Innovative concept to help water industry's energy efficiency
A research project to generate renewable energy via water storage systems has been given £500,000 funding grant from the EU.
The research project is being carried out by Bangor University's School of Environment, Natural Resources & Geography (SENRGY) and Trinity College Dublin.
The researchers have found a way to use the water pressure within water storage systems to generate renewable energy which can be used by the water industry and sold to the grid.
The team will further investigate and develop small hydropower turbines that could be introduced within existing water treatment systems.
These could reduce the amount of energy used in the water supply process. This will enable the water industry to reduce its CO2 emission and to reduce the operating costs of supplying treated water.
Bangor University SENRGY Dr Prysor Williams who is leading the project said: "The water industry is very energy intensive. This project could help reduce its associated environmental impact and economic costs."
The researchers will be looking at how to capture the energy in break pressure tanks (BPTs), which reduce pressure when it becomes too high in the water flow.
Trinity College Dublin's Dr Aonghus McNabola said: "These BPTs are widespread, and present an opportunity to recover energy from water supply networks by means of a hydropower turbine system, producing electricity and improving the sustainability of the network without interfering with the water supply service."
The three-year project was awarded funds from the ERDF Ireland-Wales Programme with £246,000 allocated to Bangor University.
The project also gained the support of industry stakeholders in Wales and Ireland including Dublin City Council, Welsh Water, Dulas Ltd., Isle of Anglesey County Council, and Gwynedd Council. Alison Brown