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This fantastic Gilkes turgo turbine has been supplying this farm with off grid hydro electricity since around 1930 and it’s still going!
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The aim is to renovate this system by increasing the head to create a bit more electricity to better meet the demands of off grid living.
Off Grid living can often be a daunting idea, but this family have always lived off the grid. They have no bills to pay for electricity, gas or oil and probably know as much about hydro maintenance as a qualified engineer.
The idea with this system will be to double the amount of head available and increase the power output to cope with modern demands. Items such as electric kettles, hair driers and power showers in the modern house use a huge amount of electricity. In a grid connected house, the grid is used to cope with this sudden peak in electricity usage. In an off grid house we need to calculate how much electricity is needed when the kettle, shower and lights are on at the same time? The answer will be around the 10kW mark! The peak load for an off grid house needs to match the generating and storage capacity of an off grid system. This one will be linked up to a back up generator to avoid tripping the fuses.
The site work will require an entirely new pipeline to be laid across the fields, renovation works to the small impoundment and a new turbine house with modern generating equipment. It also means a whole new process has to begin with getting the licensing and permissions in places from the new governing body “Natural Resource Wales” who now handle all hydro licenses in Wales.