In cooperation with TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences, Gummersbach Campus, the Aggerverband awards a prize each year for outstanding theses related to water management as part of World Water Day. This year, along with a bachelor graduate of TH Gummersbach, our project manager Mrs. Danielle Scharr, graduate of TH Köln, received the award at the ceremony on 19 March 2021.

Danielle Scharr wrote her bachelor thesis in spring 2020 under the supervision of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Rainer Feldhaus of the TH Köln and Dipl.-Ing. Frederik Maurer, the managing director of IWR GmbH. The topic of the thesis is “Plant for energy recovery in a drinking water transport pipeline – economic feasibility study and planning”.

The aim of the work was to determine an economic system for energy recovery for the water supply association Dörnberg (Hesse). In the drinking water network of the WBV Dörnberg there is a 10.51 km long drinking water transport pipeline between two elevated tanks. The difference between the mean water levels of these two elevated tanks, after deduction of all losses, results in a considerable usable head. Within the scope of Danielle Scharr’s bachelor thesis, this existing potential energy was to be made usable by means of an energy recovery system.

For the elaboration of an economic plant, first of all the bases relevant for investigation and planning were determined. In the subsequent preliminary planning phase, plant variants were designed and evaluated from a technical and economic point of view. On the basis of this evaluation, a preferred variant was selected and subsequently developed ready for design.

By means of the planned plant, approx. 16,400 kWh per year can be generated in the future, which, with steadily rising electricity costs and an own energy use at the nearby pumping station of the WBV Dörnberg, causes a probable energy saving of approx. 13%. In addition, with an average CO2 emission of 400 g/kWh, a CO2 saving of approx. 6,400 kg CO2 per year can be achieved by the planned plant.

“Ms. Scharr has comprehensively processed the task set for her with a high standard of quality and detail. The problem was correctly identified, the solution approaches were applied in a targeted manner. The documentation of the work is clearly structured and comprehensibly explained in the individual steps. Particularly noteworthy is the complexity of the economic analysis.” (Press release Aggerverband from 19.03.2021;