Dept. of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering
Hydropower energy recovery
Keywords: Micro Hydropower , Water Supply Systems, Hydraulic Turbines, Energy Recovery.
Energy and water are basic resources whose availability and quality are strictly connected to human lifestyle and development of society. Modern integrated water management systems are characterized by substantial requirements for electricity in order to pump, treat, store, monitor and transport water. Therefore, moving towards less energy intensive, CO2-free, smart and reliable future water supply systems is a vital challenge which requires new knowledge, expertise, investments and development of favorable policies.
One method to improve the sustainability of the water industry is the recovery of energy in water pipe networks using Micro-Hydropower (MHP) turbines at points of excess pressure in the system, to exploit potentials that would otherwise be dissipated. However, little knowledge and expertise is available on such small turbines with respect to the great achievements made in the field of medium-to-big size hydropower converters.
Within the framework of Dŵr Uisce programme, my contribution as a Ph.D. student at Trinity College Dublin falls into three interrelated areas of research:
- Development of novel Micro-Hydropower turbines designed to be a low-cost solutions to the specific needs of the water distribution sector, following up the previous work carried out in the HydroBPT project. The desk study and lab-scale evaluation of new MHP converters will be complemented by Business Case & Business Plans creation in collaboration with industrial partners in order to bring such systems closer to market;
- Design, supervision of installation and monitoring of two full-scale Hydropower demonstration plants to be built in existing water networks of Ireland and Wales;
- Delivery of design guidelines and decision support systems to enable future development and implementation of such technology.