Julian Hunt

Julian Hunt researches the implementation of seasonal-pumped-storage plants to improve energy and water management.

In order to maintain greater control over the country's energy and water resources and reduce vulnerability to changes in climate, this postdoctoral research studies the Seasonal-Pumped-Storage (SPS) potential in Brazil, and considers the optimization of its integration with hydroelectric dams in cascade downstream to increase overall hydropower generation. 

Seasonal-Pumped-Storage (SPS) presents a solution for storing energy and water in daily, weekly, yearly and multi-yearly cycles. It stores potential energy and water when there is excess flow in the river, or when there is excess energy in the grid, by pumping water from a storage reservoir in a major river to a large upper reservoir in parallel to the river. SPS requires a relatively small flooded area, because the level of the dam can vary considerably–more than in conventional dams. 

There are currently two main strategies for reducing the intermittence from wind and solar electricity generation sources and variations in hydropower generation. These are natural gas based generation and storing energy with SPS. Each technology has benefits for different scenarios, but SPS emits less CO2 than natural gas based electricity generation. Apart from storing energy, SPS also stores large quantities of water, which can improve a country’s water supply security. 

In addition to the above, this research evaluates the possibility of using pumping capacity to transpose water to watersheds suffering from water stress, using conventional hydropower reservoirs as waterways, connecting Brazil with its rivers, and for other activities that benefit from the multiple uses of water. 

More information

Funding: CAPES (Brazilian Federal Agency for Support and Evaluation of Graduate)

Nationality: Brazilian

Program: Water, Energy, and Risk and Resilience Programs

Dates: March 2017 - present

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Last edited: 16 July 2019


Aleksandra Cofala

Postdoc Coordinator & YSSP Administrative Assistant Post Doc - Capacity Development and Academic Training Unit


Postdoctoral research at IIASA

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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