The aims of the project will be achieved through the execution of the following 4 objectives under the themes of Engineering, Environmental Impact, GIS, and Business/Collaboration :
Assessment of the technical and economic feasibility of applying hydropower in the water industry: using numerical and experimental models the energy recoverable from the identified sites will be assessed.
This section of the project will enable the development of design guidelines for implementation. Using the design guidelines developed a lab scale pilot plant will also be constructed to demonstrate the practical implementation of this technology to industry.
Assessment of the Environmental Impact of applying hydropower technology in the water industry: the environmental impact of this technology will be assessed in terms of the potential CO2 emissions saving, assessment of negative impacts, impacts on affordability of water supply in Ireland-Wales; Carbon foot-printing; and Life Cycle Assessment.
An EIA of the water supply process as a whole will be carried out at the outset which will then be compared with the impact of implementing this technology on the water supply networks – demonstrating the environmental impacts in full perspective of the overall process.
A feasibility study for the application of hydropower in existing Irish and Welsh water systems: information on the existing Irish and Welsh energy recovery sites using hydro turbines will be gathered from local authorities and other relevant sources in a geographic information system (GIS) database.
This database will enable us to assess the feasibility of sites around the Ireland-Wales region for energy recovery purposes e.g. location, layout, water flow/pressure, diurnal variations, national grid connectivity, energy potential. The results of the GIS study will be used to demonstrate the untapped energy potential in existing water supply networks in Ireland-Wales. This element of the project will also use the GIS database to determine the capital costs, operating costs & ROI for the development of the potential sites identified.
An exploration of the forms of collaboration among the key stakeholders: Local authorities, hydropower specialists and engineering researchers, as a group need to transition from a strategic network to a learning and transformational network of collaborators to implement this new technology in practice.
This section of the project addresses the business/organisational aspect of developing hydro energy recovery solutions and will develop a mode of collaboration with the active involvement of key stakeholders, reflect on its effectiveness in practice and develop guidelines for implementation by SMEs, Water Companies/Authorities for the widespread roll-out of this concept.