Boliden to trial energy recovery system at Tara

Swedish miner Boliden has been working with Irish startup Easy Hydro on trials of a novel water turbine system to recover energy at Boliden’s Tara zinc mine near Navan, County Meath, Ireland.
Boliden to trial energy recovery system at Tara Boliden to trial energy recovery system at Tara Boliden to trial energy recovery system at Tara Boliden to trial energy recovery system at Tara Boliden to trial energy recovery system at Tara

The system consists of standard water pumps running in reverse mode,

Easy Hydro has been awarded a €49,000 (US$60,000) grant from EU consortium EIT RawMaterials to progress the hydropower pilot, which will recover energy from the underground water mains carrying fresh water down the mine.

"This project in collaboration with Boliden and EIT RawMaterials is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the applicability of the unique Easy Hydro energy recovery technology in the mining sector," said Easy Hydro managing director Daniele Novara.

The Easy Hydro turbines, which consist of standard water pumps running in reverse mode, have been installed parallel to an existing pressure reducing station on a DN150 pipeline carrying clean water from the surface.

The turbine will generate output of up to 30 kW using the pipeline's average flow rate of 22 litres per second and a pressure drop of 21 bar - leading to yearly savings of over 200 MWh of electricity, added the company.

"The proposed installation will directly offset over 60 tonnes of CO2 per year, and such technology if replicated over a number of other similar locations within the same mine has the potential to significantly reduce the current carbon footprint of Tara Mines", added Easy Hydro.

Easy Hydro is a spinout from Trinity College Dublin.