A. Jarquin Laguna, Nils Goseberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


To provide large-scale energy balancing and ancillary services to grids experiencing rapidly increasing shares of inverter coupled renewable generators, the ALPHEUS project proposes a novel low-head pumped storage system. Aimed at regions where traditional high-head pumped storage systems are not feasible due to topographic constraints, the system consists of a newly designed reversible pump-turbine (RPT), axial-flux motor-generators and a dedicated control and grid coupling. The main aims of ALPHEUS include increased round-trip efficiencies, reduced switching times between pump and turbine mode as well as faster power ramp rates. These directly aid its capability to contribute to grid stability. Aiming to validate simulation results investigating the hydrodynamic performance of the two novel contra-rotating runners making up the RPT as well as the axial-flux motor-generators, an experimental series is planned as part of ALPHEUS. For this, a scaled down version of the RPTs and motor-generators are assembled and connected to two open tanks serving as the upper and lower reservoir. Before the experiments are conducted, preparatory tests are performed to characterise Coulomb and viscous friction in the drivetrain, hydraulic losses in the conduit and other system components. This paper introduces the proposed low-head pumped storage system before presenting the developed experimental setup, approach and the aforementioned characterisation tests.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication7th Offshore Energy & Storage Symposium (OSES 2023)
PublisherIET Digital Library
ISBN (Print)978-1-83953-922-0
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventOSES 2023: 7th Offshore Energy & Storage Symposium - St. Julian's, Malta
Duration: 12 Jul 202314 Jul 2023


ConferenceOSES 2023: 7th Offshore Energy & Storage Symposium
CitySt. Julian's


  • design engineering
  • pumped-storage power stations
  • hydraulic turbines
  • hydrodynamics
  • turbines
  • pumps
  • power grids


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