Historic Corn Mill becomes home to an Archimedean Screw hydropower turbine

It’s been a few years now since the Archimedean screw hydropower turbine was installed and commissioned at Frensham Mill. However, I feel it gives a good insight into what can be achieved at old mill sites. You will see how the owners embraced hydropower and then made improvements to the landscape to increase the existing wildlife and natural habitat of the site.

Mill History:

Frensham Mill is an ancient mill site dating back to at least 1217 when the mill at ‘Feresham’ is mentioned in the Bishop of Winchester’s Rent Rolls. The mill had two mill ponds to ensure that the corn mill had a constant supply of water even if the main river supply ran low; one of which was built on a small Wey tributary carrying runoff from Frensham Great Pond. This large pond feeds into the Wey about half a mile above where the mill was located. The house was re-modelled in 1928 following the demolition of the old mill. At his time a Francis turbine was used to generate electricity. When the Mill was rebuilt in 1876 it was possibly the largest in SW Surrey. The oldest building, the Granary, was renovated in 2012 along with the gardens and the hydro/ heat pump project.

Frensham Mill during the Victorian era  Photo Credit: Frensham Mill

Frensham Mill during the Victorian era Photo Credit: Frensham Mill

The owners wanted to make the most of the renewable energy potential of the old mill race.  The solution was to combine an 11kW Archimedes screw hydropower turbine with a 30kW water source heat pump. Today the mill produces 70kWh of electricity per year and 90kWh of heat, saving over 50 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum.

Installing the Archimedean Screw hydropower turbine  Photo credit: Mannpower Consulting Ltd

Installing the Archimedean Screw hydropower turbine      Photo credit: Mannpower Consulting Ltd

The Mill had been a barrier to migratory fish for hundreds of years. In order to improve migratory fish passage the Environment Agency specified a fish pass and upgraded stream to link upstream and downstream for the first time in hundreds of years to encourage trout, eels etc. The river banks were restored and the water meadow was reinstated with wild flowers. Around 10% of the river’s flow is directed down the fish pass and into an old ditch to provide a link between upstream and downstream. A series of 10 gravel pools were installed to step down the levels to the mill pond, providing areas of gravel as potential spawning areas.

Archimedean Screw commissioned and generating electricity   Photo Credit: Mannpower Consulting Ltd

Archimedean Screw commissioned and generating electricity Photo Credit: Mannpower Consulting Ltd

The green sand river banks had become severely eroded and were restored with an environmentally friendly planted coir roll system. With the environment utmost in their minds the owners decided to restore the river banks with this system designed to provide an enhanced aquatic habitat both above and below the waterline. Posts were driven into the river bed and pre-planted coir rolls were then placed on top of willow screening and back filled. Today the new banks have become very established.

River bank restoration at Frensham Mill  Photo Credit: Frensham Mill

River bank restoration at Frensham Mill         Photo Credit: Frensham Mill

A survey of the site also found evidence of Serotine & Brown Long Eared bats.  A light proofed area and improved access tiles were installed in the main roof as part of requirements to enhance their habitat. A survey found an established badger trail along the eastern boundary of the site ( that was left undisturbed by the works). Water voles and kingfishers have also been spotted on site.

Photo Credit: Mannpower Consulting Ltd

Completed hydropower project                   Photo Credit: Mannpower Consulting Ltd

And the Archimedean  screw is now set in a garden intended to reflect the spiralling curves of the screw. The water meadow is in the process of restoration with a plan to plant over one acre of wild flowers.

Archimedes set in a garden designed to reflect the spirals of the turbine

Archimedes set in the garden designed to reflect the screw spirals   Photo Credit: Frensham Mill

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.

To keep up to date with our hydropower projects or to find out more about hydropower you can  find us on Facebook or Twitter or Google+ . To talk to one of our engineers contact us here

A Sneek Preview!

Just back from yet another very interesting factory visit. This time it was to visit Landustrie, one of the leading screw pump and screw generator manufacturers whose headquarters are in Sneek, The Netherlands.

Landustrie factory, Sneek, The Netherlands

For nearly a century Landustrie has designed, manufactured, supplied, erected and maintained many types of screw pump. Since the early eighties Landustrie has developed a fully automated selection program in order to select the optimum screw for a particular application. This program is based on a large number of tests, with a large number of variables, in the Landustrie test factory. In addition, Landustrie have developed specific pump knowledge, which is continously updated by means of R&D and the latest technologies and is the only manufacturer of screws using Finite Element Analysis methods.

