Dŵr Uisce is shortlisted for the Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards

We are celebrating wonderful news that the Dwr Uisce project is shortlisted for the Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards under sustainability category. Researchers from both Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) and Bangor University (UK) have dedicated to create new technology which generates sustainable energy for our future generation.

A visit to the blackstairs Group Water Scheme intake location on 11/01/2018.

A visit to the blackstairs Group Water Scheme intake location on 11/01/2018.

The Dŵr Uisce project is a joint interdisciplinary collaboration between Trinity College Dublin and Bangor University. The project developed and demonstrated the installation of a low-cost hydropower turbine in a water treatment works in rural Ireland in 2019, reducing the net energy consumption of the water treatment process by 25%. The project included the development of design software to enable the use of standard centrifugal pumps operating in reverse as hydropower turbines for water supply networks. Pumps-as-turbines are up to 15 times less expensive than conventional turbines, making the use of hydropower in water supply systems economically viable. The software removes a barrier to the design of pumps to operate as turbines in practice for Engineering design teams or installers.

 The potential for hydropower energy production in water pipe networks in Ireland has been estimated at over 2.2 MW, but the lack of low-cost turbine technology has been a barrier to its exploitation. This project has removed this barrier and will enable numerous sites in water networks to replicate the energy savings and CO2 emission reductions achieved here.

(From left) Prof. Paul Coughlan, Daniele Novara, Dr Katrin Dreyer-Gibney, Dr Aonghus McNabola and Dr Himanshu Nagpal at the demonstration site in Blackstairs GWS, Wexford, Ireland before the technology demonstration

(From left) Prof. Paul Coughlan, Daniele Novara, Dr Katrin Dreyer-Gibney, Dr Aonghus McNabola and Dr Himanshu Nagpal at the demonstration site in Blackstairs GWS, Wexford, Ireland before the technology demonstration



Awarded €1.1m EU funding extension to further support our project

The Dŵr Uisce project has been awarded an additional €1.1 million in funding to extend its work on energy saving measures in the water sector. This project commenced in Sept 2016 aiming to improve the long-term sustainability of water supply in Ireland and Wales. The project has now been extended to February 2023.

 Led by Trinity College Dublin in partnership with Bangor University, the 6.5 year project has a total €4.5m in EU funds through the EU’s Ireland-Wales co-operation programme. The multidisciplinary project is led by Dr. Aonghus McNabola, Dr John Gallagher and Prof. Biswajit Basu in the School of Engineering, and Prof. Paul Coughlan in the Trinity Business School.

 To date the project has delivered the installation of two demonstrations of micro-hydropower energy recovery in Ireland and Wales, reducing the energy needs of local water treatment facilities by up to 20%

Micro-hydropower installations at Blackstair Group Water Scheme (Ireland)

Micro-hydropower installations at Blackstair Group Water Scheme (Ireland)

Micro-hydropower installations at Tŷ Mawr Wybrnant (Wales)

Micro-hydropower installations at Tŷ Mawr Wybrnant (Wales)

The project has also delivered two demonstrations of heat recovery from wastewater in Ireland and Wales, reducing, for example, the kitchen hot water consumption at Penrhyn Castle by 25%.

Penrhyn Castle, National Trust Wales

Penrhyn Castle, National Trust Wales

kitchen wastewater heat recovery system in Penrhyn Castle, National Trust Wales

kitchen wastewater heat recovery system in Penrhyn Castle, National Trust Wales

Phase II of the Dŵr Uisce project aims to build on achievements to date in the development of low-cost micro-hydropower technology and heat recovery systems for wastewater networks. The project will specifically develop:

·       Early detection systems for turbine failures and maintenance

·       Applications of micro-hydropower in mines 

·       Heat recovery systems for commercial kitchens with combined grease traps

·       Life cycle assessment of energy efficient wastewater treatment works and alternative sources of water heating

·       Adaption of hydropower turbine designs to cater for the impacts of climate change on their operation

·       Citizen science events focused on gathering data on the linkages between energy use and water use

 Dr Aonghus McNabola, from Trinity College Dublin, said: “This extension in funding for the Dŵr Uisce project allows us to maintain the expertise built up in our team of 10 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers, and enables us to build on the work completed to date by pursuing the new research opportunities that have arisen in the first 3 years of the project. The additional funding and time will help us to create new opportunities to save energy in different markets of the water industry.”

