Technology: Archimedes screw turbine
Output: 21 kW
Role: Design – License – Tender – Consultants
The Rochdale hydropower scheme forms part of the regeneration of a brownfield site. Historically home to an iron works and working mill, the site was recently transformed into Rochdale’s £11.5 million Transport Interchange, linking bus and rail services for Rochdale and the surrounding area. It is reputed to be the first transport Interchange in Europe to run partly on hydro-electric power, thanks to the 21 kW Archimedes screw turbine harnessing power from the River Roch.
The Rochdale hydropower scheme, makes use of an existing masonry weir in the River Roch, originally constructed to provide water power to a mill – the remains of which still exist and are retained alongside the new hydro development.
Thus the Rochdale hydropower scheme continues the legacy of the original mill by abstracting water from the River Roch, through the use of the existing weir, to power an Archimedes screw turbine and generate electricity.
The turbine changes the potential energy in the water into rotational energy as it moves through the machine and this is converted to electrical energy through the gearbox and generator, which are housed in the powerhouse with the electrical control equipment.
The Archimedes screw turbine has been shown to provide safe downstream fish passage and no screening, other than to exclude large debris and for health and safety requirements, as required.
The peak output of the Rochdale hydropower scheme is 21 kW – equivalent to that used by approximately 40 typical homes and is therefore a significant contribution to reducing carbon emissions. In practice, the electricity generated will be used on site, off-setting the existing cost of electricity, with any surplus power being sold to the National Grid.
This provides Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) the opportunity to reduce costs, increase income and contribute to meeting renewable energy targets.
The abstraction of water to the turbine (at a peak rate of approximately 2,800 l/s) is controlled by automated sluice gates in the intake channel. A reserve flow of water passes through a fish pass (200 to 400/l/s) with a residual amount flowing over the leat to maintain the ecology in this area. When the turbine and fish pass are at peak capacity (typically 20 to 30% of the year) all additional flow will pass over the weir.
The impact of the new development was designed to be as small as possible, with a consideration given to the aesthetics of the scheme to suit the surrounding environment.
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