Case Study: Hydroelectric Generation Employing the Water Distribution Network in Pato Branco, Brazil

Bruno Leonardo Alves da Silva, Jean-Marc S. Lafay, Fernando L. Tofoli, and Luiz Sílvio Scartazzini


distributed generation, microgeneration, renewable energy sources, water distribution systems


When operating by the action of gravity, forced-pipe hydraulic systems such as public water distribution, effluent treatment, and irrigation ducts can be used to generate electric power with low cost and reduced environmental impacts. In such cases, the use of water does not compromise neither the available sources nor the water quality. This work is supposed to determine the potential of the water supply and effluent treatment system for generating electricity in the city of Pato Branco, state of Paraná, Brazil. Such types of hydraulic systems are usually located in high elevations, demanding the use of regulator gauges to adjust the pressure at the final consumption point. The exceeding pressure can then be used for electric power generation by using the existing water feeder with significant reduction of implementation cost. The subject is of great interest, as demonstrated by several research works carried out in Europe, particularly those developed in Reunion Island, France and Portugal.

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