Hydropower: Royally screwed on the River Thames
More and more homeowners these days consider installing solar, wind or geothermal gear to cut electricity bills. But if your house is
Windsor Castle, you can draw hydropower from the nearby River Thames.
The Queen of England this week accepted delivery of two turbines that she’ll plop down in the Thames in order to generate electricity for her royal residence at Windsor, west of London.
What is notable is her choice of hydro technology.
The Queen has turned to a piece of antiquity, the Archimedes’ screw.
As it says on the label, the device is shaped like a screw – a big screw. Each weighs 40 tons and measures 12 meters (39 feet) long and 4 meters (13 feet) in diameter, according to the Daily Mail.
The Greek philosopher and engineer Archimedes invented the contraption(pictured, right) as a way to haul water up slopes into irrigation ditches. The water would travel up in the spinning threads as someone turned the device by a handle.
The Windsor project turns the idea upside down. A giant screw slopes downward in a weir. It spins as water plunges along its threads, turning gears that drive a turbine.
Archimedes turbines have caught on in other installations in the UK,
Holland and elsewhere (that’s a Dutch example pictured below).
Proponents say they are simpler and cheaper than other forms of hydropower, and less prone to breaking down. They also claim that they are more environmentally friendly because they are less likely to mangle fish.
Friends of the Earth approved of the Windsor project, which is a partnership between Southeast Power Engineering Ltd. and the UK’s Environment Agency.
“We urgently need to develop clean and safe energy to tackle climate change and build a greener economy and it’s great that the Royal family is showing leadership in doing so,”
FOE director of policy and campaigns Craig Bennett said in a press release. “Obviously schemes should be carefully located to avoid any negative environmental impacts – and in this case the Environment Agency says there’ll be no adverse effects on wildlife, navigation or flood control.”
If all goes as planned, the two screws will start providing a dose of electricity to Windsor in November, and could supply all of the castle’s power by next year.
The Royals could also sell excess electricity to the grid.
The turbines are expected to produce 1.7 million kilowatt hours per year, and cut CO2 emissions by 790,000 kilograms annually.
Keeping up international relations, the screws come from Holland, at a cost of £700,000, according to the Mail. Installation adds another £1 million to the bill, the paper says.
It’s been an eco friendly week for the Royals as Prince Charles became president of the World Wildlife Fund’s UK branch a few days ago.
Maybe the reigning monarch deserves the new title that the Mail bestowed her: The Green Queen.
Leave a Reply
I get pleasure from, cause I found exactly what I was having… Letenky
I like the helpful information you supply for your articles. I'll bookmark… turbines
I just could not go away your site before suggesting that I… Karate Supplies
You can definitely see your skills within the work you write. The… Keyword Tool Google
You can definitely see your enthusiasm within the work you write. The… diabetes and it's effects,diabetes type 2, diabetes type 1, insulin dependent diabetes,
Hello There. I discovered your blog using msn. This is a really… animal consultany caerphilly
Whats up very nice web site!! Man .. Beautiful .. Superb ..… fairy tales online
Heya i am for the first time here. I found this board… GSA Traders specializes in technical and tactical products supply to all three branches of armed forces in Pakistan. Our range of products ranges from defence procurement to civilian applications for different government and non-government enterprises thr
Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It in fact was a entertainment… uggsusa-clearance.com
Great ¡V I should certainly pronounce, impressed with your web site. I… cures for insomnia