A Trinity-led project on energy saving measures in the water sector, DWR Uisce, has been awarded €1.1 million in EU funding.
The DWR Uisce Project was originally established in September 2016, with €4.5 million in funding and the aim of improving long term stability of water sustainability in Ireland and Wales.
With new funding, this project will now run until February 2023. The project is run by research and academic staff in Trinity and Bangor University in Wales.
DWR uisce was proceeded by Hydro-BPT, which focused on quantifying the potential of energy recovery using micro-hydropower in water infrastructure. DWR Uisce was a natural progression in delivering and demonstrating potential identified by the Hydro-BPT project.
DWR Uisce stands for “Distributing our Water Resources: utilising integrated, smart and low carbon energy”. The project has delivered the installation of two demonstrations of micro-hydropower energy recovery in Ireland and Wales, reducing the energy needs of local treatment facilities by up to 20%. It has also accomplished two demonstrations of heat recovery from wastewater in Ireland and Wales. The project successfully reduced the kitchen hot water consumption at Penrhyn Castle by 25%.
The Programme is now entering Phase II of the project, which is aiming to build on achievements of low-cost micro-hydropower technology and heat recovery systems for wastewater networks. It is aiming to extend its’ systems to commercial kitchens and mines, while also looking for alternative sources of water heating.
This phase will also include an adaption of hydro-power turbine designed to help combat impacts of climate change and citizen science events focused on gathering date of links between energy use and water use.
Dr Aonghus McNabola, from Trinity, said: “This extension in funding for the Dwr Uisce project allows us to maintain the expertise built up in our team of 10 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers, and enables us to build on the work completed to date by pursuing the new research opportunities that have arisen in the first 3 years of the project.
McNabola added that the funding would allow them to create new opportunities to save energy in different markets of the water industry.
Dr Prysor Williams, from Bangor University, said: “The work within the Dwr Uisce project will help achieve those environmental and economic ‘win–wins’ that are so important for Wales to meet its ambitious targets in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Williams added: “Securing this EU funding extension is excellent news, and we are looking forward to bringing our expertise to a project that will have significant benefits for Welsh industries, consumers, and the wider environment.”