Merrydale, Slaithwaite

This is a very interesting site - an old mill site (reputedely the oldest mill site in the Colne valley) that has most of the old water-power infrastructure intact. The flow, head and mill pond aren't massive (the old mill was a fairly small one), though sufficient to produce enough electricity to offset the annual consumption at the house.

The Turbine was built by the owner, with design help from a postgraduate student at Huddersfield University and turbine blades manufactured by a local negineering firm. I don't have detail on the flow or head - but I would guess around a 3 metre head and a flow of around 20-40 litres a second. The turbine isn't connected to a generator at the moment (though this is planned for 2010) so the output isn't known - however it's thought it will generate around 500 watts.

UPDATE

The generator and control system are now installed and up and running. A level sensor in the mill pond outputs to a control unit that regulates the flow via a valve on the pipe (see images below). The generator is belt driven and sits on top of the turbine (under the temporary grey crate cover). The system is grid connected (with all associated grid connection and control electrical equipment in a nearby out house). The system produces around 200 Watts using a flow of around 10l/s (less flow than I initially thought). Although total generation doesn't quite match the annual household consumption of electricity the feed in tariff payments mean that the house is financially neutral in electricity terms.

A great example of dedication from the site owner, local technical expertise in manufacturing the turbine and also expertise from Corin Hughes and SCS in supplying and installing the generator, control system and grid connection equipment. Merrydale Turbines are on the 'As new services - hydro' MCS list.

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