Potential Energy Recovery Using Micro‐Hydropower Technology in Irrigation Networks: Real‐World Case Studies in the South of Spain
Crespo Chacón, Miguel
Rodríguez-Díaz, Juan Antonio
García Morillo, J.
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The agricultural sector is one of the most significant users of water resources worldwide. Irrigation infrastructure has been modernized in recent years in many regions dedicated to agriculture, transitioning from traditional open channels to more efficient on‐demand pressurized irrigation networks. Despite improvements in water efficiency, the modernization of these networks has led to increased energy demands of the irrigation sector. Several negative consequences have been linked to additional energy requirements of pressurized networks, such as the rising cost of irrigation water. Other consequence linked has been the excess pressure in certain locations that could be used to recover energy from these networks. This paper studies the excess pressure in pressurized irrigation networks and the conversion of this excess to usable energy by means of small‐scale hydropower turbines. Twelve irrigation networks located in the South of Spain have been modelled, quantifying the excess pressure available for power generation. Over 1 GWh per annum has been estimated that could be recovered.