Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hydropower Pumped Storage

Like peaking, pumped storage is a method of keeping water in reserve for peak period power demands. Pumped storage is water pumped to a storage pool above the power plant at a time when customer demand for energy is low, such as during the middle of the night. The water is then allowed to flow back through the turbine-generators at times when demand is high and a heavy load is place on the system.

The reservoir acts much like a battery, storing power in the form of water when demands are low and producing maximum power during daily and seasonal peak periods. An advantage of pumped storage is that hydroelectric generating units are able to start up quickly and make rapid adjustments in output. They operate efficiently when used for one hour or several hours.

Because pumped storage reservoirs are relatively small, construction costs are generally low compared with conventional hydropower facilities.

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