Hydro base emerging from the river bed; screw on order
Great news of the last couple of weeks is that we have stopped digging and started building! The photographs below show the base for the microhydro growing out of the riverbed and we can already see the distinctive curved end of the Powerhouse beautifully cast in concrete.
This means that we are moving swiftly towards the end of the hydro civils with the changeover to the Environment Agency Weir B works taking place seamlessly in the next week or two. Doing Osney Lock Hydro’s work followed by Environment Agency maintenance and repair to Weirs B and A minimises disruption and means that all the work to the Lock and surrounding weirs is done in one go.
We will be able to move on to the most exciting part of the project, to install the generator, early in the New Year. The Environment Agency will follow on from hydro/Weir B civils to do repairs and replacements to the hand radials at Weir A between mid-October and Christmas.
This week we have also placed the order for the Archimedes screw that will generate the power at Osney Lock Hydro. It takes a minimum of four months’ lead-in time for the order to be built and delivered from Holland.
A very good late development is that we have decided to have a variable-speed screw built. This has two very important advantages for Osney Lock Hydro: firstly, it means that the screw will be able to turn more slowly when the river levels are low and therefore operate more efficiently and even more quietly than we were expecting; secondly, it means that the energy in the head of water can be converted to power more efficiently, thereby increasing generation by 15-20%.