Special day. The many faces of Penrhyn Castle… or the office as I call it

Quick blog on a special day for me in the National Trust. Today was a behind the scenes tour of Penrhyn Castle. I have only been there 18 months. Here are few photos of the tour and I think I have only seen 10% so far. Like it or not you can’t deny how special the place is. Some photos!

there are many faces to Penrhyn. Literally and metaphorically. these are in the cellars. a kind of Penrhyn terracotta army for me!

there are many faces to Penrhyn. Literally and metaphorically. these are in the cellars. a kind of Penrhyn terracotta army for me!

the traditional face of this 1840 statement castle

the traditional face of this 1840 statement castle

in Welsh it would be "pen punt a chynffon dime" sort of "fir coat an no knickers" its amazing the sheer number of rooms which are waiting... waiting to tell their stories. this one is right at the top of the highest tower (the keep)

in Welsh it would be “pen punt a chynffon dime” sort of “fur coat and no knickers” its amazing the sheer number of rooms which are waiting… waiting to tell their stories. This one is right at the top of the highest tower (The Keep)

a room with a view. from the top of the castle keep looking back to the Menai Straits and Ynys Seiriol

A room with a view. from the top of the castle keep looking back to the Menai Straits and Ynys Seiriol

... and above the grand hall is a 'grand attic' phenomenal carpentry

… and above the grand hall is a ‘grand attic’ Phenomenal carpentry

But there is plenty to see without going behind the scenes. the Gunnera is at its weird stage before the huge leaves open up... worth a look!

But there is plenty to see without going behind the scenes. How many people have seen this? . The Gunnera is at its weird stage before the huge leaves open up… worth a look!

the detailing is incredible. this is next to the office. i got up close and personal today

the detailing is incredible. this is next to the office. I got up close and personal today

One more face... the colourful one. I think i have more to find

One more face… the colourful one. I think i have more to find

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National Trust Northern Ireland renewables hot housing. Giants, Castles and Thrones

Castle Ward on the shores of Strangford Loch is a possible site for lots of options to heat and manage its energy.

The stunning Castle Ward on the shores of Strangford Loch is a possible site for lots of options to heat and manage its energy. My new Panasonic Lumix Lx100 is getting come nice images (makes me look good)

From Wednesday to Friday five of us from the National Trust Renewable Energy Investment Program were over working with the team in Northern Ireland assessing the potential for renewable energy solutions across this stunning part of the world. Coast to coast, castles to mansions. We looked at possibilities for every conceivable energy option. Kate Noble and the team over in Northern Ireland have been busy with renewables for example they have been installing medium biomass for the last five or so years at the rate of two a year. Paul, Mike, Sara, Ed, Myself and Kate were looking at what the future would look like if another gear was engaged. I was glad to hear that the possible hydro at Patterson’s Spade mill was now fully consented. I was also there to learn about the difference in support mechanisms  (ROC’s until April 2017 – no Fits. RHi banding was different, consenting system and so on). The potential is there it’s now down to the planning and feasibility as ever. Looking forward to going back to help the driven team over the water

Last time Paul and i were at the Giants cause way it was a giant building site. the new visitor building on the right is like nothing i have seen before. The energy systems are also cutting edge

Last time Paul and I were at the Giants Causeway it was a giant building site. The new visitor building on the right is like nothing I have seen before. The energy systems are also cutting edge

in case you were not sure of its uniqueness here it is up close. It was the fist site i have seen with a heat recovery and heat pump on the grey water recycling scheme. Ingenious!

In case you were not sure of its uniqueness here it is up close. It was the first site i have seen with a heat recovery and heat pump on the grey water recycling scheme. They also use the building slab as a trombe wall, use sea air to manage the internal environment and the list went on.  Ingenious!

at Castle Ward the castle did cause a stir in some. Something called Winterfell in a little tv program called Game of Thrones. Probably a local program as i have not seen it.

Castle Ward old castle did cause a stir in some. This was the site of something called Winterfell in a little tv program called Game of Thrones. Probably a local program as I have not seen it.

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So… What is the Human Toxicity Potential of a Hydro? National Trust find out

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The graph above represents the Life Cycle Analysis of three hydros (Hafod y Llan 650kw and Hafod y Porth 100kw  – blue and red lines) GWP = Global Warming Potential. ARDP – Abiotic Resource Depletion. AP = Acidification Potential. FRDP =fossil Fuel Resource Depletion. HTP= Human Toxicity Potential

The title of this blog suggests an exotic impact from our recent hydro development but as reported in the earlier blog we have been working with Bangor University and Trinity University Dublin to understand  a whole plethora of potential impacts as part of a holistic  Life Cycle Assessment of our two recently completed hydros at Hafod y Llan and Hafod y Porth as part of the National Trust Renewable Energy Investment Program. As you can see from the graph above generating your own renewable energy from a hydro is significantly less impact-full than normal grid electricity. But also this process has been especially insightful in understanding where the opportunities are to lower the impact even further! Thanks especially to John Gallagher for this work

