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

 

 

 

 

 

Setting a green evolution in motion – featured in the Sunday Business Post

Setting a green evolution in motion

Frank Gethings believes that redundancy can be looked at in two ways: either a gloomy end to a job or an opportunity to do something you have a passion about.

Gethings had been working for Maxtor, a multinational firm based in Bray, for about six years when it was acquired b y rival Seagate.

The change of ownership led to the closure of Maxtor, and Gethings was among more than 100 people who lost their jobs just before Christmas 2006.

‘‘Starting my own business had always been one of my goals, so I looked on the redundancy as an opportunity, as opposed to something negative,” said Gethings. ‘‘We received a good redundancy package from Maxtor, so I seized the moment: a case of now or never.”

Equipped with ‘‘the right attitude’’ and a keen interest in renewable energy, Gethings set about establishing Eco Evolution.

His firm specialises in all aspects of renewable energy – from consultancy to the design, supply and installation of wind turbines, solar heaters and even small-scale hydroelectricity generation systems.

‘‘The renewable energy industry in Ireland is only in its infancy and has tremendous potential for significant growth and high-calibre job creation,” said Gethings.

‘‘I think Ireland has the potential to be a world leader in this industry, but it will take real political leadership and proper support mechanisms to get it off the ground.”

A native of Ferns, Co Wexford, Gethings graduated in electronic engineering at Dublin City University in 1989.He worked for Kimble, a Dundalk based manufacturing firm, for six years, followed by a three-year stint with MKIR Panasonic.

When he went to work for Maxtor in 2000, he was able to move back home to Ferns, where Eco Evolution is now based. ‘‘I started working on setting up the company in 2006 when I was made aware of the impending redundancy,” he said. ‘‘This included carrying out intensive research and compiling a business plan, training and cherry-picking products.”

Gethings also did courses in sustainable energy, wind turbine and solar photovoltaic installation, and a wind energy module as part of a Masters in renewable energy systems.

Eco Evolution started trading in 2008, with funding from the Wexford County Enterprise Board. The firm is the official reseller for several international renewable energy products, and its customers are mainly in the residential and agricultural sectors. However, Gethings said that a number of commercial projects were also in the pipeline as businesses looked at ways to cut costs and become more environmentallyfriendly.

‘‘This is probably the only industry which can rise up out of the doldrums and lead this country into an era of prosperity once again,” said Gethings.

‘‘To support this energy revolution, our leaders must also rise up and take real responsibility for what needs to be done.”

 

Featured in the Sunday Business Post in ‘People in Business’ section:

Article

 

 

 

 

Evance R9000 Vs Proven WT6000

“The Evance R9000 is the latest variant of the long established 5kW small wind turbine from the UK manufacturer Iskra, recently re-branded as Evance.

The R9000 is the first turbine to be equipped with Reactive Pitch technology, a unique control concept developed and patented by Evance. Reactive Pitch guarantees that the blades will capture exactly the right amount of energy according to the wind speed and generator loading conditions.

At low to moderate wind speeds the Reactive Pitch mechanism captures the maximum energy possible from the wind by holding the blades with absolute precision at the maximum efficiency position.

At higher wind speeds, when the energy in the wind exceeds the maximum capacity of the generator, the R9000’s unique Reactive Pitch mechanism automatically pitches the blades. This regulates energy capture, rotor speed, and the loads experienced by the turbine structure. It will therefore capture the full 5kW power, and the reduction in stresses mean that the R9000 offers greater safety and survivability

The R9000 also has a patented high-efficiency generator which converts up to 96% of the energy captured from the wind into useful electricity. The generator is specifically designed for the R9000, and is integrated into the turbine’s rotor.

