Green World Trust
Energy - multi-purpose reservoir

The multi-purpose reservoir.

In many parts of the United Kingdom we have reservoirs which are used solely for the purpose of storing water for our consumption. Some of these could also be used to provide electricity without losing their storage function and without usurping huge additional areas of land.

This can be accomplished in one of two ways. Where the existing dam has no great height,† by building second, higher Dam further back from the existing Dam, toward the† water source and incorporating turbines within it. This would allow the water to generate power and still be retained in the lower area. Where there is sufficient height in the existing dam it would be necessary to build a smaller dam below the existing one to create a storage pool.

Using the Dinorwic sytem, the power generated can be fed into the grid during the times when consumer demand is high and, when consumer demand drops the power generated can be used to pump the water back into the upper area. The upper area would also receive input from itís usual water source/s to help replenish any losses.

On smaller and low-lying reservoirs the same principle can be employed to generate sufficient electricity to power the pumps and equipment, thus reducing the demand on the grid and freeing up power for other purposes.


  Diagram A.                                           Picture A.                               Picture B.

Diagram A illustrates the principle in simplified form. Pictures A & B illustrate the amount of potential power that is, at present, going to waste.

It is even possible, in some areas, to construct a series of dams, each of which would contain generators to provide electricity. Thus re-using the† stored energy in the water many times. The water in the lowest reservoir then being pumped back to the highest to assist in maintaining the level.

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