Pump used as turbine – making optimum use of hydropower with KSB

A pump as turbine can use water power to its full potential. It generates additional energy in systems by reducing pressure differences or by making use of heads and water flow.

Pumps used as turbines Großansicht Versatile use of KSB pumps as turbines The principle of a pump used as turbine: When water flows back through a pump, the impeller will run in reverse and the pump will function as a turbine. The energy recovered from pressure differences, heads or flow can be fed back into the system or into the mains.

Applications for pumps used as turbines: 

  • Drinking water supply systems
    • Reduction of the pressure difference between elevated and low level tanks
    • Pressure control in closed-loop systems
    • Pressure drop of head
  • Use of residual water
    • Small hydropower stations
    • Pumped storage plants
    • Barrages/dams
  • Retrofitting of small hydropower systems
  • Industrial applications
    • Pressure control in cooling water circulation systems
    • Reduction of process water pressure

When to use pumps as turbines?

Using pumps as turbines makes particular sense if the investment costs for commercial turbines are too high and make energy recovery uneconomical.

This applies to:

  • Industrial systems (as an alternative to throttling devices, e.g. in cooling circuits)
  • Water transport systems (upstream of receiving water tanks)
  • Small hydropower stations
  • Chemical and petrochemical processes (e.g. gas scrubbers)
  • Bottom outlet of dams
  • Reverse osmosis

Benefits of a pump used as turbine compared with a conventional turbine:

Pumps used as turbines have lower life cycle costs and lower maintenance and repair costs.

They achieve high efficiencies.

  • Systems employing a pump as turbine to make use of pressure differences, heads or flow usually have an amortisation period of 3 to 5 years as investment costs are low and energy prices high.
  • The systems adjust to fluctuating water supply.
  • The total volume can be split among several pumps of identical or different sizes.
  • With a minimum of control as many modules can be operated economically as the system capacity requires.
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