Totnes Weir Archimedean Screw hydropower turbines and fish pass

The Totnes Weir hydropower scheme was developed by Dart Renewables and when completed it is estimated that the two Archimedean Screw hydropower turbines rated at 150kW each will generate 1,200 MWh of renewable energy every year, enough to power the equivalent of around 400 homes and saving 500 tonnes of C02. It is expected that around two thirds of the electricity generated will be used to power King Edward VI Community College, which serves around 1,700 students, and Atmos Totnes, a community development involving the construction of 60 to 70 social housing units and housing for older people.

Totnes Weir

The environment

Numbers of migratory salmon and sea trout are in decline in the river Dart, in part due to difficulty in passing the Totnes weir. The species are currently being held at the weir, where seals predate, leading to mortality of the fish. The construction of the Totnes Weir scheme will include the installation of a modern fish pass which allows the fish to pass the weir and continue their journey upstream to spawn. It is expected that this will reduce salmon and sea trout losses in the river Dart and over time increase the population of these species in the river Dart catchment. The scheme would also encompass an additional Larinier type fish pass, alongside the repair of the existing pool-and-traverse fish pass. Underwater cameras and a fish counter will estimate Salmon and Trout migration to spawning grounds in the Upper Dart. This will provide valuable data on the species in the river Dart which will be shared with both the Dart Angling Association and the Environment Agency.

Totnes Weir

Totnes Weir

Community benefits

Dart Renewables developed the Totnes Weir scheme in close conjunction with the local community in Totnes and the scheme will benefit the community in a variety of ways. Around two thirds of the power generated by the Totnes weir scheme will be used to power the local school in Totnes, King Edward VI Community College (KEVICC), and a community development of affordable homes and community facilities for the Totnes area which is being managed by the Totnes Community Development Society (TCDS). Electricity will be sold to these organisations at a mutually beneficial rate compared to prevailing market rate.

The Environment Agency, the Dart Angling Association, the TCDS and TRESOC (the Totnes Community Energy Society) have been closely involved in the consultation process for the Totnes Weir scheme and are very supportive of the project. A small classroom complex is proposed for the site next to the weir to be used by a KEVICC educational trust.

 

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Larinier fish pass

Fishtek were responsible for the design of the new Larinier fish pass and the improvements and modifications to the existing fish pass on the far side of the river from the hydropower scheme. A few images of the turbines and fish pass are shown below.

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The fish pass can be seen in the images above (running at a very high level as the turbines were temporarily turned off when these images were taken). A fish counter is to be added at the upstream end of the fish pass very shortly and this will provide invaluable data for the ongoing monitoring of fish populations in the river.

Funding

Triodos Bank helped Dart Renewables raise the £1.3 million needed to build the hydro power scheme through a Bond Issue. Local investors were offered the opportunity to invest a minimum of £2,000, with the minimum for those living further than 15 miles from Totnes being £10,000.  Investors could earn up to 8% return a year for up to 8 years.

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 (1m-10m) 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.

 

 

Hydropower installation and restoration of Penllergare Valley Woods

Located on the northern fringe of Swansea, Penllergare Valley Woods was once a famous gentry estate and home to John Dillwyn Llewelyn, the notable 19-century horticulturalist, philanthropist and pioneering photographer. It is Llewelyn’s design, vision and influence behind the picturesque and romantic landscapes of the park.

Hydropower installation and restoration of Penllergare Valley Woods

Photo credit ~ One Historic Garden ~ Penllergare Valley Woods

For almost half a century Penllergare Valley Woods was neglected, vandalised and threatened by development and so the Penllergare Trust was formed in 2000 as an independent charity with the aim of restoring and regenerating the Grade II listed Penllergare Valley Woods to its former stunning glory. The leases of Valley Woods were finally assigned to the Trust on 26th April 2012, effectively securing them for public benefit until 2116 – that’s 104 years! This in turn initiated the award of £2.4m by the Heritage Lottery Fund through it’s Parks for People Programme to support the first phase of an ambitious £2.9m restoration scheme focussed on the upper end of the valley.

Hydropower installation and restoration of Penllergare Valley Woods

Manmade waterfall at Penllergare Valley Woods

It’s a place where you can enjoy the sound of birds, delight in the profusion of wild flowers, discover evidence of exotic plantings and uncover for yourself the hidden features of a grand design. Wildlife research carried out by Swansea Council has found the estate is very significant for amphibians and acts as a “corridor” for animals to thrive and move about.

