Technical Papers
Jul 13, 2019

Hydrodynamic and Structural Response Modeling of a Prototype Floating Membrane Reservoir System for Pumped Storage Hydropower

Publication: Journal of Hydraulic Engineering
Volume 145, Issue 9

Abstract

Hydrodynamic, computational fluid dynamics, and finite-element modeling were performed for a novel floating membrane reservoir system design for closed-loop pumped storage hydropower application. The conceptual design, which is now protected under an invention disclosure with a patent pending, offers a potential low-cost, low-impact solution to address the high costs, long investment return periods, and environmental disruptions encountered with traditional pumped storage development while offering modularity to enable replication at many locations. Prior to physical tests on a prototype, this paper documents the response analysis and modeling completed to simulate hydraulic and structural performance under different reservoir deployment and alignment arrangements, evaluate system stability, and refine the conceptual design. The results indicate that the excitation frequency from vortex shedding is at least an order of magnitude lower than the water sloshing frequencies in the reservoir, the structural natural frequency of the entire reservoir, and the vibrational frequencies of the side membranes, although excitation frequencies from other sources could cause mechanical resonance under certain conditions. To control destabilizing effects and prevent rocking motion and vibration, the authors conclude that the design could be improved by including a support structure around the floating reservoir, which could also provide floating-membrane containment, improve safety, and facilitate vertical reservoir movement. These conclusions, based on hydrodynamic and structural response modeling, help define specifications for upcoming full-scale prototype construction, deployment, and testing. This study demonstrates standard modeling technique application to an innovative design for which similar applications have not been previously evaluated. The refined design is capable of improving the scalability and feasibility of pumped storage hydropower in the United States and will be considered for commercialization following prototype testing.

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Acknowledgments

This paper is based upon work supported by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Water Power Technology Office, under contract number DE-AC05-00OR22725. The authors would also like to acknowledge and express their appreciation to multiple organizations for their review, comments, and support of this report, including the US Department of Energy, Shell Energy North America, Tennessee Valley Authority, Eldredge Modeling and Analysis, LLC., and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Disclaimer

This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise, does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.

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Information & Authors

Information

Published In

Go to Journal of Hydraulic Engineering
Journal of Hydraulic Engineering
Volume 145Issue 9September 2019

History

Received: Aug 30, 2018
Accepted: Feb 6, 2019
Published online: Jul 13, 2019
Published in print: Sep 1, 2019
Discussion open until: Dec 13, 2019

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Authors

Affiliations

Boualem Hadjerioua, F.ASCE [email protected]
Water Energy Technology Team Lead, Environmental Sciences Div., Oak Ridge National Laboratory, P.O. Box 2008, Oak Ridge, TN 37831 (corresponding author). Email: [email protected]
Thomas Eldredge
Associate Professor, School of Engineering, Liberty Univ., Lynchburg, VA 24515.
Hector Medina
Professor, School of Engineering, Liberty Univ., Lynchburg, VA 24515.
Water Resources Engineer, Environmental Sciences Div., Oak Ridge National Laboratory, P.O. Box 2008, Oak Ridge, TN 37831. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0755-9275

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