BMBF-Verbundprojekt KaWaTech Solutions

Work package WP 2: Water pumping and –distribution

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Sustainable water pumping concepts

Within the previous project KaWaTech a technical solution of adding hydropowered water pumping systems to existing hydropower stations (Supply Concept 1) has been already developed and implemented as a reference facility with a pumping capacity up to 1.5 million l/d. Furthermore, a concept study of enclosed pumping modules with energy production and water pumping units was developed in remote areas (Supply Concept 2).

Building on the results and findings obtained, the contents of WP2 are aimed for development a potential range of applications of photovoltaic-based pumping systems (Supply Concept 3) in remote areas (small settlements, farmsteads) that cannot be serviced by current supply systems or for which connections are economically untenable. The product developments are ideally combined proven standard components of the pumping manufacturer KSB AG, Frankenthal, with system modules modern photovoltaic technology. Within the course of the project, product implementation shall be carried out at selected locations.

In addition, flexible and robust structural solutions for a sustainable installation of the machineries have to be developed. Therefore, concrete recipes developed in the context of the previous project as well as encapsulation technologies are in utilization. Accompanying, extensive hydro abrasion analysis are carried out on site, which conduce further optimization of the encapsulation as well as the development of KIT designed testing facility for hydro abrasion processes to market maturity.

Natural and anthropogenic processes in the drainage basin can lead to an illegally high amount of suspended loads in pump systems, which can lead to reduced pump capacity or even extensive damage to machinery. As a result, self-sufficient operation of pumps at remote locations is currently not possible without continuous maintenance. The planned developing of blockage-resistant pumps by the industry partner KSB AG especially for the utilization of karst water is a task with high R&D requirements and high potential for exploitation.

Within the framework of the joint project KaWaTech Solutions provision is made for the resumption of operational support for the supply system Seo Ho (Supply Concept 1). The findings obtained in operational analysis shall contribute further to the development of the technological potential for replication.

The following research activities are planned within WP2 includes:

  • Evaluation of the application of photovoltaic-based pumping systems (PVPS) (Supply Concept 3)
  • Identification of possible locations in the project area and concept development for PVPS
  • Concept development and detailed planning for one or more pilot PVPS
  • Implementation and commissioning of pilot PVPS
  • Validation of hydro abrasion resistance of concrete encapsulations in field tests
  • Development of a test block and accomplishment of measurements for different types of pump blockages
  • Creation of a simulation model as well as an algorithm for the control and development of a  blockage-resistant pilot pump
  • Continuation of the operational analysis of the hydropowered water pumping system at the pilot facility Seo Ho with regard to pumping capacity, abrasion and resilience.


Adapted water distribution concept

Within the previous project KaWaTech an adapted water distribution concept for urban areas has already been developed and implemented to transport water from the pilot facility Seo Ho (Supply Concept 1) to the district capital Dong Van. However, the rural area of the project region is still confronted by significant deficits in water supply. In particular, heterogeneous settlement structure coupled with the limited unstable occurrence of water make developing a customised technical solution necessary, that enable controlled and equitable allocation and distribution of the available amount of water. For this purposes, it is necessary to take into account free-flowing canal and two-phase flow in addition to pressure flow. This results in innovative requirements for the planning basis and the features of valves. Due to the development of a robust, novel control valve the self-regulation operation of the facility is attained. A demonstration plant in the pilot zone is made for evaluation and optimisation as well as promotion the multiplication of this concept in further regions.

In the context of this solution the development of adapted materials for the construction of jointless free-flowing canals is made. Available materials and techniques in the project area are used for increasing the construction durability and prevention of water losses in the support process.

The planned steps for water distribution within WP2 include:

  • Development of an availability-oriented distribution concept for the rural area in the project region
  • Development of a robust control valve incl. evaluation under laboratory conditions
  • Development of adapted construction materials and techniques (i.a. for building jointless free-flowing channel)
  • Design planning of a pilot implementation of availability-oriented water distribution and supervision of the implementation work
  • Monitoring and evaluation of a pilot zone in the project area
  • Derivation of assessment and planning basis