University Of Tasmania

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Design and performance evaluation of a pump-as-turbine micro-hydro test facility with incorporated inlet flow control

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 06:47 authored by Dean GiosioDean Giosio, Alan HendersonAlan Henderson, Walker, JM, Paul BrandnerPaul Brandner, Sargison, JE, Gautam, P
In the context of micro-hydro power schemes the initial cost of conventional Francis turbine units is often prohibitive. As such there is growing interest in pump-as-turbine (PAT) technology offering a more cost effective, yet still highly efficient, power generating alternative, finding uses in remote area power supply and energy recovery systems. However, the implementation of a PAT is highly problematic in terms of predicting the installed best operating point coupled with poor off-design performance due to the fixed geometry and absence of inlet flow control. In the current work a micro-hydro test facility and turbine unit is developed utilising a commercially available pump impeller together with a customised housing for incorporation of inlet flow control. Working initially from established PAT theory, this paper presents the design and performance testing of a hydraulic turbine unit suitable for use in rural micro-hydro, and energy recovery installations. Maximum efficiency of the unit was found to be 79%, marginally higher than that of the parent pump, while the off-design efficiency offered considerable improvement over previously published data of traditional PAT systems. The design provides a cost effective power generator in comparison to small scale Francis turbines, while providing a greater operational range than traditional PAT units.


Australian Research Council

Hydro Tasmania


Publication title

Renewable Energy








School of Engineering


Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd

Place of publication

The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Ox5 1Gb

Rights statement

Copyright 2015 Elsevier

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Hydro-electric energy