Hydropower generates electricity at off-grid farm

A family living in a remote part of the North York Moors are proving that hydropower really works.

The National Trust owned farm is situated seven miles from the nearest town, surrounded by moorland, has no neighbours, no mains gas, no mains water and no mains electricity. The farmhouse was originally built in 1707 and when the family moved in in 1995 there was no central heating, electric kettle, toaster, fridge, washing machine – in fact there was no electrical mod cons of any description. Bottled gas was used for the cooker and a diesel generator operated  in the evenings only.

The generator was expensive to run because of the cost of diesel (approx £5,000 per year),  spare parts for the generator because it was running for so many hours every day, maintenance, filters etc .

Adding the clear panes before covering the hydropower turbine

The family contacted the electricity board about installing an electricity supply but because their farm was so remote and they were surrounded by moors the cables would have to go underground and this was just too expensive and would also have had an adverse affect on the landscape.

The stream running pass the farmhouse made hydro power seem the obvious choice for power generation but the shallow gradient of the stream initially caused problems because at the time they couldn’t find a suitable turbine for the low head site.

BonfieldGhyll2p

Photo Credit: Mannpower Consulting Ltd

They then heard about the Archimedean Screw hydropower turbine which operates at low heads heads from 1m – 10m.  Mann Power Consulting Ltd brought the Archimedean Screw turbine into the UK for the first time, and has been at the forefront of supplying this equipment for hydro generation projects since 2004.  After visiting an Archimedean Screw  hydropower project  the family decided that this was indeed a viable option for them to eventually generate electricity.

The North York Moors National Park Authority had also just started a sustainable development fund and the families’ landlord, the National Trust, were keen to tap into that. In 2007 Mannpower Consulting Ltd were  engaged to design and install the Archimedean Screw.

Photo Credit: Mannpower Consulting Ltd

After carrying out a feasibility study it was decided that the best option for the site was an enclosed compact Archimedean Screw hydro turbine as it would not adversely affect property downstream or wildlife. Each Archimedean Screw hydropower turbine is manufactured to be site specific. The enclosed compact allowed the turbine to be positioned underground, minimising its impact on the environment.

Three clear panels enable the screw to be monitored and also allow the workings to be visible to the public. This also allows it to be used to educate the public about hydropower and alternative energy sources.

The Archimedean Screw hydropower turbine blending into the landscape

Rated at 1.0kW and a capacity of 100 l/s and an estimated annual output of 3,500kWh the hydro turbine is predicted to save in excess of 1 tonne of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) annually. An underground cable connects the generator to the control panel in the farmhouse via the batteries and inverter located in the store near the farmhouse. The family can now operate appliances for their home especially a fridge freezer and lights at night – necessities they couldn’t have while using a diesel generator.

Extra batteries were added to the storage so that they can, if fully charged, power the farm for almost a week in the event of no water flow. The family have also installed a solar pv panel to boost their electricity and also a solar thermal panel to supply their hot water needs.

Green energy has made a huge difference to the lives of this family. Is this something you would consider doing?

 

 

 

Chooseday’s Choice! ~ Renewable Energy or Fossil Fuels?

Renewable energy resources are clean sources of energy. They can be harnessed without damaging the environment, unlike using fossil fuels which release carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) and other harmful pollutants into the atmosphere. They will never become exhausted. Unlike finite fossil fuels, renewable energy resources are continuously replenished through the cycles of nature and will not run out.

You Choose!

Renewable Energy or Fossil Fuels?

Renewable Energy or Fossil Fuels?

 

Better Energy Homes Schemes to continue in 2014

Today marked the significant milestone of 250,000 homes upgraded in Ireland through the highly successful Better Energy Homes schemes. Free home energy upgrades have been completed in 100,000 homes through Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme. A further 150,000 homeowners have availed of the popular Better Energy Homes grants for insulation and heating upgrades. These homeowners  have already made energy savings of €150m over the past few years, and will continue to save €60m annually.

