Hydro electric power

this is just a scrap book of ideas relating to the subject of green energy, primarily hydro-  electric power.


20 December 2007

Renewable energy first for Craven woman

A Craven woman is behind the UK’s first community-based hydro electricity project. Littondale’s Helen Walker is Operations Director for Water Power Enterprises (h2oPE) a social enterprise based in Halifax, whose aim is to set up small scale hydro power projects that benefit both the environment and local communities.

“There is an untapped potential for hydroelectricity that exists in almost every river in this country,” says Helen

“Working with local communities, h2oPE intends to develop hydro sites using centuries old technology, the Archimedean screw. But it’s the Archimedean screw with a twist.  Instead of being used to push water uphill, by turning the screw around, the water from the weir will run down the screw, turning it and generating electricity. The technology is simple and is proven to work. The screw itself is simply engineered and can be installed easily next to suitable river weirs. The electricity generated can then be sold through the national grid,” she explains.

And the first project is up and running in New Mills in the High Peak.

“We’ve just launched a share offer for Torrs Hydro New Mills Ltd. We have a target of £126,000 pounds and the money raised will go towards purchasing and installing a 70kW hydro power plant. This will generate 260,000 kWh of green, renewable electricity every year, which will be enough electricity to power up to 70 homes.” says Helen

Shares cost £1 each, with a minimum shareholding of 250 shares. A prospectus with full details can be downloaded from http://www.h2ope.co.uk.  The share offer closes January 31 2008.

It is estimated that there are at least 68 sites in Lancashire and Yorkshire alone, which, if developed in a similar way, could provide enough energy to power 37,000 homes.

Helen’s role as Operations Manager includes identifying partners to help develop further sites and to access funding.

.“We work closely with the Environment Agency and Friends of the Earth, but most importantly we need the involvement of local communities.  We just need to spread the word.   Hydro electricity means renewable energy at no cost to the future of the planet” says Helen.

For further information contact Helen Walker on 01422 300045 or email Helen.walker@h2ope.com

Hydro-electric PowerFACTS•Hydro Power is clean, green and efficient•A modern hydro turbine generator can convert over 90% of the energy in the available water into electricity.•Low Head Hydro Power (LHH) utilises a weir head less than 3 metres, most BW river weirs are 2.5 metres or less and could be adapted to produce HEP.•BW has approximately 50-70 weirs and suitable sites.KEY ISSUES•Fish Protection and Flooding.


New Sustainable Energy Communities Commit to Energy Saving Projects

Three Local Irish Authorities to take lead in testing new technologies and policies to stimulate national move towards sustainable energy practice.

Professor J Owen Lewis, chief executive, SEAI; Dick Gleeson, planner, Dublin City Council; Tim McSwiney, senior executive engineer, Tralee Town Council; and Gerry Wardell, director CODEMA, Dublin City Council

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) today announced Tralee, Dublin City and Tallaght as the three new exemplar Sustainable Energy Communities (SEC), all of whom will commit to specific energy saving projects for the next five years. The communities were selected from 14 local authorities for having a visionary co-ordinated approach to energy savings and integrating sustainable energy into community planning and development. The selection of the three SECs follows a competitive selection process and builds on the success of Ireland’s pilot SEC, Dundalk 2020.

SEAI’s Sustainable Energy Communities Programme aims to develop a series of Irish communities as ‘living laboratories’ to establish a culture of innovation and facilitate the emergence of new sustainable energy technologies and practices that grow energy smart towns and cities. SECs involve everyone in the community, across all sectors, working together to enhance sustainability by being as energy efficient as possible, using renewable energy where feasible and developing indigenous energy supplies. The programme acts as a catalyst on the ground to help stimulate a national move towards sustainable energy practice and to deliver national energy targets.

Dundalk 2020 was established as Ireland’s first SEC in 2007. Work to date has involved the installation of energy efficient technologies in a wide range of buildings as well as implementing energy efficient behavioural change. The project has led to savings of more than 5,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum, while organisations together are saving in excess of €500,000 per annum.

Speaking at the announcement of the winning SECs, Professor J. Owen Lewis, Chief Executive of SEAI said: “The standard of the proposals we received was excellent. Tralee, Dublin City and Tallaght will, with the support of SEAI, champion the testing and deployment of new sustainable energy technologies and practices in their communities, involving people across all sectors. The aim of the Sustainable Energy Communities Programme is to replicate best practice throughout the country and we will be helping other local authorities to improve the link between sustainable energy, economic development and planning, making significant energy savings in the process.”

SEAI will partner with the communities for five years, providing them with strategic guidance, as well as technical and project management support. As part of the programme, SEAI also set up an SEC Network to facilitate best practice and knowledge sharing among all local authorities that are progressing in sustainability.

Battery electric and hydrogen based fuel cell vehicles may provide a flexible energy path
for the integration of a fluctuating electricity production, such as wind power, to serve
transport energy needs. The vehicles may offer high energy-efficiency and very low
environmental impact compared to the conventional combustion engine vehicles.
Virtually no emissions to the environment occur when operating these alternative

Electric vehicles constitute a new category of consumers on the electricity market, which
possess considerable load management ability. Electric vehicles recharging in peak load
periods may cause complications for the power supply, by increasing the need for power
production capacity in the system. If however, recharging is displaced to the low load
periods or periods of low electricity prices, e.g. via recharging in the night period, a
considerable electricity demand increase to serve a fleet of electric vehicles may be
Risø-R-1187(EN) 7
covered from the existing supply system. By appropriate system integration, the electric
vehicles can contribute considerable flexibility to the system, due to its load management
ability, which increases the overall system capability as to integrate fluctuating energy
sources such as wind power.

Smart charging of electric vehicles using ‘green’ power at Fraunhofer ISE

22 April 2010

Electric vehicles make most sense if their batteries are charged using electricity from renewable energy sources – but the supply of ‘green’ electricity is not always adequate. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Germany have now developed an intelligent charging station, which can adapt recharging times to suit energy supply and network capacity.

Germany aims to have one million electric vehicles – powered by energy from renewable sources – on the road by 2020, as it pushes towards CO2-neutral electromobility.

However, as more solar and wind energy is incorporated in the power grid, the proportion of intermittent electricity is increasing. There is also a growing risk that the rising number of electric vehicles will trigger extreme surges in demand at rush hour.

‘What we need is a smart grid that carries information in addition to power,’ says Dominik Noeren of the Fraunhofer ISE. The structure of the grid has to change from being based on energy demand, to being based on production output.

‘Electric cars are best equipped to meet this challenge,’ Noeren believes.

But since battery electric vehicles would on average be parked for at least 20 hours out of 24, this offers an opportunity to recharge them when the wind picks up or when electricity demand is low.

The ‘smart’ charging station developed by Fraunhofer ISE enables electric vehicles to be recharged when the system load is low and the share of energy from renewable resources is high. In this way, load peaks can be avoided, and the contribution of solar and wind power fully exploited.

‘For us, it is important that end consumers are completely free to decide when they want to recharge,’ Noeren emphasizes. ‘We do not want them to suffer any disadvantages from the controlled recharging of their vehicles’ batteries.’

This is why Noeren favors electricity rates that adapt to the prevailing situation in the power grid – more expensive in periods of peak demand, and particularly cheap when there is a surfeit of renewable energy.

The person using the ‘smart’ charging station could then choose between recharging immediately, or opting for a cheaper, possibly longer, recharging time.

For the latter, they just need to enter the time when their vehicle has to be ready to drive again. The charging station takes care of everything else, calculating the costs and controlling the recharging process.



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