Frank on visit to Landustrie

The newest range of the Landustrie products covers the worldwide hydropower market. Creating renewable energy with a reliable, fish-friendly and durable hydropower screw. The Archimedean screw was introduced as a high efficient pump. Due to the low turning speed, the life time of the screw can be expected to be at least 30 years and barely needs maintenance nor cleaning. The hydropower screw turns the principle of pumping around, maintaining the advantages and generating energy using the falling water to drive the screw.

Archimedean screw with an eco-friendly lower bearing

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 differences fish will pass through unharmed. The Landy hydropower screw makes use of a specially designed inlet and outlet that makes 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.

Landy screw pump

The Landy hydropower screw is a profitable source of income and entirely environmental friendly, once you possess the water rights of a flow. The Landy hydropower screw can be used in places or areas with a fall (head) of 1m to 10m and a flow from 100l/s to 15,000l/s.

There are several examples of sites and areas around the country suitable for a hydropower screw e.g.

  • Rivers and streams
  • In an existing spillway, lock or in a weir system
  • Old Mill sites
  • (Waste) Water treatment inlets/outlets
  • To replace inefficient existing generators
  • Anywhere that water is available at a higher level

All photographs copyright of Eco Evolution.

‘Connect with Energy’ initiative – Monday 11th – Friday 15th June 2012

South Dublin County Council are hosting  ‘Connect with Energy’,  an event aimed at providing advice and support to homes and businesses on how to save energy and money as well as create new job opportunities. The event is supported by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE).

With the purpose of supporting and engaging South Dublin homeowners, businesses, schools and other stakeholders in reducing their energy costs, saving money and creating jobs, SDCC is hosting a ‘Connect with Energy’ initiative from Monday 11th to Friday 15th June 2012 in ‘The Big Picture’ exhibition venue in Tallaght Town Centre, located beside the LUAS red line terminus.

This initiative will comprise an interactive energy centre in the Council’s ‘Big Picture’ multimedia venue; suppliers of energy related goods and services in the County will be available to meet with business people, homeowners, individuals interested in learning more about how they can save money on energy consumption within their businesses, workplaces, homes and other premises.

5kW Windturbine – residential, farm and commercial applications

The ‘Connect with Energy’ initiative will be launched on the morning of Monday 11th June 2012. Minister Pat Rabbitte, Mayor Caitríona Jones and County Manager, Philomena Poole will launch the event.

The event has been organised as part of SDCC’s commitment to acting as a focal point for energy efficiency and is also represented by current involvement in a range of energy projects and initiatives. The two major programmes currently being undertaken by SDCC are the EU Intelligent Energy Europe (IEE) funded Leadership for Energy Action and Planning (LEAP) project and the Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) Programme supported by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).

The (LEAP) project has a two year timescale and involves SDCC and eight other local authority partners across the EU. LEAP aims to increase the ability of EU local authorities to act as mentors in the promotion of sustainable energy measures in the local economy and so take a leading role in the move towards a low-carbon local economy. The key output of LEAP is the preparation of a countywide, cross sectoral Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP), which will include a series of short, medium and long term actions addressing energy in South Dublin County to 2020 and beyond.

Solar Photovoltaic

The ‘Connect with Energy’ event is a key milestone in that process. The event will also showcase SDCC’s own track record in piloting and developing sustainable energy measures.

Following a competitive bid process, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) designated Tallaght as one of three new exemplar Sustainable Energy Communities (SEC) in Ireland. This programme, to operate for a five year period from the beginning of 2012, aims to develop a series of Irish communities as ‘living laboratories’ to establish a culture of energy innovation, by carrying out locally focused projects to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy costs.

Solar Thermal

The week long ‘Connect with Energy’ event will comprise exhibitions and targeted workshops. Energy advisers for homes and businesses will also be available during the event. A full programme of events will be advertised in the SDCC area during the coming weeks. All workshops and consultations will be registered events.

Mayor Caitríona Jones has welcomed the announcement of the event as an opportunity for local businesses and homeowners to become more energy efficient and reduce their energy costs. This will improve business competitiveness and job creation in South Dublin.

Energy Efficiency

Further information is available from the South Dublin Energy Team energyteam@sdublincoco.ie  or 01 4149000 ext. 2389 or go to website www.southdublinenergy.ie and follow link for Connect with Energy.

Click here to view or download the ‘Connect with Energy’ Brochure

To register for one of the free workshops, click on its title in calendar below: A description of each workshop is contained in each individual registration page.