Hydropower installation and restoration of Penllergare Valley Woods

Photo Credit ~ One Historic Garden ~ Woodland walkway at Penllergare Valley Woods

The restoration of Penllergare Valley Woods will provide an essential green space to relax, explore and have fun in as well as creating jobs and providing training opportunities for local people. The involvement of local volunteers was vital to the success of this project and it’s fantastic to see so many people  involved, learning new skills and playing their part in taking the local  heritage into the future.

Hydropower installation and restoration of Penllergare Valley Woods

The arrival on site of the 30kW closed compact Archimedean Screw – Photo ~ Philip James

As part of the upgrade and restoration of Penllergare Valley Woods a 30kW Archimedean Screw Hydro Turbine was installed to ensure a sustainable future for Penllergare Valley.

Hydropower installation and restoration of Penllergare Valley Woods

Lifting the Archimedean Screw into position

The development of the hydropower scheme in Penllergare Valley Woods will generate sufficient power to meet the needs of the sites new visitor centre and excess sold to the National Grid, raising an expected £10,000 per year for the trust.

Hydropower installation and restoration of Penllergare Valley Woods

Lowering the Archimedean Screw into position

The Archimedean Screw with a length of 11m and a capacity of 2880 m3/h is situated next to the waterfall at Penllergare Valley Woods. The hydropower scheme was designed by Mannpower Consulting Ltd and the Archimedean Screw was manufactured by Dutch company Landustrie.

Hydropower installation and restoration of Penllergare Valley Woods

The Archimedean Screw insitu beside the waterfall

The enclosed compact design was the preferred design of screw for this particular site as the design minimises the installation cost and doesn’t intrude on the existing landscape.

Archimedean Screw with ell pass running along side

Archimedean Screw with eel pass running along side

The Archimedean Screw is placed into the bank side and sits at an angle that roughly matches the existing natural profile of the ground.  Three clear panels along the length of the screw will enable the functioning of the screw to be monitored and the workings demonstrated. It could therefore be used to educate the public about hydro electricity and alternative energy sources. Once in-situ most surrounding areas will be dressed with soil and stone and this will enable it to blend in with the surrounding area.

Decorative stone arches containing drain down pipes for the lake

Decorative stone arches containing drain down pipes for the lake

Decorative stonework on the interior of the arches

Decorative stonework on the interior of the arches

We are heading over to begin the commissioning of the scheme at the beginning of February. Since our arrival on site the newly built Llewelyn Bridge has been opened to the public.

Photo Credit ~ Penllergare Valley Trust ~ The newly built Llewelyn Bridge

Photo Credit ~ Penllergare Valley Trust ~ The newly built Llewelyn Bridge

On the 9th April the Penllergare Valley Woods Archimedean screw hydro generator was commissioned and handed over to the Penllergare Trust. Initially, the electricity generated will feed the coffee shop, woodland centre and the office cabin by the car park, thus reducing significantly the running costs. The Trust are negotiating with Ofgem and their electricity provider to buy surplus electricity from them by feeding it in to the National Grid. All of the income derived from this will be ploughed back into running and maintaining Penllergare Valley Woods for everyone to enjoy.

The site of the Archimedean Screw installation and lake

The site of the Archimedean Screw installation and lake

The commissioning of the Archimedean Screw was based on the partially de-silted lake configuration. It will need to be adjusted once the lake works have been completed later in the Summer. In the meantime the Trust plan to move soil, place stones and later, plant trees and shrubs around the works to better integrate it all into the landscape. Once this work has been completed, the area around the turbine will be open for people to take a look and to see the screw turning through the specially designed viewing panels in the top of the screw housing.

Generating clean green electricity

Generating clean green electricity

If you are the owner of a potential hydro site or are a community group interested in developing a hydro project for community use please contact us. We design, install and commission hydropower schemes in Ireland and the UK.

Hydropower ~ Generation of renewable energy

Due to the global warming and the increase of both global power consumption and oil prices, generation of renewable and environmental energy is being promoted and subsidized worldwide. There are many forms of harvesting eco friendly and renewable sources, with hydropower being its most mature and largest source of renewable power. The power plants simply convert the energy from flowing water into electricity, in most cases using a dam/weir on a river to retain a large reservoir of water. This water is then released trough turbines in order to generate electricity. Hydropower plants produce no air emissions but in most cases affect the water quality, wildlife habitats and especially prevent the fish migration.

