Archimedes Screw to generate green energy in Inverness

The Highland Council is planning to install a Hydro Electric Archimedes Screw at Whin Park Lade. The 100kW turbine will control the water flow from the River Ness through to Whin Park and is estimated to generate 672,529 kWh, which is equivalent to the power for 150 homes. The renewable energy project is estimated to generate an income for the Council of around £90k to £120k at current prices.  The annual operating cost will be in the region of £15k.

Illustration of the proposed Archimedes Screw Hydro-power project

This modern, innovative project provides an excellent opportunity for the council to generate income and renewable energy and make savings As well as producing power equivalent to the power for 150 homes the electricity will also be used to supply council buildings and local venues including the Aquadome and the archive centre, generating further savings. It is anticipated the planning application for the installation of the Torvean Micro Hydro Scheme Archimedes Screw will be submitted in the coming months and will include consultation with relevant statutory consultees.

Site of proposed Archimedes Screw project

Once again we see the Ancient power of Archimedes being used for hydropower generation because if it’s fish-friendly credentials. The Archimedean Screw turbine provides a fish-friendly alternative to conventional turbines, ideally suited to low-head sites, and sites with fish protection issues. Extensive fish passage tests have conclusively demonstrated that the large water chambers and slow rotation of the Archimedean Screw allow fish of all sizes, and debris, safe passage through the turbine. As a result, the Environment Agency has agreed that no screening is required.

If you are the owner of an old mill site or a potential hydro site or are a community group interested in developing a hydro project for community use please contact us here.

The Highland Council contracted AMECFW and senior specialist in Archimedean Screw hydropower systems, Mannpower Consulting Ltd, to develop the project design.

Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2017 – Carbon Monoxide Can, and Does, Kill

Ireland’s fifth annual Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week takes place in Ireland from 26 September to 2 October in this year. Each year, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide and highlight the measures that can be taken to prevent it. Carbon monoxide can, and does, kill. On average, six people in Ireland die every year as a result of unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning and many more are made ill. There are a number of things you can put in place to prevent CO poisoning.

 

What is Carbon Monoxide (CO)?

Carbon Monoxide (also known as CO) is a colourless, odourless poisonous gas and is a common yet preventable cause of death from poisoning worldwide. Approximately half of the deaths from unintentional CO poisonings result from the inhalation of smoke from fires. Other significant causes are vehicle exhausts and deaths in industrial / commercial settings. On average between 1 and 2 people die each year in Ireland from unintentional CO poisoning in the home in incidents related to domestic heating or other fossil fuel installations in the home (i.e. excluding the inhalation of smoke from fires).

The incomplete combustion of organic fossil fuels such as oil, gas or coal is a common environmental source of CO and is responsible for many cases of non-fatal unintentional CO poisoning.

In normal conditions the combustion process (the addition of oxygen) will result in carbon in the fossil fuel, combining with oxygen, in the air, to produce Carbon Dioxide (CO2), the same substance we exhale when we breathe.

However, if there is a lack of air for the combustion process or the heating appliance is faulty, Carbon Monoxide can be produced.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.

Causes of CO Poisoning

You can be in danger of Carbon Monoxide poisoning at home if dangerous amounts of Carbon Monoxide accumulate in the home. This can happen as a result of any or a combination of the following:

  • Faulty or damaged heating appliances
  • Heating appliance not maintained or serviced
  • Rooms not properly ventilated
  • Blocked chimneys or flues
  • Indoor use of a barbecue grill or outdoor heater
  • Poor installation of heating appliances
  • Improper operation of heating appliances
  • Property alterations or home improvements, which reduce ventilation
  • Running engines such as vehicles or lawnmowers in garages
  • Using cooking appliances for heating purposes

