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Water utilities, service companies and researchers have been focused on improving the energy efficiency of water supply systems using numerous approaches in the recent past. This is principally driven by the need to reduce cost and environmental impacts, as well as to meet certain emissions or energy use targets.
One method to reduce the net energy consumption in water supply and distribution networks is through the incorporation of small- or micro-hydropower turbines at points of excess pressure within the pipe network.
Water networks are designed using a number of criteria, including minimum and maximum pressure. Too high pressure increases the risk of burst pipes and water leakage losses. A Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) or Break Pressure Tank (BPT) is often installed in a water network where the pressure in pipelines becomes too high. This may arise where large drops in elevation occur producing an excessively large static pressure, which can then be reduced by a PRV or BPT to maintain pressure within the desired limits, as illustrated by Figure 1.
This reduction in pressure also results in a loss of energy from the system, which may be captured by using an appropriate hydropower technology.
In 2017/18 this committee aims to highlight the potential for energy efficiency improvements using this method in water networks. We also aim to highlight the barriers and bottlenecks which may hinder the exploitation of micro-hydropower in water networks in practice, including technical and non-technical considerations. Our key tasks shall include:
1. Collaboration & Communication in the water-energy sector
2. Webinar & Workshop
3. Papers and Journal Articles
|Dr Kemi Adeyeye||WATEF network lead|