Hydropower – the world’s oldest method of harnessing clean power

Greater awareness of the potential damage to the planet from global warming has lead governments and multinational organisations to take measures to mitigate the impacts of human activity on the climate. With little or no CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions and high energy payback, hydropower supports clean development and is recognised as being fully renewable and sustainable.

Hydropower -

Hydropower – the world’s oldest method of harnessing clean power

 Some interesting hydropower  facts:

  • Hydropower is the world’s leading renewable energy resource and the oldest method of harnessing clean power – the first waterwheels were used over 2,000 years ago
  • It currently produces around 17% of the world’s electricity and 90% of the world’s renewable power
  • Twenty-five countries depend on hydropower  for 90% of their electricity
  • Less than one third of the world’s practical hydro capacity has been developed
  • Hydropower beats all other electricity generating technologies with a pay-back ratio of 300 (energy produced/energy to produce) – this is ten times more than oil-fired power stations.
  • There are no direct CO 2 emissions from hydro projects.
Hydropower -

The first waterwheels were used over 2,000 years ago

  • Small hydro schemes have minimum visual impact on their surrounding environment.
  • Hydropower, after 150 years as an electricity generating source, is still one of the most inexpensive ways to generate power
  • Most large hydro stations have dams but thousands of small hydro stations don’t – they are ‘run-of-river’ schemes and make a minimal impact on the environment
  • Hydro is the only renewable technology that can be used to store large quantities of energy in a clean environmentally-friendly way. This is done by reservoir storage and pumped storage schemes.
  • Hydro installations can have a useful life of over 100 years – many such plants are in existence worldwide
  • A modern hydro turbine generator can convert over 90% of the energy in the available water into electricity. This is more efficient than any other form of generation.
Shane's Castle Archimedes Screw Installation - largest single screw ever to be manufactured

Shane’s Castle Archimedes Screw Installation NI- largest single screw ever to be manufactured

Hydropower is a flexible technology, proven, improved and refined over many years, yet its site-specific features make it highly innovatory in application, which makes use of a wide range of available resource – large or small, storage or run-of-river, and including tidal range, canals and even water treatment works. It is still one of the most inexpensive ways to generate power, playing an important role in our electricity system stability.

If you are the owner of an old mill site or a potential hydro site, would like to refurbish or replace a water wheel or a community group interested in developing a hydro project for community use we can help. Just contact us here and we will answer all queries and help you every step of the way with your proposed project.




Recently Appointed Steering Group to advise on Energy Policy Paper in Ireland

Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Alex White T.D., opened the next phase of the public consultation process as part of the development of a White Paper on Energy Policy.

Minister White announced that he will chair a Steering Group that will advise on the finalisation of the Energy Policy Paper. He confirmed that John Fitzgerald (ESRI), Brian Motherway (SEAI, and Helen Donoghue (IIEA) are pleased to participate on the Steering Group, together with three officials from the Department.

green paper

The launch event was held in Dublin and was attended by over 150 stakeholders. In welcoming the attendees, the Minister noted the timelines of the event, one day after the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in New York, attended by over 120 Heads of State and Government. The Minister also reviewed progress to date and set out the next steps towards the development of a definitive Energy Policy Paper for publication by September 2015. The event follows the launch of the public consultation process with the publication of the Energy Policy Green Paper in May by the Minister’s predecessor, Mr. Pat Rabbitte, TD, which has stirred an enthusiastic debate on energy policy in Ireland across a diverse range of stakeholders. The consultation resulted in over 1,200 responses being received by the July closing date. The significant response demonstrates the strong interest in choosing the optimal route for future energy policy.

Minister White said, “My Department has conducted an initial analysis of the valuable contributions made by interested parties. The key issues raised in relation to each of the areas set out in the Green Paper have been identified. This launch event today kicks off further engagement with stakeholders, as I had previously indicated in July. My officials will host several events with stakeholders on all of the priorities set out in the Green Paper, to ensure that all of the issues identified in the submissions are fully understood. We want to be sure that the assumptions on which the White Paper will be written are tested and accurate. As I said in July following the great interest shown in the development of a fit-for-purpose Energy Policy, there is an absolute necessity for the White Paper to set a balanced, robust and enabling framework for Ireland’s Energy transition. I want a dynamic and responsive evidence based framework that will allow all of us to steer the appropriate course as we seek to deal with sustainability, security and competitiveness challenges and opportunities.”

The Minister went on to say, “Energy Policy is first and foremost about people – we need to ensure a safe, sustainable, economic and cost-effective energy sector, no matter who the consumer is, be they householders, small start-up businesses, multi-nationals – or one of our younger citizens needing access to a warm comfortable room for play, study or rest. We must develop an energy policy that underpins the social recovery that is underway and that facilitates further economic development for the betterment of society as a whole. We must not lose sight of this main goal, because an energy policy developed with this main aim in mind will be sustainable in the long term.”

future energy

The consultation process now continues with further engagement at various stakeholder events between now and the end of the year. Drafting of the White Paper will follow in the first half of 2015 with a view to publication of a finalised White Paper by September. The new Energy Policy Framework will be timely in that it will be guided by Ireland’s input to the EU’s 2030 Framework for Climate and Energy policies and the preparations for the UN’s COP21 in Paris (the 21st Conference of the Parties within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) in November next year.