WORKSHOPS

Monday11th June Tuesday12th June Wednesday13th June Thursday14th June Friday 15th June
Venue A (Big Picture)
09 .00 -10.00 Official Launch Eco Evolution‘Renewable Energy technologies: Wind, Solar, Hydro.. Power Perfector‘After initial staff training & behavioural savings have been achieved how to achieve further energy/ cost savings’.
10.30 – 11.30 Official Launch Power Perfector‘Voltage Power Optimisation: The Opportunities for Businesses’ Carillion Energy Services            ‘The energy efficient home’ Carillion      Energy Services ‘Reduce Your Home Energy Costs’ AVA SafelightSafeLight: Stand Alone Self Sufficient Street Lighting
12.00 – 13.00 Cylon‘Realtime Energy Management: The Benefits for your Business’ Cylon‘Realtime Energy Management: The Benefits for your Business’ Bord Gais ‘Energy at Home – Benefits of Heating Controls’ Integrated Engineering Consultancy Ltd‘How to Reduce Business Cost in Lighting & Heating? Windsor Motors ‘Electric Cars – going much further for far less with the Nissan Leaf’
14.00 – 15.00 Windsor Motors ‘Electric Cars – going much further for far less with the Nissan Leaf’ Save Energy 4 You ‘Light Years Ahead’ Windsor Motors‘Electric Cars – going much further for far less with the Nissan Leaf’ B & Q‘Do it yourself: B&Q’s low cost energy measures at home’
16.00 – 17.00 SDCC‘A Council grapples with energy’ SDCC‘Valhalla Housing – Approaching Passiv’ SDCC‘Building Refurbishment : Achieving Value, Economies and Performance from Energy Retrofit’ SDCC‘Ballyroan Library: A Passiv-standard civic building’
                                                                                                                       WORKSHOPS
Monday11th June Tuesday12th June Wednesday13th June Thursday14th June Friday 15th June
Venue B (Tallaght Library)
09.30 – 10.30 B & Q‘Do it yourself: B&Q’s low cost energy measures at home’
10.30 – 11.30
10.45 – 11.45 Bord Gais‘Carbon Monoxide Safety at Home’
12.00 – 13.00
12.30 – 13.30 B & Q‘Do it yourself: B&Q’s low cost energy measures at home’
16.15 – 17.15 Power Perfector‘SMEs: De-risking investment in energy conservation measures (ECM)’
16.30 – 17.30 Tallaght IT & CylonThe future of Energy Management Learn to improve building energy efficiency16.30 to 19.00Please note venue: Main Campus, Tallaght IT Save Energy 4 U:Light years ahead
17.30 – 18.30

Looking forward to meeting you at the exhibition and at our workshop.

UK plan for microgeneration, including small hydro, released

The UK has released an action plan to promote microgeneration and decentralized energy in the country, including measures that allow greater flexibility for the development of small hydropower.

 

The strategy includes actions to improve the Microgeneration Certification Scheme process, making it work more effectively for SMEs while continuing to protect consumers – for example by allowing greater flexibility in the treatment of small hydro installations. This will be taken forward through the Feed-in Tariffs comprehensive review launched later this summer.

 

The British Hydropower Association said it welcomes the government’s recently-announced strategy. As far as hydropower development is concerned, the strategy is timely and finally acknowledges that micro hydro is substantially different from other technologies such as wind and solar, the association said.

 

British Hydropower Association Chief Executive David Williams said: “Micro hydro has been around for millennia – the most common form being the watermill, the rural and industrial powerhouse of the world prior to fossil fuel power and grid systems. Mills are now electricity generators exporting power to the grid and mill and landowners, farmers and communities can now develop clean and efficient projects and the government’s Feed-in Tariff is the ideal incentive to do this.

 

That is, apart from schemes up to 50 kW which were required to qualify under the MCS accreditation system designed for all renewable energy technologies.

 

“Unfortunately MCS just was not appropriate for hydro developments which are already rigorously regulated under environmental and planning consenting requirements. The assumption that a householder could just visit his local supermarket and buy a water turbine generating unit and then get it installed and therefore had to be protected from rogue manufacturers and installers is not appropriate. This was causing potential developers extra angst and uncertain costs from a system which was supposed to remove these barriers. As a result, projects were being shelved.” He continued.

 

“It is therefore with great relief that the new government strategy states that it is to withdraw the exclusive link between micro hydro and the MCS for the purpose of Feed-in Tariff eligibility.”

Source: Hydroworld.com