Shane’s Castle Green Generation

Shane’s Castle on the shores of Lough Neagh near Randalstown in Co. Antrim is the family seat of the O’Neills of Clandeboy. The Demesne is one of the most beautiful and well maintained in Ireland with a rich variety of flora and fauna, including a lovely herd of fallow deer that have been resident there for many years. The Castle is in ruins due to a devastating fire in 1816 but the remaining structure, including a unique Camellia House designed by John Nash, is still a prominent feature in the landscape. A recent and fitting addition to the Demesne is an Archimedean Screw hydro turbine, ancient technology but with a 21st century application.

The O’Neill family are well known for their preservation and conservation and love of nature and the environment and this Archimedean Screw hydro project complements their environmental initiatives very well indeed. Rated at 214 kilowatts the hydro turbine is predicted to save an impressive 840 tonnes or more of Carbon Dioxide (CO2emissions annually by generating clean, green electricity and will make a major contribution to the Demesne’s green philosophy.

This project is a reinstatement of an old hydro system that was installed circa 1900 that was used to power the estate before mains electricity was introduced to Shane’s Castle in the 1950’s. The old system was capable of generating a maximum of about 55 kW so the new Archimedean Screw system, with its high efficiency across a wide range of flows, is capable of producing at least five times the amount of energy over the year.

The predicted annual output is a massive 1,300,000 kilowatt-hours. To put this in perspective, an average household uses less than 5,000 kilowatt-hours per year, so this hydro scheme has the potential to power more than 260 houses in the locality.

The arrival!

Arriving on site

Almost 15m long the screw weighs approximately 35 tonnes

Offloading from the lorry

With a diameter of 3.5m this screw can take a flow rate of up to 5.5m3/s

The Archimedean Screw turbine provides a fish-friendly alternative to conventional turbines, ideally suited to low-head (1m-15m) 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 (UK) has agreed that no screening is required.Literally thousands of fish passages have been monitored and recorded using underwater cameras at the intake, inside the chamber of the Screw itself and at the outflow to assess the effect of the Screw on salmonids (including smolts and kelts), brown trout and eels.

The trials looked at fish passage across a broad spectrum of sizes and turbine speeds, possibly the most impressive of which was the safe passage of a kelt measuring 98cm in length and weighing 7.6kg. In addition, behavioural and migrational patterns across the species have been shown to be entirely unaffected by the turbine.

Screw is installed at an angle of 26deg. in this channel

Moving into position

In situ

A lifetime of clean, green generation ahead

 

Fish pass installed along side the Screw

 

Completed project

 

The scheme was designed by Hydroplan and the Archimedean Screw equipment was supplied by Mann Power Consulting based in Yorkshire. Mann Power are the pioneers of the Archimedean Screw in the UK and Ireland and Eco Evolution based in Co. Wexford are their authorised representative for the whole of Ireland. This Hydro project at Shane’s Castle is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and rated at 214 kilowatts this is the largest single Archimedean Screw generator ever manufactured. Eco Evolution and Mann Power installed the massive machine at Shane’s Castle earlier this year. The scheme was commissioned during the summer and it is now fully operational.

 

Shane’s Castle Worksheet

 

 

 

 

 

Mills and Millers Ireland ~ AGM and Autumn Event

The Society of Mills and Millers of Ireland was launched in 2001 to encourage and assist in the preservation and appreciation of mills as part of our industrial, architectural and landscape heritage. There are hundreds of mills and mill sites spread across the country and while many are beautifully refurbished or put to good use, there are also many others which could be restored or renovated while preserving their traditional context. The society aims to promote interest and awareness in this aspect of Ireland’s industrial heritage by building up knowledge and expertise in areas such as law, architecture, renewable energy and manufacturing and making information available through publications, lectures and events.

Mills & Millers of Ireland will hold their AGM on Saturday 8th October 2011 at 11.00am in the Glenavon House Hotel, Drum Road, Cookstown, Co Tyrone.

Tel: (048) or (028) 86764949. Registration tea, coffee from 10.30am.

At 12.00 noon following the AGM  Mr Norman Kerr will give a presentation on linen processes. At 2.30pm following lunch in the hotel a guided tour of Wellbrook Beetling Mill, the last working water-powered linen beetling mill  has been organised.

Following the tour a visit to the restored Gleshygolgan Flax Mill, Plumbridge  incorporating a hydro electric scheme has also been organised.

Fee for the day €25 – if AGM only, no charge.

Booking details can be found on Mills and Millers of Ireland website.

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

Fish-friendly Hydro for Omagh – Part I

Omagh District Council has recently commenced work on a hydro project utilising the weir on the Camowen River, adjacent to Omagh Leisure Complex, to generate electricity through an Archimedean Screw hydro turbine. The hydro scheme uses the same intake point that was used to feed the headrace to Scott’s Mills that started operations about 1850 in the town.The development of the hydro scheme on the Camowen River will generate sufficient power to meet the needs of Omagh Leisure Complex with excess electricity sold back to the national grid.

