In water distribution systems, the substitution of regulating valves by pumps as turbines (PATs) is sustainable if the energy recovery balances the installation and maintenance costs, with a comparable and efficient reduction of the volume lost by leakage. Hence, the installation feasibility and regulation of a PAT require analysis of the introduced effects on the components of the energy, mass, and cost balances. In this paper these effects are explored by means of a case study, i.e., the water distribution system of Trondheim, Norway. Different hydraulic regulations of a PAT are analyzed to maximize the recovered energy, considering the daily variation of the system functioning conditions and the substitution of valves of different kinds, meaning a constant opening degree, a fixed value of pressure at a node of the system, and a control in time of the setting. A feasible solution for the Trondheim network is shown, consisting of the implementation of two twin PATs in parallel with a discontinuous functioning of one of them.
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