Mills & Millers of Ireland Summer Event ~ Antrim 23 & 24 June 2012.

The Society for the Preservation of Ancient and Traditional Irish Mills

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.

This years Summer event in the lovely countryside of County Antrim will include a visit to the mill at Newmills, a visit to Shane’s Castle Hydro scheme, Riverdale Mill and the ruins of a paper mill at Randalstown. Details of events below.

Meeting place

The Barn, 30 Burnside Road, Dunadry, Co Antrim BT41 2HZ (Bert & Evleen). Directions can be found here.


Shane’s Castle Archimedes Screw Installation

Day 1 Saturday 23 June

10.30am Registration – Tea / Coffee & Scones
11.00am Programme for today – Bert Kennedy
11.30am Visit to Mill at Newmills – owned by Barbara & Des – short talk by Des on the history of Mill and their story so far.

01.00pm Lunch at Clotworthy House in Antrim Castle Gardens including short Tour, talk on local history and visit to the gardens.

02.30pm Visit to Shanes Castle, Randalstown – short talk by Shane O’Neill (son of Lord O’Neill, on Archimedes Screw installation (supplied by MMOI Members – Frank / Mary Gethings – Eco Evolution)
03.30pm Travel 20 minutes to Riverdale Mill

04.30pm Visit to Riverdale Mill, Aghalee (covered Wheel) – tour and short talk by owner David Gilbert, on his story so far…..

Tea / Coffee & Scones
05.30pm Return to Hotel – Dunsilly Hotel

07.30pm Dinner – All (not included in Fee)

Clotworthy House in Antrim Castle Gardens

We have negotiated discount at the Dunsilly Hotel as follows: Single Room, Bed & Breakfast – £59.00 (normal price £79.00) / Twin Room, Bed & Breakfast – £69.00 (normal price £89.00). Please mention MMOI / speak to Laura.

Dunsilly Hotel, 20 Dunsilly Road, Antrim, BT41 2JH. Tel: 0044 (0) 28 9446 2929 Email:

Please do not hesitate to contact me on 07789082089, or email me –, if you require any assistance, or further information.

Historical Paper Mill Randallstown

Day 2 Sunday 24 June 2012

11.00am Clotworthy House – Tea / Coffee & Scones (€5p/p)
12.30am Visit to ruins of an historical Paper Mill at Randalstown, (originally 3 waterwheels) – owned by Lee and Naomi – currently in the process of installing an Archimedes Screw – short talk on their story so far…

02.00pm End of Event

Should anyone require lunch, we have 3 hotels within 5 mins from the Barn – Templeton / Dunadry / Hilton – all serve Carvery (alternatives also available) between 12.00-2.00pm.

Fee for Saturday €25.00 / £23 Lunch & morning & afternoon refreshments. Please make your own overnight arrangements and let us know if you plan to stay for Sunday morning.

Download Booking Form Here

Old waterwheel before refurbishment


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






Fish-friendly Hydro for Omagh – Part II

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 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.

The Archimedean Screw arrived early on Friday morning by ferry from Germany.

Arrival of Archimedean Screw to site

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.

The Council was 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.

The 220 tonne crean lifting the turbine into place


Lifting the turbine into place


Archimedean Screw craned into position


Bolting the Archimedean Screw securely into position


The Archimedean Screw in position

The site has seen many changes over the past few weeks. Safety screens and handrails have been installed. Landscape work is almost complete and it is  is expected that this project will be commissioned and fully operational in the coming weeks.

Safety screens in place

Handrails in place

Project near completion

Hydro projects in Northern Ireland:

This Hydro project is the second of only two Archimedean Screw Hydro projects to date in Northern Ireland. Eco Evolution and Mann Power Consulting 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  are their authorised representative for the whole of 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 now fully commissioned  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 840 tonnes or more of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions by generating clean, green electricity.

Fish-friendly Hydro

Eco Evolution and Mann Power together offer an unrivalled level of expertise and experience when it comes to the Archimedean Screw hydro turbine. Between us we have carried out well over 120 feasibility studies on low head hydro sites and have completed over 55 scheme designs. We also provide solutions for old mills that want to retain the traditional water wheel with a number of projects completed and operational with the old water wheel redesigned and refurbished or with a new water wheel manufactured.

Eco Evolution, as well as being involved in the relatively large sized projects in Omagh and Shane’s Castle in Antrim where the largest ever manufactured Archimedean Screw hydro generator of 214 kilowatts has been installed, are also currently working on a smaller 20 kilowatt private scheme in Co. Antrim that will shortly be submitted for planning. This scheme is situated on a farm and will generate an estimated 65,000 kilowatt-hours (or units of electricity) per annum with a  Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions saving of over 40 tonnes. A small scheme like this would be capable of powering approximately 15 average households.

Eco Evolution also have two schemes planned on the river Slaney, the famous salmon and trout river in Carlow/Wexford that is also a Special Area of Conservation, one of these recently received planning approval and the other is currently in the planning process. The Archimedean Screw has made hydro schemes possible on rivers such as the Slaney when proper mitigation is implemented. In fact hydro schemes can, and have, enhanced and improved fish passage and migration on many sites that  Eco Evolution and Mann Power have been involved in.

Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) Certification:

With regard to Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) Certification, Mann Power are registered under the scheme as Transition Installer 109. Note however that the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) in the UK recently announced that they are proposing to withdraw the exclusive link between micro hydro and the MCS for the purpose of the Feed-In Tariff eligibility as they have recognised that there is a case to treat micro hydro differently due to the special and complex nature of micro hydro development. DECC will consider how this can be taken forward as part of comprehensive review of the Feed-In Tariff.

Incentives and funding available in Northern Ireland:

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.

Funding may be available for hydro projects through the Rural Development Programme (RDP). The RDP aims to improve the quality of life in rural areas by supporting a wide range of projects. These include diversification into nonagricultural activities, support for business creation, encouragement of tourism activities, village renewal and development, basic services for rural communities and conservation and upgrading of the rural heritage. The RDP is delivered by seven Council Clusters using the LEADER approach, these Council Clusters have facilitated the creation of Local Action Groups (LAG’s), which cover all sectors of the community. If you would like to find out more about what is available in your area please contact your LAG or your local DARD office. All details available online at

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.

Fish-friendly Hydro for Omagh – Part I  The development of the site on the Camowen river.

All photographs copyright of Eco Evolution.