Level of Intervention:
Plant Level

Lock 35 and 36 located near Shannon Harbour Co. Offaly (Ireland). The two pumping stations are used in a chain to supply water to the Grand Canal from the River Shannon / River Brosna confluence during dry periods to maintain navigable levels.
Both pumps were operating well to the right of the Best Efficiency Point and outside the recommended 80-120% of BEP. Operating these pumps in this way could reduce their operational life, as well as other issues. The lack of data available to assess the pumping system was also an issue.

Aim of the Experience:
Waterways Ireland can save significant amounts of energy (and thus reduce CO2 emissions) by first updating the existing pumps to more efficient pumps but also by using a smart control system to help efficiently manage the existing pumping network by taking into account a variety of parameters.

Description of the experience:
Potential Areas for Improvement were established as follows:

  • Pump selection
    Temporary testing for alternative pump with a known performance curve were run to ascertain the system requirements so that a permanent pump selection could be made with further confidence.
  • Pump Control and Instrumentation
    The following were investigated: level control system on the pumps (via a radar/ultrasonic level sensor), instrumentation (e.g. flow/pressure) on each rising main to allow for trend data and proactive maintenance, power monitoring and a SCADA / HMI system which can be used to remotely monitor the pumping stations and record data which can be used to optimise operation.
  • Investigations to identify other potential issues such as loss of efficiency, potential debris in pump/ motor deficiencies/ etc. or for leakage and possible refurbishment.

A review when new equipment and instrumentation have been in operation for a significant time will be undertaken to assess improvements, and see if the potential for further gains can be ascertained.

Summary of measures:

Estimate of CO2 reductions and other outcomes:


Further information:
Shannon Harbour Lock 35 & 36 Pump audit report, 2019, N. Taylor (Arcadis)