Funds for the ‘Better Energy Homes’ Schemes will continue to be available throughout 2014.  A separate programme of retrofit investment in the Local Authority housing stock has also recently commenced and a new fund has also been created this year to boost activity in terms of public and commercial building energy efficiency initiatives.

We will continue to provide funds for the Better Energy Schemes next year. We recently commenced a separate programme of retrofit investment in the Local Authority housing stock. We have also created a new fund this year to boost activity in terms of public and commercial building energy efficiency initiatives.” – See more at: http://www.seai.ie/News_Events/Press_Releases/2013/250-000-homes-upgraded-to-date-through-Better-Energy-schemes.html#sthash.2oAcDpcL.dpuf
Cavity Wall Insulation

Improve the Energy Efficiency of your home with Cavity Wall Insulation

The Better Energy Warmer Homes scheme (BEWH), administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, funds energy efficiency improvements in the homes of the elderly and vulnerable, making the homes more comfortable, healthier and more cost effective to run. The Better Energy Warmer Homes services are provided by a panel of SEAI appointed non-profit community based organisations (CBO’s) and a panel of SEAI appointed private contractors. The Installers are assigned to a household depending on their geographic location. CBO’s and contractors deliver the BEWH to the highest quality assurance standards. Inspections are carried out on a sample of homes completed to ensure the standards are maintained.

The scheme is available to non-Local Authority owner occupied homes constructed before 2006. The owner of the property has also to be in receipt of one of the following:

  • Fuel Allowance as part of the National Fuel Scheme
  • Job Seekers allowance for over six months and with children under 7 years of age
  • Family income support

The service involves the installation of standard energy efficiency measures appropriate to the eligible household subject to SEAI survey, budget allocation and available capacity. The service is provided at no cost to the household and the measures currently available under this scheme are:

  • Attic insulation.
  • Draught proofing.
  • Lagging jackets.
  • Low energy light bulbs.
  • Cavity wall insulation.
  • Energy advice.
Attic Insulation - The Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme

Improve the Energy Efficiency of your home with  Attic Insulation

Landlords can avail of grants from Better Energy Homes if they have tenants in, or at risk of, energy poverty.

The Better Energy Homes scheme provides assistance to homeowners to reduce energy use, costs and greenhouse gas emissions and improve the comfort levels within their home. It is a national scheme therefore all homeowners of dwelling built before 2006 may apply. Landlords and owners of multiple properties may also apply, however they must submit a separate application form for each property.  Grants are available for eligible applicants for under taking the following upgrades.