(Abstract from the recently published paper) “Globally, the hydropower (HP) sector has significant potential to increase its capacity by 2050. This study quantifies the energy and resource demands of small-scale HP projects and presents methods to reduce associated environmental impacts based on potential growth in the sector. The environmental burdens of three (50–650 kW) run-of-river HP projects were calculated using life cycle assessment (LCA). The global warming potential (GWP) for the projects to generate electricity ranged from 5.5–8.9 g CO2 eq/kWh, compared with 403 g CO2eq/kWh for UK marginal grid electricity. A sensitivity analysis accounted for alternative manufacturing processes, transportation, ecodesign considerations, and extended project lifespan. These findings were extrapolated for technically viable HP sites in Europe, with the potential to generate 7.35 TWh and offset over 2.96 Mt of CO2 from grid electricity per annum. Incorporation of ecodesign could provide resource savings for these HP projects: avoiding 800 000 tonnes of concrete, 10 000 tonnes of steel, and 65 million vehicle miles. Small additional material and energy contributions can double a HP system lifespan, providing 39–47% reductions for all environmental impact categories. In a world of finite resources, this paper highlights the importance of HP as a resource-efficient, renewable energy system.”

John Gallagher *, David Styles , Aonghus McNabola , and A. Prysor Williams

School of Environment, Natural Resources, and Geography, Bangor University, Bangor LL57 2DG, Wales
Department of Civil, Structural, and Environmental Engineering, Trinity College, Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland
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Eirlys and Emily start buiding the Anafon Community Hydro

80 yeras difference between the oldest and the youngest person born in the village but they share one thing. "they built a hydro" (ceremonially!) Eirilys and Emily!

80 years difference between the oldest and the youngest person born and raised in the village but they share one thing. “they built a hydro” (ceremonially!) Eirilys and Emily! (with the some help from Gavin)

Quick blog. Off to Northern Ireland for the rest of the week with the Renewable Energy Investment Program Team to hunt hydros and look at budding biomass. But could not leave (very very early in the morning!) without sharing this quick video of the end of the beginning for the Anafon Community hydro. As one person told me yesterday a this rate of trenching they might have to change the completion date for the pipe line. But its a fantastic sight! Now on to a 270kwp hydro generating for the community.

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Anafon Community Hydro is now very very real. They start on Monday!

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 07.40.39Monday will see a small ceremony in the community of Abergwyngregyn to mark the start of building the Ananfon Community hydro. the £1m project has come about because of the dogged determination of a few people. As part of the project team I have been working with the community for a few years now and the hurdles, set back and pig headedness needed has been beyond anything i could have envisaged. Jacqui, Gavin and Hywel have driven this. Bloody well done them! We have set up a blog to follow the action (https://anafonhydro.wordpress.com/). The oldest and youngest person in the village will be cutting the first turf on Monday. 7 months later we should be generating an even more sustainable community!

This Is Abergwyngregyn’s actual turbine being manufactured as we speak!

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What have these two got in common? Hydro Turbine and brass polish?

thanks to Gilkes for some of the history of this Vortex turbine. More to come I'm sure

Thanks to Matthew Crosher at Gilkes for some of the history of this Vortex turbine. More to come I’m sure

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The kind people at Gilkes have sent me some detail behind the Pistyll Hydro I went to see last week o the National Trust property at Pistyll. The Hydro is actually older than I thought. It was delivered in 1903 and to a J.D Goddard. The Goddard of Goddard silver and brass polish. I now remembered that Richard had told me of the connection and that a relation of his who I think was a maid for the family would travel on the Goddard private train to Pwllheli before coming over to their electrically lit Plas Pistyll for holidays. The hydro is a relatively small 8kw and had a 55m drop from the intake at the Church pool down to the turbine building. See below. The Hidden Hydro is revealing itself!

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Egg now back in one piece after making the omelette. Hafod y Llan Hydro landscape after 18 months

John Howarth has kindly sent me these images of the landscape of the Hafod y Llan hydro after 18 months. The recolonisation of the landscape after such a short time shows what careful planning, contractor selection and the NT Rangers can do

Turbine building location before, during and after. settling in well!

Turbine building location before, during and after. settling in well! I was there last week and the larch cladding on the building is now silvering off nicely. 

the track behind the power house now looks better than it did before the work

The track behind the power house now looks good. the pipe is actually up on the left hand side of the image (not that you would know)

the middle section where we installed the large anchor block to hold the pipes in place. PS there is a large pipe under this!

The middle section where we installed the large anchor block to hold the pipes in place. PS there is a large pipe under this!

Higher up the and through the bracken. Honest we have a 600mm pipe buried here.

Higher up the and through the bracken. Honest we have a 660mm diameter pipe buried here.

High up in the catchment through Coed Rhyallt. the stone pile in the foreground is hiding the pipe vent (in case we get air in the pipe)

High up in the catchment through Coed Rhywallt. The stone pile in the foreground is hiding the pipe vent (in case we get air in the pipe)

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