Eco Evolution featured in the Irish Independent – hydro electric

  • Hydro electricity — Hydro electric generation — even on a small scale — can be a more cost-effective and, more importantly, predictable and consistent method of generating electricity on both a micro and commercial scale. If you are lucky enough to have a decent size stream running through your farm, it may certainly be worth looking at.
  • Overview of an Archimedean Screw ~ Photo Credit: Landustrie

    Overview of an Archimedean Screw ~ Photo Credit: Landustrie

Co Wexford-based Eco Evolution (www.EcoEvolution.ie) is the agent in Ireland for the Landustrie range of Archimedean Screw hydro turbines supplied by Mann Power Consulting Ltd, the Archimedean Screw hydro turbine specialists in the UK.

Frank Gethings is the MD of the Ferns-based company, which specialises in the micro-generation technologies of wind turbines, Landustrie hydro turbines and solar PV systems. It also supplies and installs solar thermal systems, air-to-water heat pumps and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) systems.

The Archimedean Screw is old technology used as water pumps to lift water from one level to another. Landustrie manufactures two types of the Archimedean Screw, one for pumping water — as originally designed — and the other to generate electricity using the flow of water in the reverse direction, downwards to turn the screw and generate power.

Mr Gethings says: “The requirements for driving the screw are quite low, with a minimum head requirement of just 1m, up to a maximum of 10m. There is a minimum flow requirement of 100 litres/sec, which is the equivalent of a sizeable stream.”

These are said to have many advantages over the more traditional types of hydro turbines; the most important of these probably being the fact that they are fish friendly. Also, leaves and debris simply pass through the turbine with no fine screening required.

“They are also highly efficient across a large flow variation, with a hydraulic efficiency of 87pc and a water-to-wire efficiency of 77pc. They are suitable for small, domestic applications from 1kW up to larger commercial applications of 350kW.

“With each application we would have to do a feasibility study on each site and then the Archimedean hydro-electric plant would be custom-made to suit the site.” Small plants would generate as little as 1kW, while bigger plants could generate up to 350kW handling a water flow of up to 10,000 litres/sec.

“Old mills are ideal sites as the civil works are already in place and there is the potential to generate up to 15kW or so, depending on what’s there.”

Planning permission would be required for such an installation, and in the UK they have gone through all the processes to establish it as a fish-friendly design. Being site specific, it could be hard to estimate the price of installing such a facility, but MannPower Consulting has produced a chart in an effort to do just that.

SOURCE: http://www.independent.ie/farming/the–power–to–choose-1959329.html

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