The Minister further commented: “The significance of reaching this milestone should not be underestimated – retrofitting 250,000 homes out of 1.6m permanently occupied homes is a huge achievement. However, it’s also appropriate to look forward and consider the economic and health benefits that we could realise if the rest of the inefficient housing stock was upgraded. I encourage everyone to ‘get efficient’ and take advantage of the Better Energy grant programmes.”
– See more at: http://www.seai.ie/News_Events/Press_Releases/2013/250-000-homes-upgraded-to-date-through-Better-Energy-schemes.html#sthash.AN22IxeN.dpuf
Better Energy Warmer Homes (BEWH) services are provided by a panel of SEAI appointed non-profit community based organisations (CBOs) and a panel of SEAI appointed private contractors. – See more at: http://www.seai.ie/Grants/Warmer_Homes_Scheme/How_are_the_services_provided.html#sthash.Fy4cpN9g.dpuf
The Better Energy Homes scheme provides assistance to homeowners to reduce energy use, costs and greenhouse gas emissions and improve the comfort levels within their home.  – See more at: http://www.seai.ie/Grants/Better_energy_homes/About_the_Scheme/#sthash.70EBadk9.dpuf
Mr Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications Energy and Natural Resources, today marked the significant milestone of 250,000 homes upgraded in Ireland through the highly successful Better Energy schemes. Free home energy upgrades have been completed in 100,000 homes through Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme. A further 150,000 homeowners have availed of the popular Better Energy Homes grants for insulation and heating upgrades. – See more at: http://www.seai.ie/News_Events/Press_Releases/2013/250-000-homes-upgraded-to-date-through-Better-Energy-schemes.html#sthash.fgqwjAOa.dpuf
Mr Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications Energy and Natural Resources, today marked the significant milestone of 250,000 homes upgraded in Ireland through the highly successful Better Energy schemes. Free home energy upgrades have been completed in 100,000 homes through Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme. A further 150,000 homeowners have availed of the popular Better Energy Homes grants for insulation and heating upgrades. – See more at: http://www.seai.ie/News_Events/Press_Releases/2013/250-000-homes-upgraded-to-date-through-Better-Energy-schemes.html#sthash.fgqwjAOa.dpuf
Mr Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications Energy and Natural Resources, today marked the significant milestone of 250,000 homes upgraded in Ireland through the highly successful Better Energy schemes. Free home energy upgrades have been completed in 100,000 homes through Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme. A further 150,000 homeowners have availed of the popular Better Energy Homes grants for insulation and heating upgrades. – See more at: http://www.seai.ie/News_Events/Press_Releases/2013/250-000-homes-upgraded-to-date-through-Better-Energy-schemes.html#sthash.fgqwjAOa.dpuf
Mr Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications Energy and Natural Resources, today marked the significant milestone of 250,000 homes upgraded in Ireland through the highly successful Better Energy schemes. Free home energy upgrades have been completed in 100,000 homes through Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme. A further 150,000 homeowners have availed of the popular Better Energy Homes grants for insulation and heating upgrades.
– See more at: http://www.seai.ie/News_Events/Press_Releases/2013/250-000-homes-upgraded-to-date-through-Better-Energy-schemes.html#sthash.fgqwjAOa.dpuf
Mr Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications Energy and Natural Resources, today marked the significant milestone of 250,000 homes upgraded in Ireland through the highly successful Better Energy schemes. Free home energy upgrades have been completed in 100,000 homes through Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme. A further 150,000 homeowners have availed of the popular Better Energy Homes grants for insulation and heating upgrades.
– See more at: http://www.seai.ie/News_Events/Press_Releases/2013/250-000-homes-upgraded-to-date-through-Better-Energy-schemes.html#sthash.fgqwjAOa.dpuf
Mr Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications Energy and Natural Resources, today marked the significant milestone of 250,000 homes upgraded in Ireland through the highly successful Better Energy schemes. Free home energy upgrades have been completed in 100,000 homes through Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme. A further 150,000 homeowners have availed of the popular Better Energy Homes grants for insulation and heating upgrades.
– See more at: http://www.seai.ie/News_Events/Press_Releases/2013/250-000-homes-upgraded-to-date-through-Better-Energy-schemes.html#sthash.fgqwjAOa
Mr Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications Energy and Natural Resources, today marked the significant milestone of 250,000 homes upgraded in Ireland through the highly successful Better Energy schemes. Free home energy upgrades have been completed in 100,000 homes through Better Energy Warmer Homes Scheme. A further 150,000 homeowners have availed of the popular Better Energy Homes grants for insulation and heating upgrades.
– See more at: http://www.seai.ie/News_Events/Press_Releases/2013/250-000-homes-upgraded-to-date-through-Better-Energy-schemes.html#sthash.fgqwjAOa.dpuf

Practical On-farm Renewable Energy event at CAFRE’s Greenmount Campus

Following on from its success in 2011, the “Practical On-farm Renewable Energy” event will be held once again on Tuesday 30 October 2012 at Greenmount Campus. DARD has again joined forces with the UFU, and AFBI to provide practical information for farmers and the rural sector about the various renewable energy options available for their businesses. The follow-up event at CAFRE’s Enniskillen Campus will also be held in February 2013.

Renewable and Sustainable Energy

There will be a series of seminars throughout the day highlighting local case studies of the main renewable energy technologies; wind power, biomass production and utilisation, biogas production, solar hot water and PV, micro-hydro and heat pumps. A second series of seminars will deal with many of issues facing those considering installing a green energy source. Topics covered will include the proposed Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI), grid connection, planning, NI Renewable Obligation Certificates (NIROC’s), marketing NIROC’s as well as finance, business planning and funding options.