Safety Precautions

  • Ensure your appliances are correctly installed and SERVICED ANNUALLY
  • Ensure that rooms in your home containing heating appliances are properly ventilated – NEVER BLOCK VENTS
  • Make sure all chimneys are regularly swept and kept clear
  • Use appliances only for the PURPOSE for which they were designed, e.g. do not use a cooker to heat a room
  • NEVER use any appliance if you suspect it might be faulty
  • If undertaking ALTERATIONS to your home which may affect the safety or efficiency of your heating installation (e.g. adding an extension, converting a garage, removing internal walls, changing a living room into a bedroom, double glazing / weather sealed doors) follow this safety advice:
    • Do not block or build around any existing air vents or flues
    • If creating a new living space, ensure it has ventilation in accordance with Building Regulations
    • If adding additional radiators ensure that your boiler can cope with the additional capacity
    • If you are altering or adding appliances to a natural gas or LPG installation, ensure that work is carried out to IS813:2002 Domestic Gas Installations
    • Get professional advice on ventilation and flueing before embarking on alterations to your house. Contact your fuel supplier for details of qualified personnel
  • Use Carbon Monoxide alarms but remember these are no substitute for regular inspection and maintenance of appliances, vents, flues and chimneys. Check that the Carbon Monoxide alarm complies with the EN 50291 standard.

Home Improvements

Many people when carrying out home improvements, such as adding extensions, double-glazing, conservatories etc., or when removing internal walls or partitions are unaware that they may be affecting the safety or efficiency of their heating installation. If you require advice before embarking on major alterations, or if you are going to change the use of a living room into a bedroom, then you may require the advice of a professional. Contact your fuel supplier for a list of qualified personnel.

What can you do?

Help spread the word far and wide for Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week. Ensure your family and friends are aware of the dangers of CO and how to prevent it – encourage them to visit here and get informed.

Coveney launches public consultation on a proposal to ban microbeads

The Minister for Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government, Simon Coveney T.D., today launched a public consultation process in relation to a proposed legislative ban on certain products containing plastic microbeads. The public consultation process will last 6 weeks, closing on 24 March 2017.

Cosmetics, toothpastes and cleaning agents use plastic particles which can harm the marine environment

The Minister said ‘I am very worried about the level of plastic litter that ends up in our seas and oceans. This includes plastics microbeads found in some cosmetics, body care products, toothpastes, scouring agents and detergents and I am determined to address this issue. It is concerning to think that all plastic material which has ever ended up in the marine environment will reside there for many centuries to come, unless it is somehow removed. I regard microplastic pollution as one of most significant marine environmental challenges of the 21st century’.

While plastic microbeads represent only a fraction of the microplastics in our oceans, it has still been estimated that many billions are being washed into the world’s rivers, lakes and seas each year. Once in our seas and rivers they can last for centuries without breaking down. Due to their shape and size, they can be confused for food by fish and other aquatic creatures and they cannot be removed once they are in the marine environment.

Tiny plastic particles are sold in thousands of personal care products globally. With wastewater treatment plants not designed to filter them out due to their size, they can flow down the drain, into the sea and into the marine food chain. Microbeads are not biodegradable and once they enter the marine environment, they are impossible to remove.

Microbeads are just one part of the plastic-pollution problem in our oceans, lakes and rivers

Cosmetics companies have flooded hundreds of products, mostly facial scrubs, shampoo, toothpaste, and lip gloss with microbeads: tiny balls of plastic used to exfoliate our skin. You know, those plastic sand-sized microbeads added in order to give your favorite scrub a good gritty texture. One tube of facial scrub contains more than 300,000 plastic microbeads. Banning microbeads from personal use is pretty easy to do. Just check the label on products for polyethylene or polypropylene, which are the most commonly-used plastics.

Making a personal commitment not to purchase products that contain microbeads is a start and is commendable, but it won’t take the product off the shelves for others to buy. We need comprehensive legislation to ensure that happens.

The Department is inviting any interested parties to make submissions to help inform the legislative process. To get involved, please complete the online microbead survey or email your observations or comments to msfd@housing.gov.ie.

