Tŷ Mawr Wybrnant micro-hydropower demo site is now operational

The first Welsh micro-hydropower demonstration site was constructed next to a historical farmhouse of Ty Mawr Wybrnant in North Wales with supports from National Trust. On the 9th of September, 2019, the demonstration site has been successfully connected to the grid and is currently fully operational.

In comparison to conventional hydropower installations, the novelty of this installation lies in its simplicity, low capital cost and replicability. Pump-as-Turbine, which consists of a standard water pump working in reverse as a turbine, is used in this demonstration site. Now, the demonstration site is generating in parallel to the grid through a type-approved G98 solar inverter. The measured power output from the inverter was in line with the expectations, reaching up to 4 kW with respect to a design output of 3.6 kW.

Intake weir along the Wybrnant river

Intake weir along the Wybrnant river

The outside view of the powerhouse

The outside view of the powerhouse

The interior view of the powerhouse (electric equipment connected to Pump-as-Turbine)

The interior view of the powerhouse (electric equipment connected to Pump-as-Turbine)

Welcome visitors from France!

(From left) Prof. Paul Coughlan, Mr Erik Zilliox ( GIP Campus E.S.P.R.I.T. Industries ), Prof. Philippe Mandin ( IRDL ) and Dr Aonghus McNabola at our laboratory.

(From left) Prof. Paul Coughlan, Mr Erik Zilliox (GIP Campus E.S.P.R.I.T. Industries), Prof. Philippe Mandin (IRDL) and Dr Aonghus McNabola at our laboratory.

Early this week, we welcomed two visitors – Prof. Philippe Mandin (IRDL) and Mr Erik Zilliox (GIP Campus E.S.P.R.I.T. Industries) from France. Following a number of email conversation over the summer, we arranged a laboratory tour to introduce our Micro-hydropower energy recovery technology using Pump-as-Turbine. The team and the visitors had a productive discussion on future collaboration on our shared research interest in Pump-as-Turbine.

Dŵr Uisce - A finalist for the SEAI Sustainable Energy Awards

Dŵr Uisce is shortlisted for the SEAI Sustainable Energy Awards

Dŵr Uisce is shortlisted for the SEAI Sustainable Energy Awards

We are celebrating wondering news that the Dŵr Uisce project is shortlisted as a finalist for the SEAI Sustainable Energy Awards. Our researchers have dedicated to create new technology which generates sustainable energy for our future generation.

Micro-hydropower energy recovery technology presents a simple and low cost method of reducing the energy consumption in the water supply system. It does so with pumps which are already ubiquitous in water pipe networks, and so are a reliable and easy to maintain solution. It is research based and has been demonstrated in practice. It is a winning entry as there are thousands of small scale potential sites in water networks in Ireland, and even more overseas. In Ireland the energy saving is estimated to exceed 2.1 MW. In Scotland, there are over 5000 such sites. This technology opens up these opportunities and creates a means for improved sustainability in an energy intensive process. Finally the device is remarkably effective, reducing the energy requirements of Blackstairs GWS by a quarter.

It is our honor to be shortlisted as a finalist for the SEAI Sustainable Energy Awards. If successful we would use the €10,000 as a grant to help install similar systems in other group water network sites in Ireland. We have engaged in hydropower feasibility assessments with >20 group water schemes to date and a further 20 have expressed interest in similar assessments. We would like to lead in the installation of a second pilot demonstration, perhaps in the west of Ireland where the rural water sector is more concentrated and outside of the Ireland-Wales Region. This bursary and second demonstrator would hopefully be a catalyst to the public water sector to start installing in-pipe hydropower in the public network, as by far the highest potential for energy saving exists there.