In addition, there will be a Trade Exhibition and the opportunity to tour the renewable energy installations at Greenmount Campus. If you are interested in exhibiting in the trade stand area please contact CAFRE at technology.admin@dardni.gov.uk or telephone 028 9442 6770. As space is limited it will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

The event will run from 11.00am until 9.00pm in the evening. For further details contact David Trimble at 028 9442 6682 or david.trimble@dardni.gov.uk.

Direction to the exhibition can be found at the following link:  http://www.cafre.ac.uk/index/campus-locations.htm

Timetable of seminars and tours: Seminars & Tours Leaflet

We look forward to meeting you at the show.

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

 

 

Better Energy Communities Pilot 2012 – Open for Applications

This is an exciting new pilot programme that SEAI is delighted to launch in order to stimulate the delivery of innovative energy efficiency projects in communities and other areas.

Energy efficiency

The Better Energy Programme is Ireland’s national upgrade programme to retrofit our building stock and facilities to high standards of energy efficiency, there by reducing fossil fuel use, running costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

The purpose of this call is to support and pilot innovative delivery approaches at a community level. With a fund of €3M, the pilot projects will test new approaches to achieving high quality and efficient delivery of improvements in energy efficiency within Irish communities.

This call, in supporting pilot projects at a community level, is specifically seeking to test innovative and pioneering partnerships for delivery between for example, the public and private sectors, domestic and non-domestic sectors, commercial and not-for-profit organisations. Other solutions to delivering energy savings within a community that leverage existing resources are also invited.

The call is open to

  • Participating Energy Suppliers
  • Public sector, including local authorities
  • Community-based organisations (CBOs) that have an established service for delivering the required measures; or other community type organisations.
  • Private sector
  • Voluntary organisations

A grant application can also be made by a nominated project co-ordinator, such co-ordination may be by an energy supply company or their designated delivery partner acting in partial fulfilment of its energy saving target.

Individual organisations and co-ordinators are permitted to submit several different applications for support but projects should be bundled where appropriate.

Eligible ptojects

The call is open to projects and related initiatives in the community spanning multiple sectors and focusing on energy efficiency in buildings, business, facilities and transport sectors, and allowing for additional installation of integrated renewable energy technologies and infrastructure.

Eligible Measures.

Eligible measures will prioritise energy efficiency retrofits and can include elements of renewable energy where appropriate. Measures proposed should demonstrate how they will deliver the Community concept in the wider community, social and policy structures.

Level of support available

A fund of €3m is available for allocation to projects on a competitive basis, for investment actions comprising individual or packaged measures, aimed at achieving on-going and lasting energy savings.

Grant support is available for qualifying projects and the level of funding will be related to the innovation in terms of delivery, technology and energy savings proposed under the project. Funding will be allocated based on an assessment of each individual project application, considered against the evaluation criteria outlined and taking account of other sources of funding leveraged.

Eligible costs

The eligible costs are the direct costs incurred in the delivery of the project.

  • Purchase of plant, machinery or equipment in the product/ technology categories listed on the ‘Triple E’ register
  • VAT associated if it is not reclaimable

Non Eligible Costs

  •  Any costs not directly related to improving sustainable energy performance through the proposed project
  • Ongoing monitoring costs
  • Internal staff costs
  • Any costs to bring process or facilities up to standards required
  • Any costs that are incurred prior to formal grant approval – no matter what they relate to – are ineligible and will not be paid.

 

For further information see the following links:

Better Energy Communities – 2012 Application Guide.pdf (size 280 KB)

Better Energy Communities Pilot Application Form.pdf (size 166.4 KB)

Or alternatively if you have a project in mind which you think might be suitable please contact Paula Butler who is the  main contact person in SEAI and can be contacted at paula.butler@seai.ie or 01 8082094.

Closing date for applications is 14th September 2012.