To assist you, relevant documents may be accessed by clicking on the following links. These include a summary document outlining why the consultation is taking place, which includes a questionnaire and OSPAR’s Regional Action Plan for the Prevention and Management of Marine Litter in the North Atlantic.

Terms & Conditions:

All submissions and comments received will be subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 2014. Submissions are also subject to Data Protection legislation.

Submissions and comments will not be responded to on an individual basis but will be reviewed as part of the process and will feed into the deliberative process.

 

 

 

 

 

ESB to introduce a new greener ‘time of use’ tariff scheme

The ESB are expected to introduce a new ‘time of use’ tariff scheme within the next two years. Householders will be encouraged to use power at non-peak times to ease pressure on the national electricity grid.

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The utility said “It will be part of a smart metering programme and residential customers can expect to see it in 2018 or 2019.”  The idea is to encourage people to use less energy and greener energy and flex demand so as to be easiest on the system.

It is not known whether the move will mean more expensive power at certain times of the day – it may simply mean cheaper energy during the night. Company trials have found that when people knew there were cheaper tariff periods, they saved 4pc to 5pc on their bills.

Charging Point

It was also announced that ESB would finally begin requiring payment for eCar charging points around the country. Earlier this year, the utility postponed seeking €17 per month for usage of the almost 1,000 charging points nationwide. The utility are now communicating with eCar customers about the imminent introduction of charges and are currently looking at appropriate tariffs.

The utility said “Ultimately, everything has to be paid for. We need to reinvest and keep the system up to date. We will have to charge

Hydropower at Ardtornish Estate in the Scottish Highlands

Ardtornish Estate is a Highland estate in Scotland located in Morvern, Lochaber.  The present owner of the estate is passionate about conservation; and with the estate team has spent the last few years creating a hydro-power systems high in the hills to provide low-carbon, renewable energy.

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With conservation and sustainability at the heart of the estate’s objectives, three hydro power schemes are currently in place, another is under construction, and a fifth , an Archimedean Screw hydropower turbine is due to be commissioned in July 2016. A biomass woodchip boiler heats the mansion house, and green initiatives are being developed to reduce further the estate’s carbon footprint.

Hydropower at Ardtornish Estate in the Scottish Highlands

The delivery of the Archimedean Screw hydropower turbine required delivery along some single track roads through stunning mountain scenery. This installation will provide a unique visitor attraction as well as supplying power to the estate businesses and holiday cottages.

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Rated at 100kW this semi compact Archimedes Screw hydropower turbine at Ardtronish Estate will save 86 tonnes of CO2 annually. Mann Power Consulting Ltd., the UK based Archimedean Screw specialists designed the equipment for this project.  After various consultations it was decided that the most suitable turbine for the site was a semi compact Archimedes Screw Hydro turbine which was manufactured by Landustrie based in Holland.

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The Archimedes Screw hydropower turbine is a new application of an ancient technology. For thousands of years the screw was used to pump water up from rivers or streams to irrigate farm land. Now, using the same system in reverse the Archimedean Screw is being used to harness the power of the water to generate hydroelectricity. Once your turbine has been commissioned and connected to the grid you’ll be generating hydro-electric power 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Whether the power is for your own property, to sell back to the grid or a combination of both, the Archimedean Screw will likely pay for itself several times over in the course of its operational lifetime (depending on the feed-in tariffs available) . And what’s more these turbines can be scaled to suit all needs – from small domestic applications to huge industrial installations.

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The basic requirements required for an Archimedes Screw hydro turbine are:

  • A water source with a drop of at least 1.5 metres
  • Access rights to that water source
  • A grid hook-up point less than 500 metres from the water source – unless the Screw is being used for ‘off grid’ generation only.

If your site satisfies these criteria then there’s every chance you will be able to harness the power of the waterway to generate hydroelectricity. And Eco Evolution will be delighted to pilot your scheme all the way through to delivery.

If you’re still not sure whether your site is right for an Archimedean Screw turbine, get in touch and we will be happy to discuss the specifications and requirements in greater depth.