Funds saved by energy recovery tech donated to Wells of Life

EPS Group and Blackstairs Group Water Scheme have donated money to a water charity, Wells of Life, after some experimental tech installed by a team of researchers from Trinity in part of Ireland’s water network made financial savings. The donated funds will help provide clean water to a community in Uganda.

The researchers have been working on a collaborative, novel energy recovery project (www.dwr-uisce.eu). As part of the project, the team installed an experimental, low-cost turbine developed in Trinity in a treatment plant in Wexford just over 12 months ago, with the aim of shaving 20-25% of the cost of energy needed to treat water for over 1,000 households.

The system produced electricity at significantly lower cost than conventional turbines and reduced the carbon footprint of the water supply scheme, generating savings of over €2,000, which will be used by Wells of Life to fund much of what is needed to recondition a well in a rural community in Uganda that will provide 20 years of fresh water for 1,000 people.

L to R, front row: Mr Jerome O’ Sullivan EPS, Mr Aidan Jordan, Wells of Life Ireland, and Ms Dympna Skelton Blackstairs GWS; back row: Professor Paul Coughlan, Trinity, Mr Padraic Dunne, EPS, Mr David Logue, EPS, Professor Aonghus McNabola, Trinity, Ms Roisin Dowd Smith, NFGWS, Mr Oliver Neville, Blackstairs GWS, Mr Mike Reddy, Blackstairs GWS Committee, and Mr Benny McDonagh, LIT.

Aonghus McNabola, Professor in Energy & Environment in Trinity’s School of Engineering, highlighted the important role played by the positive responses given by all stakeholders throughout the duration of the project from idea conception to implementation and ongoing management of the energy recovery system. He said:

“A single ‘No’ to the idea would have made all of this impossible, but all parties have fully supported the D?r Uisce energy recovery project from the start. It is a great example of collaboration and partnership between industry, community and academia to achieve real sustainable technology innovation for the water sector.”

Paul Coughlan, Professor in Operations Management in Trinity Business School, added: “The initiative demonstrates mission extension in action. We see a non-profit community water organisation extending the geographical boundary of its mission to support a charity bringing safe drinking water to a community in another part of the globe.”

The Blackstairs Group Water Scheme, Pump-As-Turbine Pilot plant and the development of the technology and design software on which it relies was funded by the Interreg Ireland Wales Programme 2014-2020 through the D?r Uisce Project.