However the highly efficient Archimedean screw has been “re-invented” to generate electricity all year round at 24 hours per day, whilst obtaining the natural flow of the river, in combination with its natural fish friendliness and a small fish trap it is one of the few systems that is able to maintain or even improve the wildlife in and around the river.

Overview of an Archimedean Screw ~ Photo Credit: Landustrie

Overview of an Archimedean Screw ~ Photo Credit: Landustrie

A hydropower screw is a profitable source of income and entirely environmental friendly, once you possess the water rights of a flow. The  hydropower screw can be used in places or areas where there is a low head ≤10 meters and a flow of ≤15m³/s

Examples of the types of sites suitable for the installation of an Archimedean Screw:

  • Rivers
  • In an existing spillway, lock or in a weir system
  • To replace existing waterwheels or other types of generators
  • Old Mill sites
  • (Waste) Water treatment inlets / outlets
  • Cooling water outlets of power stations
  • Industrial process water (i.e. Paper industries or steel mills)
  • Anywhere where water is available at a higher level

If you own any of the above site types and would like to find out more about how the Archimedean Screw Hydro Turbine can be of benefit to you please contact us here and we will endeavour to point you in the right direction.

We offer a friendly one-stop shop for hydro development, from feasibility studies to licensing, to installation and commissioning and everything in between!

Kings River Community – Building a Sustainable Future

Kingsriver Community was founded in 1986 and has been providing residential and daycare programmes for adults and young people with a variety of special needs in a community setting since that date. The focus is on people’s abilities rather than their disabilities. Initially providing  workplace training and employment possibilities through high end furniture manufacture, Kingsriver now concentrates on providing quality, person centred, opportunities in a range of areas including woodwork, arts and craft, health related exercise and living skills. Kingsriver Community also provides a residential service for a small group of people. Kingsriver Community is a FETAC registered centre providing accredited courses and an accredited hosting organisation in the Europen Voluntary Service (EVS) programme.

Kings River Community Timber clad building

Kings River Community Timber clad building

Blue skies and sunshine, what a way to start the Mills and Millers Spring Event. Arriving at the Kings River Community the first thing to catch our eye was the wonderful sculptures lining the entrance to the main building –  a wonderful timber clad energy efficient building.

Handmade timber sculptures and Mills and Millers plaque

Handmade timber sculptures and Mills and Millers plaque

The members of the Mills and Millers of Ireland gathered to hear Pat Phelan of the Kingsriver Community speak about the plans for the Kingsriver site, their hydro application and plans for the mill buildings. Colm Byrne of GLAS Learning Centre gave a quick overview of the mill sites we would visit and then showed us around the training rooms and display areas.

The installation of a 200kW wood chip boiler fuelled by locally sourced wood chip was installed at the centre in 2010. The boiler is at the centre of a local heating network, displacing gas and electricity as heat sources for the workshops, showrooms and accommodation units.

200kW Biomass Boiler fueled by locally sourced wood chip

200kW Biomass Boiler fueled by locally sourced wood chip

The Kingsriver Community built their own 4.2m off grid wind turbine on site and is now fully operational. Glas Learning organised the ‘Build Your Own Wind Turbine’ workshop which was conducted by Hugh Piggott.

The Kingsriver 4.2m off grid wind turbine

The Kingsriver 4.2m off grid wind turbine

During the earlier presentation we heard about the plans for the old mill which has a preservation order on it. With its impressive seven stories it is the highest mill in the area. The Community group are planning to install an Archimedean Screw Hydro Turbine and convert the mill building into an educational and visitor centre.  The Archimedean Screw hydro scheme that is planned is currently at the design stage. .

Pilworth Mill situated on the Kingsriver

Rockview Mill also known as O’Brien’s Mill situated on the Kingsriver

Rockview Mill  this was a fine seven-storied limestone structure.  It was well  preserved until 1989 when part of the front roof was damaged in a storm.  The  Griffith Valuation Records show Rockview Mill leased by Robert Pilsworth from  Margaret Mc Creery in 1845 – the value of the buildings being £113.

