Innovative Concepts for Pumped Storage in Liberalized Grids

In liberalized grids the requirements for pumped storage equipment rise dramatically. The development of a controllable pump turbine to help stabilize the grid is one of the possible solutions to this problem.

Short Description





By the end of the year 2020 the energy supply of the EU shall be 20 % renewable. Wind power and photovoltaic power is said to have the biggest potential. Due to the nondispatchable wind and solar energy the energy storage becomes more and more important. The most economic way to store electrical energy is by means of pumped storage.

In liberalized grids the requirements for pumped storage equipment rise dramatically because it becomes more and more common to provide large quantities of balancing energy. Due to this reason the thermic and mechanic load on generators and turbines rises.

Contents and Goals

The development of a new thermic resistant insulation, better cooling methods and bearings within this project is an answer to above mentioned requests by the conventional motor-generators. Through the further development of the generators with variable speed the maximum efficiency of the energy conversion can be raised also in the pumping mode. A new design for pump-turbines follows the same goal on the hydraulic side. With the development of a new turbo generator for the application in compressed air systems we touch a technique with a promising future with high risks.


The hydraulic development is done in two steps: The basic development is done in the hydraulic test laboratory of VA TECH HYDRO in Linz. The further development and tests of a first commercial operation is done in a second step in a demonstration plant.

Expected results

The success on the highly competitive market of the pumped storage equipment is determined by the technical solution as well as the price. In this project we want to develop concepts that are superior in both the technical subtlety and the price.

Project Partners

Project management

Dr. Heinz Panholzer

Contact Address

Dr. Heinz Panholzer
Lunzerstraße 78, Postfach 28
A-4031 Linz
Tel.: +43 70 6987 8178