Spend the day up around Kendal looking at a possible hydro with Garry the N West Keith. the site we were looking at was in the ‘no brainier’ category for a hydro and i am jealous. Bit of homework left to do in terms of finding out if they can grid connect and some work with how to build but all in all a decent site.
The rest of the day was spent driving around looking at three hydros 60, 30, and 15kw systems all built the same way. economically and sympathetically. It was a joy to see hydros being developed at this size which can often by astronomically expensive per Kw. the approach taken by Ellergreen was to find old Gilks turbines from around the country and re-condition them back at the factory for fresh leases of life but also control the entire build process through a turn-key approach results in some pretty competitively prices systems
what i liked about the day was seeing systems performing well but also understanding that the paybacks were reasonable for the owners. But i also realise there are a limited amount of used turbines out there to take this approach much further. But seeing a series of 80 plus year old blue turbine cases through the day did gladden the heart.
there are so many possible sub 100kw systems around but these systems can be priced out of the market because as far as the consenting, engineering advice and design process is conceded a hydro is a hydro is a hydro. But not all hydro approaches are the same! Watch this space for the new really economical 5kw system we hope to develop this year and hope to share what we learn so others can copy (but that is a whole other set of blogs)