 Dr Prysor Williams, from Bangor University, said: “The work within the Dŵr Uisce project will help achieve those environmental and economic ‘win–wins’ that are so important for Wales to meet its ambitious targets in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Securing this EU funding extension is excellent news, and we are looking forward to bringing our expertise to a project that will have significant benefits for Welsh industries, consumers, and the wider environment.”

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.

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 ( GIP Campus E.S.P.R.I.T. Industries ) 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 (GIP Campus E.S.P.R.I.T. Industries) and Dr Aonghus McNabola at our laboratory.

Early this week, we welcomed two visitors from GIP Campus E.S.P.R.I.T. Industries (France) – Prof. Philippe Mandin and Mr Erik Zilliox. 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 wonderful 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.

Progress with the Welsh Dŵr Uisce hydro demo site

Good progress has been made during February at the Dŵr Uisce hydro demo site in Wales, powered by a low-cost 4 kW Pump As Turbine (PAT). The turbine has been chosen among thousands of off-the-shelf available pumps according to the site specifications thanks to the selection software developed by the team.

More details on the demo site can be found here.

Water intake already built and soon to be connected to the rest of the pipeline.

Water intake already built and soon to be connected to the rest of the pipeline.

Construction of the powerhouse.

Construction of the powerhouse.

Delivery of the last section of 6” pipeline.

Delivery of the last section of 6” pipeline.

Laying of the pipeline from the intake to the powerhouse.

Laying of the pipeline from the intake to the powerhouse.

Visit to Cully Automation Ltd.


 

http://www.cullyautomation.ie/

http://www.cullyautomation.ie/

Biswajit Basu (professor in Civil Engineering School at Trinity College Dublin), Irene Fernandes (Postdoctorate of our project) and Nilki Weerawardana (PhD researcher in Smart water networks control) visited Cully Automation in Leixlip, Ireland.

Cully Automation Ltd is an innovative company which offers a wide range of services from design and installation of primary measurement equipment to large scale process automation. They work closely with Irish water in remotely monitoring water networks for any leakage or anomalies.

 David Cully (Operations Director) took the Dwr Uisce team on a visit to see their existing monitoring water networks and leakage reducing technologies. Cully provided us with great insights on their operations management, and we also discussed how we can collaborate further through the Dwr Uisce project.

 At Cully’s facilities there are test networks with predefined leaks. In her PhD research, Nilki plans to implement new control algorithm that can be deployed and tested at Cully’s water networks to see if leakage reduction occurs. The deployment of Nilki’s new algorithms is scheduled to happen at the end of 2019.

IMG_4232 (1).jpg

David Cully and Dwr Uisce team discussed about the potential for future joint funded projects. William Lynch from Cully Automation pitched at the 2018 Dwr Uisce conference and made contacts through our smart specialisation cluster. This industry academic collaboration is very promising for both Trinity College Dublin and Cully Automation and we are very happy to have them on board!

Work in progress at the Dwr Uisce hydro demo site in Blackstairs, Co. Wexford (Ireland)

Despite the blanket of snow that fell on site by the beginning of February, works on the Irish Dwr Uisce hydro demo site are progressing as planned. The scheme will be powered by a 4.3 kW Pump-As-Turbine fed by the incoming pressurized raw water entering the treatment works, and is expected to cut the energy consumption of the works by 20-25%. More details available here.

Below are a few suggestive pictures taken on 1/2/2019 showing the progress of the work.

The turbine and generator have been delivered at the site and are ready to be installed.

The turbine and generator have been delivered at the site and are ready to be installed.

A view of the concrete pad on which the turbine will lay.

A view of the concrete pad on which the turbine will lay.