What all that means is that the Evance R9000 can capture more energy across the range of wind speeds, especially the lower and moderate speeds that are normally experienced on the majority of the mainland UK.
The combination of the advanced pitch control, which is much more effective than the Proven’s “coning” mechanism, and the more efficient generator enable the Evance R9000 to out perform the Proven WT6000 at lower to moderate wind speeds…”

Evance_Proven_1Evance_Proven_2Evance_Proven_3Evance_vs_Proven.PDF

Eco Evolution featured in the Irish Independent – hydro electric

  • Hydro electricity — Hydro electric generation — even on a small scale — can be a more cost-effective and, more importantly, predictable and consistent method of generating electricity on both a micro and commercial scale. If you are lucky enough to have a decent size stream running through your farm, it may certainly be worth looking at.
  • Overview of an Archimedean Screw ~ Photo Credit: Landustrie

    Overview of an Archimedean Screw ~ Photo Credit: Landustrie

Co Wexford-based Eco Evolution (www.EcoEvolution.ie) is the agent in Ireland for the Landustrie range of Archimedean Screw hydro turbines supplied by Mann Power Consulting Ltd, the Archimedean Screw hydro turbine specialists in the UK.

Frank Gethings is the MD of the Ferns-based company, which specialises in the micro-generation technologies of wind turbines, Landustrie hydro turbines and solar PV systems. It also supplies and installs solar thermal systems, air-to-water heat pumps and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) systems.

The Archimedean Screw is old technology used as water pumps to lift water from one level to another. Landustrie manufactures two types of the Archimedean Screw, one for pumping water — as originally designed — and the other to generate electricity using the flow of water in the reverse direction, downwards to turn the screw and generate power.

Mr Gethings says: “The requirements for driving the screw are quite low, with a minimum head requirement of just 1m, up to a maximum of 10m. There is a minimum flow requirement of 100 litres/sec, which is the equivalent of a sizeable stream.”

These are said to have many advantages over the more traditional types of hydro turbines; the most important of these probably being the fact that they are fish friendly. Also, leaves and debris simply pass through the turbine with no fine screening required.

“They are also highly efficient across a large flow variation, with a hydraulic efficiency of 87pc and a water-to-wire efficiency of 77pc. They are suitable for small, domestic applications from 1kW up to larger commercial applications of 350kW.

“With each application we would have to do a feasibility study on each site and then the Archimedean hydro-electric plant would be custom-made to suit the site.” Small plants would generate as little as 1kW, while bigger plants could generate up to 350kW handling a water flow of up to 10,000 litres/sec.

“Old mills are ideal sites as the civil works are already in place and there is the potential to generate up to 15kW or so, depending on what’s there.”

Planning permission would be required for such an installation, and in the UK they have gone through all the processes to establish it as a fish-friendly design. Being site specific, it could be hard to estimate the price of installing such a facility, but MannPower Consulting has produced a chart in an effort to do just that.

SOURCE: http://www.independent.ie/farming/the–power–to–choose-1959329.html

Eco Evolution featured in The Farmers Journal (14 Nov ’09)

Turning the screw on power

Turning age old technology on its head has started to allow one Irish company to produce electricity from flowing water.

Ferns based company Eco Evolution (www.EcoEvolution.ie) has become the first in the country to commercialise the Rehart range of Archimedean screw hydro turbines.

Frank Gethings, managing director of Eco Evolution, said “Archimedean screws were traditionally used as water pumps to lift water from one level to another. Archimedean screw hydro turbines work in reverse. Water from a river or stream flows down the screw causing it to rotate. The screw is coupled to a generator via a gearbox and hence power is generated.”

Like many green energy companies they supply wind turbines and solar panels but are finding huge interest in hydropower.

The system can range from 1kW up to 130kW on a single screw system. The first large system of 120kW is to be installed in Omagh, Co. Tyrone, to provide electricity for a leisure centre.

The Archimedean screw is suited to low head sites and can cater for heads of between one and 10 metres height and can take flow rates ranging from 100 to 10,000 litres per second.

For larger flows, two or more screws can be used.

Frank said there is scope for installing it on farms but having an existing mill or works will greatly reduce the cost. It costs €20,000 for the equipment for the 1kW system, but additional site works have to be carried out. Cost efficiency is an issue of scale. A 300kW system might cost €1,000 per kWh to install but a 1kW system might be €20,000.

The system allows debris to flow through and has also been proven to be fish friendly.

Farmers Journal - 14 November 2009