Dublin City Council awarded the project management of a small hydro project to Fingleton White in December 2003. The project is located at the Vartry Water Treatment works in Roundwood, Co. Wicklow. Due to the elevation difference between the Lower Vartry Reservoir and the waterworks, a water turbine was installed to recover some of the energy that would otherwise have been dissipated across a throttling valve.
The water turbine is located between the existing Valve-House and the Stilling Basin and captures some of the energy contained in the outflow water from the Lower Vartry Reservoir as it is being piped by an existing 33” pipe to the Stilling Basin in the water treatment works. The water at this point is not potable as it has not yet reached the treatment plant.
The turbine selected utilises water lubricated bearings to remove the risk of oil / grease contamination of the water. The waterworks at Vartry are of major importance and will at all times take precedence over the turbine operations. A bypass was installed to ensure that water is available to the treatment works at all times. The water turbine operates in parallel with the existing ESB supplies to the waterworks.
All electricity generated by the water turbine is used on site. The design, construction and operation of the Vartry Small Hydro project complies with the local government planning development acts and with all requirements of the health and safety authority.