Hydropower is one of the oldest sources of renewable energy. Though water turbine designs have evolved from the watermills of the past, one thing remains true. Hydropower is extremely reliable, which is why it continues to be an excellent source of baseload energy in many communities.
Recently, hydropower has been used as a source for peak energy and energy storage. Engineers can pump water uphill, during times of low energy demand, so potential energy is stored for later use. Or, engineers can reduce, or cut, the flow of water from the reservoir to the turbine — effectively turning it on, or off, a few times a day.
However, water turbine designs are not optimized for the transient states mentioned above, they are designed for continuous use. This is why HydroFlex is developing water turbines that operate efficiently at different flow rates and under variable dynamic loads. This capability will accommodate peak demand for energy and complement power generated from other energy sources.