Inspenet, September 6, 2023.
Empresas Públicas de Medellín (EPM) has announced the start of a pilot program aimed at generating renewable energy from aqueduct networks . In this project, valves have been installed in the conduction pipes of the El Dorado tanks, located in Envigado and La Estrella, in the municipality of the same name.
These have the ability to function as generating turbines . Darío Amar Flórez, Executive Vice President of New Business, Innovation and Technology at EPM, commented that this project represents an innovation, since it allows regulating water pressure and generating electricity through centrifugal pumps .
How will this pilot program be able to generate clean energy?
In summary, the kinetic energy of the water flow and the EPM aqueduct infrastructure are used to generate 100 KW of electricity in these two water tanks. This energy not only satisfies the operating needs of the infrastructure, but is also injected into the National Interconnected System (SIN) in the form of clean energy.
In addition, Jonathan Carvajal, a professional in the company’s water and sanitation business operations, highlighted that another advantage of the “pumps as turbines” project is that the necessary infrastructure is already available to carry it out.
“In addition, it requires equipment that is easy to obtain and maintain, with which we managed to generate energy to supply 16 stratum 4 homes with a single day of operation of these systems,” said the professional.
Throughout this year an evaluation of the results of this technology will be carried out. Subsequently, a feasibility study will be carried out that will cover the entire aqueduct system. The objective is to determine the feasibility of implementing this technology throughout the company’s network, which has 800 valves installed, with the potential to generate up to 6 MW of renewable energy.
The official from Empresas Públicas de Medellín emphasized that this new way of producing energy is aligned with the company’s energy efficiency and circular economy objectives. The water and its infrastructure are used to fulfill a double function: supply drinking water to the community and generate renewable electricity.