Augmenting grid stability through Low-head Pumped Hydro Energy Utilization & Storage (ALPHEUS)
Forskningsprojekt, 2020 – 2024

With a growing share of intermittent renewable energy sources grid stability can be maintained, and flexibility enhanced, by applying pumped hydropower energy storage. ALPHEUS will improve reversible pump/turbine (RPT) technology and adjacent civil structures needed to make pumped hydro storage economically viable in shallow seas and coastal environments with flat topography.

Three promising technologies will be considered:

●Shaft-driven variable-speed contra-rotating propeller RPT – avoiding guide vanes in a two-way device improves overall efficiency;

●Rim-driven variable-speed contra-rotating propeller RPT – rim driven configuration avoids the complexity of a shaft assembly, decreasing noise, vibrations, switching time, and maintenance costs;

●Positive displacement RPT – fish friendly and seawater-robust, low cost technology.

ALPHEUS plans stepwise development, starting by validating current assumptions in the lab and optimizing efficiency with numerical simulations. Based on results, two of these technologies will be chosen and functionality will be demonstrated for working models under realistic circumstances. Finally, a reasoned and quantified assessment of these two technologies will be delivered for further development into full scale prototype. Combining current state-of-the-art and expertise of the partners ALPHEUS expects to reach round-trip RPT efficiency of 0.7 to 0.8. Fatigue resistance of mechanical and civil installations will be addressed, which occur with switching between pumping and turbining modes within 90-120 seconds. ALPHEUS will address environmental aspects, including fish friendliness, scenery and land use, juxtaposed with the ability of decentralized pumped hydro storage to stabilize the grid over a range of timescales and therefore allow higher penetration of intermittent renewable energy supplies. This will result in a methodology for assessing potential sites for pumped low-head and ultra-low head energy storage.

EU Horizon 2020 contract number 883553.

Web page:


Håkan Nilsson (kontakt)

Chalmers, Mekanik och maritima vetenskaper, Strömningslära

Jonathan Fahlbeck

Chalmers, Mekanik och maritima vetenskaper, Strömningslära

Saeed Salehi

Chalmers, Mekanik och maritima vetenskaper, Strömningslära


Advanced Design Technology Ltd

London, United Kingdom

Blue Turbines


IHE Delft Institute for Water Education

Delft, Netherlands

Norges teknisk-naturvitenskapelige universitet

Trondheim, Norway

Technische Universität Braunschweig

Braunschweig, Germany

TU Delft

Delft, Netherlands

Universita degli Studi della Tuscia

Viterbo, Italy

Universität Stuttgart

Stuttgart, Germany

Universite de Pau et des Pays de L'Adour

Pau, France

Universiteit Gent

Gent, Belgium

Uppsala universitet

Uppsala, Sweden


Europeiska kommissionen (EU)

Projekt-id: EC/H2020/883553
Finansierar Chalmers deltagande under 2020–2024

Relaterade styrkeområden och infrastruktur

Hållbar utveckling




C3SE (Chalmers Centre for Computational Science and Engineering)


Innovation och entreprenörskap



Mer information

Projektets webbplats

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