Development of Dynamic Model of a Ternary Pumped Storage Hydropower Plant

Jin Tan, Vahan Gevorgian, Mark Jacobson, Zerui Dong, R. Nelms, Eduard Muljadi

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

10 Scopus Citations


Hydropower is the largest source of renewable energy in the United States. Pumped storage hydropower (PSH) is a hydropower plant that can generate power when it operates as a hydro turbine, and it can absorb power from the electric grid when it is pumping water from the lower reservoir to the upper reservoir. The conventional role of PSH is as an energy arbitrage: it sells power when the price of electricity is high (i.e., during peak hours of energy demand), and it is operated as a pump during times when the price of electricity is low (e.g., midnight to dawn). PSH is an important part in hydropower generation. Currently, the total installed capacity is approximately 22 GW. Recently, a new type of PSH was developed, called ternary PSH (T-PSH). T-PSH is a type of advanced PSH that is different from conventional PSH and adjusted-speed PSH. T-PSH uses a single generator rotating in one direction with two different runners connected to the same shaft (i.e., one is for pumping water, and the other is for generating power as a turbine). This paper presents the development of a dynamic model of T-PSH for power system analysis. T-PSH can be operated in three different modes: generating mode, pumping mode, and hydraulic short-circuit (HSC) mode. The three modes of operation will be presented in this paper. A new combined governor is developed to represent the HSC operation mode, which is a special mode for T-PSH. The power command is divided into two parts, and a distribution coefficient is introduced to regulate the transitions from one mode to the other. Simulation and validation results are presented to verify the performance of the governor model and the characteristics of T-PSH.

Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 26 Jun 2018
Event13th IEEE Conference on Industrial Electronics and Applications, ICIEA 2018 - Wuhan, China
Duration: 31 May 20182 Jun 2018


Conference13th IEEE Conference on Industrial Electronics and Applications, ICIEA 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 IEEE.

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5D00-71772


  • frequency response
  • hydraulic short-circuit
  • hydropower plant
  • PSH
  • pumped storage hydropower
  • ternary-PSH


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