Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Engineering (Research)


Institute of Technology Tralee

First Advisor

Dr. James Prendergast

Second Advisor

Mr. Chris O'Donoghue


Ireland has become overly dependent on oil imports and is now very vulnerable to price increases and oil supply shortages. Coupled with this, demand for electricity has grown rapidly in recent years, the electricity market structure has changed, environment protection is of greater importance, and overall the need for renewable energy powered electricity generation has increased. Wind powered electricity generation facilities play an important role in Ireland’s renewable energy portfolio but other methods of power generation are necessary to complement this variable and unpredictable resource. Hydroelectricity is a well-established method of power generation capable of fulfilling this role. Large-scale hydropower (>10MW) is becoming a less attractive option due to the documented environmental impacts of large dams and manmade lakes. This has led to a renewed interest in small-scale hydropower (

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