Rockview Mill in operation and prior to its collapse

Rockview Mill prior to its collapse

The Pilsworth family of Thomastown commenced  their milling enterprise in 1845 when Robert leased the above mill and the  nearby Merino factory.  In 1847, Robert married Ellen, daughter of William Bull,  owner of Grennan Mill, Thomastown.  William died in 1848 and Robert became  owner.  He installed his brother Thomas as manager of Grennan Mill and his  brother William as manager of Merino Mill.  In 1864 Robert took over the  management of Grennan Mill which by then had become the more important business,  as it was adjacent to the railway in Thomastown.  Management of Rockview was  given to a relative – Thomas Booth, he was to work the mill for one third of the  profits.  Robert died in 1870, leaving two sons under 21 years.  They were  placed under the guardianship of Rev. James Graves, Rector of Ennisnag.  By 1876  the two young Pilsworths were suing Booth for mismanagement as Rockview began  losing money.  Booth was fired and Rockview was closed the two Pilsworths  taking over management of Grennan Mill (Silverman and Gulliver 1986).  Later,  Rockview Mill and house were owned by Dr. T. O’Brien – the mill being used for  storage purposes. In 1986 the King’s River Community purchased the house and  mill.

The oldest or one of the oldest bridges in Ireland

The oldest or one of the oldest bridges in Ireland

The students and residents are busy preparing the Community Garden for the season ahead where they grow a vast range of organically grown fruit and vegetables. A glasshouse and a room in front of it for changing into garden clothes and washing hands is under construction at present. The Kingsriver Community have to be admired for their vision and continuous efforts in working towards a sustainable future. Other plans for the area include the building of independant houses, development of the islands, bridges and the 6 acre wood.

At the entrance to Kingsriver Community one cannot help but notice and admire the wonderful old stone bridge covered in campanula. The bridge is the  oldest, or one of the oldest bridges in Ireland.  It was once a toll bridge on what was then the main Waterford/Dublin Road over which horses and carts crossed heading to the mill.

 

Bealey’s Weir Hydropower

The Bealey family arrived in Radcliffe in 1732, operating as whitsters (bleachers) from a factory in Drumers Lane and used bleach fields close to the parish church of St. Mary’s, next to the river Irwell. Although the Drumers Lane site was close to the river, it was above the river level. The bleach works used large quantities of water for both processing and power (Bealey’s had eight water wheels in 1794) so they built a weir in 1811 further upstream on the Irwell to provide a constant head of water with long feeder or millrace.

A channel known as Bealey’s goit  was dug to carry the water the 1.4 miles (2¼ kilometres) to the factory and this can be seen today along with a Sluice Gate that is situated between the river and the Goit.

The Sluice Gate that is situated between the river and the Goit.

An Archimedean Screw Hydro turbine has been installed, commissioned and is now generating electricity at Bealey’s Weir.  An Open Compact Archimedean Screw was designed for this project. An Open Compact is a self-supporting U-shaped steel construction minimising necessary civil work on site. The generator unit is an integral part of the construction, easily accessible via a weatherproof, hinged generator cover.

The length and diameter of an Archimedean Screw will be dictated by the parameters of the particular site and are finished in the colour of your choice. All Archimedean Screws are manufactured as bespoke installations.

Open Compact Archimedean Screw

Rated at 96 kilowatts this hydro turbine is predicted to save in excess of 205 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) annually. It measures 2500mm in diameter with a length of 14m. The site has a head of 4.62m, capacity of 2910l/s and the rotation speed is 27.5rpm.

Bealey’s Weir

Mann Power Consulting Ltd., the UK based Archimedean Screw specialists designed the equipment for this project.  It  was manufactured by Landustrie based in Holland and Eco Evolution were involvd in the commissioning of the project with Mann Power Consulting.

Archimedean Screw Hydro Turbine in situ

Archimedean Screw Hydro Turbine

In comparison with most turbines the Archimedean hydropower screw makes use of an open construction and a low rotational speed. This results in a natural flow and there is no pressure build up in the entire installation. Furthermore extensive testing shows that due to the size of water chambers and the fact that there is no pressure difference fish will pass through unharmed.

The Landy hydropower screw makes use of a specially designed inlet and outlet that make the screw absolutely fish friendly. The water outlet is designed in such a way for the water (and fish) to smoothly exit the screw without splashing. This also reduces the noise that water creates.

All photographs copyright of  Eco Evolution.