Thursday, 31 July 2008

The screw - (04/08)

The screw with the fish pass to the right and the engine house above - now almost completed.

THNM hosted some visitors on Friday from Bollington who are considering a similar scheme, they were very impressed on the progress made so far.

Our front door - (06/08)

Taken last week before the roof was completed - also below Chris in hard hat looking pensively at the sluice gate before it got to its resting position.

The intake - (02/08)

Further clearing of the intake has taken place in readiness for the commissioning tests on the screw later in the month.

The sluice - (30/07)

The team carefully manoeuvre the sluice into position - once commissioned the sluice will be controlled automatically depending on water levels in the river.

A view of the screw - (29/07)

A view of the screw taken from the engine house looking towards the stone arch at the end of the tail race - note the deflectors now in place on the right hand side.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Project update - (24/07)

Well a change in the weather in the past 48 hours has made a welcome change for everyone.

A good week for progress, especially tasks that although they may not take a large amount of time to complete they are in themselves often a culmination of weeks of effort - for example removing the spacers from the screw and actually seeing it turn properly for the first time (albeit manually for the time being). The engine house continues to make steady progress and already looks like it was part of the original mill buildings and will be finished off with a nice slate roof. Also this week the sluice at the top end of the screw has been lifted into position, this will be controlled automatically and will be lowered to adjust water levels into the screw.

Next week work will continue on clearing and concreting the intake area and the build on the engine house.

Pictures to follow...

Thursday, 17 July 2008

New Mills Heritage Centre - (18/07)

For those of you passing through New Mills or just walking through the Torrs remember that the New Mills Heritage Centre is a great place to pass some time. With some great historical displays, a coal mine, a great model of New Mills in the 19th Century and they do make great tea and coffee as well - currently it also has a photographic display of Torrs Hydro as it has progressed since the construction started in March.

The rain came down... (17/07)

Well just when you thought our Derbyshire summer weather couldn't get any worse the heavens start to open again - certainly great weather to drive a Hydro Electricity generator once its commissioned !

With the archway now completed and just the wooden former to be removed the stone work moves on to the creation of our little engine house which will house the gearings, generator and control system for the screw.
Work on the laying of the cable to the New Mills Co-op has also started.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Archway - (13/07)

A closer look at some fine workmanship with some pictures of the archway currently with its wooden former in place and partly protected by the coffer dam to protect water flooding into the tail race - the rest of the river wall behind the top of the Archimedes screw will be tidied up over the next couple of weeks.

Pictures courtesy of Alan Jennings

Friday, 11 July 2008

Project update - (11/07)

Chris concretes in the generator/gearing between the showers

An ideal week if you like rain, but not so ideal for pouring concrete or building walls - nevertheless the team have made good progress this week with the following key tasks having been undertaken :

Final positioning of the screw and connection to the gearing/generator - perhaps only single line items on a project plan but these tasks were the culmination of weeks of effort as ordinarily the screw would have been lifted directly into place rather than having to be manoevered in, lowered, slid into place, readjusted because of the face the weight restriction challenges we have had in The Torrs, completion of the river wall archway and also discussions with the Town Council over how the area will be landscaped once the project is completed

The final pieces are put in place above the arch leaving a transformed river wall - Ray Meares would be proud of the improvisation with the tarpaulin

Next week will see the start of the build of the engine house and also the careful pouring concrete down the sides of the Torrs Hydro screw.

Vorsprung durch Technik

Friday, 4 July 2008

Project update - (05/07)

The fish pass in place and soon to be used by the fish of the River Goyt

Well the fish down stream in the River Goyt will be pleased to know that their fish ladder is assembled, fixed to the mortar and firmly concreted in - its a strange contraption but we are assured by those with far better fish knowledge than me that it will soon mean we have fish travelling upstream from the weir into the Rivers Goyt and Sett.

The stone archway over the exit continues to make steady progress and looks really good - just try and imagine how long it took the Victorians to build Union Road bridge.
The environment agency also visited this week and expressed their overall happiness on the project and were genuinely impressed with the efforts of everyone as well as the organisation of THNM and the scale of the project which has been taken on which reflects well all those involved.

Chris and Yvette of Western Renewable Energy

Order in the house - (04/07)

Its not often that the people of New Mills get a mention in the House of Commons but yesterdays Prime Ministers question time changed all that with Torrs Hydro New Mills being shown as a positive example of community spirit - and I quote :

Mr. Speaker: Order.

Tom Levitt (High Peak) (Lab): Will my right hon. Friend congratulate the people of New Mills in my constituency, who later this month will have the first community-owned hydroelectric power station up and running in New Mills? Will he therefore look at the support that the Government give for small-scale community power stations and encourage green energy at a community level?

The Prime Minister: I am grateful to my hon. Friend. We support the hydroelectric power station that has been created in his constituency, and he will have seen last week the paper that was produced on renewables, showing that we had to increase our contribution to 15 per cent. That will be done by wind, wave and solar power, but it will also be done by hydroelectric power.
Well done New Mills !

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Western Renewable Energy (WRE) - (03/07)

Hats off to WRE !
Chris, Yvette (left and second left) and the rest of the Torrs Hydro team.

I'm sure anyone who has passed the construction site in the past few months has either seen or spoken to Chris and Yvette, so just to give you a bit of background into what they do.

Western Renewable Energy (WRE Ltd) is run by a husband and wife team specialising in hydro-power. Chris & Yvette Elliott have been designing and installing hydro-electric schemes across the UK for three years and are now in New Mills working at The Torrs.

WRE’s involvement in Torrs Hydro began over 12 months ago with input into the planning permission and abstraction application processes involved in getting the hydro scheme off the ground.

This was followed by the general planning of what is a quite complicated build given the access difficulties, archaeology, storm water sewer and requirement for a fish pass which needed much consideration.

At the beginning of March 2008 construction began, with Chris and Yvette on-site daily, sourcing local suppliers and managing the build, which is expected to be generating electricity in mid-August.

Where does all that energy come from ? - (02/07)

The Torrs Hydro New Mills Archimedes screw will be fed from just above the Torr weir on the Rover Goyt, just a few metres after it has been met by the Rover Sett.

Theres a lot of water in the River Goyt and theres a lot of water needed to turn our screw.

The current local measuring station for the Goyt is at Marple Bridge and was installed in 1969.

Since then 3.8 million million (3.8 x 10 ^12 or 3,800,000,000,000) litres of water have flowed over Torrs weir.

Summer of '76 - the minimum daily amount was on 26th August 1976 when 29,548,800 litres flowed over in one day.

Winter of '91 - and the most was on 21st December 1991 when 5,158,080,000 litres sloshed over the weir crest.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Project update - (01/07)

The start of a new month is as good a time as any to review what we have achieved in such a short period of time and to briefly review the remaining activities that lie ahead prior to commissioning.

Looking at our project plan to date we can see we are very much on target - key activities in June were to meet the deadline for turbine delivery (The Big Lift) and initial location onto site and once in situ to pour the concrete slab that the gearbox and generator will mounted on. The setting of the slab itself was very much time critical needing 14 days to set before anything could be safely mounted onto it.

Activities planned for the next week are centred around completion of the fish pass work by mortaring the aluminium sections into place and concreting the sides and continuing the build of the magnificent archway at the bottom end of the turbine.

Details of the THNM Ltd AGM and official opening will also be announced in the next few days.