A short newsletter this month. Whilst a lot of work has been going on completing the channel and forebay tank for the installation of the screw, it is all nitty-gritty detail of preparing and installing rebar (twisted bits of metal rod that help provide the re-enforcing structure for concrete), constructing shuttering, welding bits of metal and pouring concrete!! Although I have tried hard, not be able to get a story to link it all together, hope the photos below will give you a view of some of the detail.

Another reason for this short newsletter is to have some blank space so we can say:

Watch this space.

Archie, the Archimedes Screw, the heart of the hydro system, will be installed within the next week –fingers crossed, touch wood and continuing decent weather for curing the concrete should see the plan coming together.

Archie’s future home!!—the screw channel (looking from the top to the river outlet)

Archie’s future home!!—the screw channel (looking from the top to the river outlet).

          Inside the forebay tank, inlet pipe in back wall  (Props are part of the shuttering for constructing the forebay tank top)

Inside the forebay tank, inlet pipe in back wall.

(Props are part of the shuttering for constructing the forebay tank top)

Inside the forebay tank, showing the forms etc for casting the top slab

Inside the forebay tank, showing the forms etc for casting the top slab

The forebay tank slab before casting, showing the rebar used for re-enforcing               (note the shuttering arrangement for the upper pedestal bolt holes)

The forebay tank slab before casting, showing the rebar used for re-enforcing

(note the shuttering arrangement for the upper pedestal bolt holes)

 

 

500mm thick cast slab top of the Forebay Tank     (the five holes are for bolts to secure the upper mounting pedestal of the screw)

500mm thick cast slab top of the Forebay Tank

 (the five holes are for bolts to secure the upper mounting pedestal of the screw)

The “tidy up” to give clear access to fit Archie into his new home!

The “tidy up” to give clear access to fit Archie into his new home!

 

Difficult to believe that out of what sometimes looks a waterlogged demolition site, has emerged a final home for Archie that is accurate to within a few mm of the original design drawings, well done to the CTC construction team—just hope that the design is correct!! and Archie fits snuggly where intended!!—All will be revealed next month, including do we use dancing diggers or other methods to carry out the move and install. There is however the small matter of circumnavigating the overhead 11kilovolt cables that are between where Archie is currently lying and where we need to get him to be!!

 

Once the Archimedes Screw is correctly in place, the next steps will be to cast the pedestal for the gearbox and generator and then construct the Powerhouse. Once heavy site work is then complete, the 1.5M Weholite inlet pipe sections can be placed, welded together and the inlet channel completed. More details of these activities in the next newsletter.

Once the powerhouse is complete, we can then install “The Brain” of the Congleton Hydro system. This is the PLC (programmable logic controller) based control system that then “directs” the Variable Speed Drive to regulate the flow of water down the screw. The objective of course is to optimise the power generated, even though the flow rate of the River Dane can change quite rapidly. This has to be achieved whilst maintaining the EA stipulated flow over the Weir to maintain its visual appearance.

How this is achieved is described in this month’s attached Technical Article – Control and Monitoring, (click to download) which we hope you find of interest and informative.

 

Even though this month’s newsletter is rather shorter and less descriptive than usual we hope the photographs give you a feel for the magnitude of the depth and breadth of the construction needed to facilitate the conversion of water energy into electrical energy.

Next month’s newsletter will cover the delicate movement of the screw into its permanent home as The Heart of the hydro system, which before long will be connected to The Brain and we will then be generating a few sparks to complement the spring sunshine.

As always, we hope you have found this newsletter to be of interest and we would welcome your comments and feedback to info@congletonhydro.co.uk

 

Finally, even though the clocks will shortly move forward, and we start to enjoy the increasing warmth and longevity of the coming days, the Coronavirus is still out and about, so please carry on, Taking Care and Staying Safe.