Researchers get €500k to fund water supply tech development

8 Jun 2011

A new energy-efficient water supply technology is to be developed by researchers from Trinity College Dublin and Bangor University with the help of €500,000 in EU funding.

The project aims to reduce the overall energy consumption of the water supply process by utilising excess pressure in the system to produce electricity to be used locally or sold back to the grid.

It also aims to reduce the CO2 emission associated with water supply and provide the water supply industry with a mechanism to reduce the operating costs of supplying treated water.

“Potentially, this new technology could result in the reduction of water supply/metering charges for individual customers with a direct positive impact on households financially,” explained Dr Aonghus McNabola of Trinity’s School of Engineering.

The Hydro-BPT project

The researchers intend to develop new hydro break pressure tank technology (Hydro-BPT), which would recover energy from water supply networks by means of a hydro-power turbine system. This would produce electricity and improve the sustainability of the network without interfering with the water supply service.

“From a business and management research perspective there are two challenges – the first is how to build and to sustain a network of partners which can exploit this opportunity; the second is how to establish a venture to commercialise the research findings,” said Prof Paul Coughlan of Trinity’s School of Business.

The Hydro-BPT Project team has been awarded more than €500,000 in part funding by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Ireland–Wales Programme (INTERREG 4A).

The project has also gained the support of numerous industry stakeholders who sit on the project steering committee, namely Dublin City Council, Welsh Water, Dulas Ltd, Isle of Angelsey County Council, and Gwynedd Council.