Lake district hydro experience. Economical and sensitive approach

a range of refurbished gilks turbines - up to 80 years old. they don't make them like they used to. Well they do but they just cost more!

Spend the day up around Kendal looking at a possible hydro with Garry the N West Keith. the site we were looking at was in the ‘no brainier’ category for a hydro and i am jealous. Bit of homework left to do in terms of finding out if they can grid connect and some work with how to build but all in all a decent site.

It was a really good day. Lots of mist but lots of hydros. Oh and my legs are bit stiff. why do potential high head hydros have to be so high?

The rest of the day was spent driving around looking at three hydros 60, 30, and 15kw systems all built the same way. economically and sympathetically. It was a joy to see hydros being developed at this size which can often by astronomically expensive per Kw. the approach taken by Ellergreen was to find old Gilks turbines from around the country and re-condition them back at the factory for fresh leases of life but also control the entire build process through a turn-key approach results in some pretty competitively prices systems

Small coander screen and box on the 60kw system. the restoration work on the pipe route was in the 'did not know they had done it' territory

what i liked about the day was seeing systems performing well but also understanding that the paybacks were reasonable for the owners. But i also realise there are a limited amount of used turbines out there to take this approach much further. But seeing a series of 80 plus year old blue turbine cases through the day did gladden the heart.

refurbished 60kw pelton on a new generator. It seems that these systems can be delivered within a reasonable budget.

there are so many possible sub 100kw systems around but these systems can be priced out of the market because as far as the consenting, engineering advice and design process is conceded a hydro is a hydro is a hydro. But not all hydro approaches are the same! Watch this space for the new really economical 5kw system we hope to develop this year and hope to share what we learn so others can copy (but that is a whole other set of blogs)

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