Rated at 121 kilowatts the hydro turbine is predicted to save in excess of 133 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) annually and will make a major contribution to the Council’s green philosophy. This project will complement the Council’s initiatives to develop ‘green’ energy from renewable sources, including the installation of a biomass boiler at Omagh Leisure Complex. The revenue generated by the electricity from the hydro scheme will be contributed to a sustainability fund, which would become a resource to support other sustainability projects in the district.

Omagh Leisure Complex is amongst the most modern leisure facilities having almost doubled in size from its opening in 1982 with further expansion planned. Set in 26 acres of landscaped grounds the complex caters for everyone from the casual swimmer to the serious athlete.

This project to develop a hydro turbine on the Camowen River will create a very valuable resource for renewable energy, with many benefits being re-invested to the community and providing a valuable educational resource for Omagh. Not only will the provision of this renewable energy help protect the environment, but it will also contribute to achieving the Council’s target for energy consumption from renewable sources.

Site on the Camowen river prior to works commencing
Bank cleared in readiness for construction of the hydro scheme

With flood protection in place ground works begin

The Council is very conscious of the importance of the Camowen River as a fishery, and of the concerns of anglers. After various consultations it was decided that the most suitable turbine for the site was an Archimedean Screw.
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.
Literally thousands of fish passages have been monitored and recorded using underwater cameras at the intake, inside the chamber of the Screw itself and at the outflow to assess the effect of the Screw on salmonids (including smolts and kelts), brown trout and eels. The trials looked at fish passage across a broad spectrum of sizes and turbine speeds, possibly the most impressive of which was the safe passage of a kelt measuring 98cm in length and weighing 7.6kg. In addition, behavioural and migrational patterns across the species have been shown to be entirely unaffected by the turbine.

Pile driving and deep excavation for the intake channel

Foundations laid

Reinforced concrete works at power house location

Pre-cast culvert units aligned to form part of the intake channel
Sluice gate installed
The power house and intake channel have now been constructed.

Construction of the Intake Channel

Intake channel leading to the power house

 

Power house and sluice gate

Larinier fish pass to improve fish passage at site

Dual flight Larinier Fish Pass with resting pool installed alongside screw location

This Hydro project is the second of only two Archimedean Screw Hydro projects to date in Northern Ireland. Mann Power Consulting and Eco Evolution are installing both turbines. Mann Power Consulting based in Yorkshire are the pioneers of the Archimedean Screw in the UK and Ireland and Eco Evolution based in Co. Wexford are their authorised representative for the whole of Ireland.

Mann Power Consulting and Eco Evolution are the Archimedean Screw generating specialists in the UK and Ireland. Mann Power Managing Director, Dave Mann, brought the Archimedean screw as a generating turbine into the UK for the first time in 2004. Dave commissioned the fish passage studies instrumental in persuading the Environment Agency to accept the technology. Mann Power have a proven track record of successful installation throughout the UK and Ireland and their services are split into five distinct stages allowing clients complete flexibility to decide their own project timescale. They offer a fully integrated 3-D design and build capability and they are the sole distributors of Rehart Archimedean screws in the UK and Ireland.

The first ever Archimedean Screw generator in Northern Ireland was only recently installed at Shane’s Castle in Antrim. Rated at 214 kilowatts this is the largest single Archimedean Screw generator ever manufactured. Eco Evolution and Mann Power recently installed the massive Rehart manufactured machine at Shane’s Castle. It is expected that the scheme will be commissioned shortly and it will then be fully operational.

The predicted annual output is a massive 1,125,000 kilowatt-hours. To put this in perspective, an average household uses less than 5,000 kilowatt-hours per year, so this hydro scheme has the potential to power more than 225 houses. This scheme will also save an impressive 484 tonnes or more of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions by generating clean, green electricity.

Eco Evolution are also currently working on a smaller 20 kilowatt private scheme in Co. Antrim that is at the early stages of development. This scheme will provide power to a farm with excess electricity sold back to the national grid.

Incentive payments in way of Northern Ireland Renewable Obligation Certificates (NIROCs) are available for renewable generators including hydro. NIROCs are available for the electricity generated by the hydro turbine, this electricity can then be used on site with the excess exported to the national grid. There is an Export Tariff available for any excess electricity that is exported to the national grid.

The Eco Evolution professional team offers a friendly one-stop shop for hydro development, from feasibility studies to licensing, to installation and commissioning and everything in between.

Eco Evolution are also currently seeking suitable investment sites for hydro development around the country. Leases on suitable sites with potential in excess of 50 kilowatts would be considered.

All photographs copyright of Eco Evolution.

Fish-friendly Hydro for Omagh – Part II

The installation of the Archimedean Screw.