Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Singapore future underground reservoir more for implementing a pump storage hydroelectric system

Recently Environment and Water Resources Minister Vivian Balakrishnan announced that PUB is coducting feasibility study of constructing an underground drainage and water reservoir system. He justify the lack of storage space of water for constructing the underground reservoir.

In reality, the whole idea of implementing an underground reservoir is to build a pump storage hydroelectricity system. The lack of storage space in existing reservoir can be easily remedied by digging our existing reservoir deeper and need no underground reservoir.

Pump storage system is able to solve the problem of peak load in power consumption as well as power generation intermittency if we go into renewable energies such as solar or wind.

Generally peak power consumption occurs somewhere during noon while early morning 3 am sees the lowest power demand. Meanwhile  peak generation for solar power occur in noon while wind power is during night time.

Pump storage method stores energy in the form of gravitational potential energy of water, pumped from a lower elevation reservoir to a higher elevation. Low-cost off-peak electric power is used to run the pumps. During periods of high electrical demand, the stored water is released through turbines to produce electric power.

Typically, the round-trip energy efficiency of PSH varies in practice between 70% and 80%, with some claiming up to 87%.

Without pump storage, we will need to have back up generators for use in peak load. The provision of pump storage system will not only reduce power cost, but also spurs the development of renewable energy in Singapore.