Source: http://www.dcenr.gov.ie

Read full press release


Wordless Wednesday ~ Cascading Falls

Wordless Wednesday ~ Cascading Falls

Wordless Wednesday ~ Cascading Falls

Hydropower installation and restoration of Penllergare Valley Woods

Water fall and Archimedean Screw at Penllergare Valley Woods

Ampair 6kW Wind Turbine – an overview

The Ampair 6kw turbine combines practical and robust engineering with an elegant look. The turbine itself is a three blade, up-wind machine with an auto-furl mechanism to prevent over-speeding. Design considerations include a direct drive generator to minimise the number of moving parts and high specification components to ensure longevity.
The Ampair 6kW has been independently tested under the UK’s Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS). Comparison with MCS data for other turbines in the 5-6kw range reveals the Ampair 6kW is the most productive machine in its class. It is one of the most successful in the Ampair range since the business arrived in the U.K. due to it being incredibly flexible in application.
Ampair 6kW wind turbine

Ampair 6kW Wind turbine

Technical Specifications at a glance:

  • MCS Certified Product
  • Eligible for Feed-in tariffs or NIROC’s depending on where you live
  • Generates power continuously from below 3 m/s
  • Simple robust design
  • Tested in the strongest IEC class I wind conditions
  • Suitable for coastal locations
  • Multiple tower options
  • Models for grid connection, battery charging, or direct heating
Ampair 6kW Wind turbine

Technical Specification

Ampair 6kW Wind turbine

Power Curve

The Design:

Coatings: All main structural components are hot-dip galvanised or interzinc primed for enhanced corrosion protection.

Tail Rudder: When the prevailing wind blows the rudder will be forced parallel to the wind direction. This motion will rotate the turbine to face into the wind.

Tail Plane: Unlike the rudder, the tail plane does not direct the rotor. Its primary function is to aid the furling action of the turbine by lifting the tail in high winds.

Blades: The  fibreglass blades are recognised as one of the strongest and durable designs on the market. They are complete with winglets which enhance airflow to produce an incredibly quiet turbine.

Rotor: The rotor has a swept area of 24m². The design of our bearings, efficient generator and  blades allow the fixed pitch rotor to move freely; which is why no other competitor machines will better the 6kW on low wind start-up.

Paint Options: Choose your colours. We offer light grey, gloss white, off white and light green. Blade sets can also receive a gloss black finish. If you want something extra, we will do our best to provide.

Seals: Throughout the machine we use high quality seals to protect our bearings and other components. The generator itself is completely sealed from the natural environment, giving a long trouble free turbine life span even in the harshest conditions,

Bearings: Ampair only use the highest quality branded bearings. The bearings have been selected to last the machine lifespan without the need for their replacement.

Nacelle: Ampair are one of the few manufacturers who use galvanised steel nacelles. As a result of this design feature the turbine is extremely well protected from corrosion.

Yaw: Ampair uses a passive yaw design. Our high quality branded bearings, with no gearing, offer a yaw mechanism that is very robust.

Magnets: Ampair  use some of the worlds strongest Rare Earth Magnets (Ne-Feb-Br) available; maximising power production capabilitity.

Ampair 6kW Noise Report

Ampair 6kW Noise Report

The market place offers a colossal range of small wind turbines but if you want a robust and reliable machine that will run for many years with minimal maintenance  you will find it in the Ampair range of turbines. The 6kW is an excellent wind turbine for a stand alone system in remote locations and has a track record unsurpassed.

We are the Irish resellers and installers of the Ampair range of wind and hydro turbines.  If you have a site suitable for a wind turbine and you’re interested in generating your own electricity contact us here.


Blog Awards Ireland 2014 ~ We’re in the finals

I was absolutely thrilled when scrolling down through the list of  The Blog Awards Ireland 2014 finalists to discover my blog had reached the finals in two categories – Best Eco/Green Blog sponsored by ESB eCars and Best Science/ Technology Blog. What a great start to the weekend :) It’s my second year to reach the finals in the Best Eco/Green Blog category. I’m up against some great blogs, but to reach the final stage is an honour in itself.

I’d like to extend my congratulations to all the bloggers who made it to the finals and commiserations to those that weren’t selected. The Blog Awards Ireland  is a great way to get your blog noticed and gain readership and most importantly discover other bloggers that you might not otherwise have heard of and make connections with those that share similar interests.

Blog Awards Ireland 2014 - we've reached the finals

Blog Awards Ireland 2014 Finalist

Best of luck to the finalists in all thirty categories and to the judges who have tough decisions to make over the next two weeks. The finals will take place on the 04th October in the Westgrove Hotel, Clane where we will see a blogger from each category crowned the winner. It promises to be a great night kicking off at 6:30 with a drinks reception and plenty of opportunities for chatting to other bloggers and getting photos. The meal starts at 7:30, each course is followed by the announcement of ten awards, ending around 10:30 with the announcement of the winners of Best Blog, Best Blog Post and the Glenisk competition.

Hats off to Lorna, Amanda and all the team for organising such a wonderful event.