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Case Study: Buckfast waterwheel hydroelectric scheme

Case Study: Buckfast waterwheel hydroelectric scheme
Buckfast waterwheel - Renewables First

Buckfast waterwheel hydroelectric scheme.

Buckfast waterwheel - Renewables First

Buckfast waterwheel hydroelectric scheme.

Year: 2016

Technology: Overshot Waterwheel

Output: 6-8 kW

Role: Refurbishment


The Buckfast waterwheel is located at Higher Mill. the mill was historically a woollen mill, latterly an electro-plating works, and was acquired and saved from dereliction by Buckfast Abbey in the 1990’s. At this time a new waterwheel was installed.

Prior to a new phase of work leading to the completion of works to redevelop the buildings into mixed use, Renewables First has been engaged to improve the operation of the wheel. In order to improve the working of the system, a new control system and hydraulic flow control arrangement has been designed and installed. The control system is consistent with the control system on the Abbey’s other hydro plant, ensuring ease of operation and allowing full monitoring and control to be undertaken remotely. It also allows Renewables First engineers to maintain oversight and improve planned maintenance activities.

This work underlines our capability to provide intelligent refurbishment of sites, assessing existing equipment, and where possible retaining sound infrastructure and integrating new technology to achieve either energy capture improvements, reduction in manual intervention, or compliance with new environmental best practice.

The wheel will now operate continuously whenever flow conditions allow, and will form a focus which maintains the integrity of purpose of the historic infrastructure, whilst not intruding on the new uses of the building.

If you have an operational system which lacks modern PLC based control and remote access and operation, why not contact Renewables First to discuss how we can tailor a proposal to maximise your energy capture.

Are you considering a hydropower project ?

Renewables First have considerable experience as a hydro consultant and have a full project capability, from initial feasibility study through to system design and installation.

The first step to develop any hydropower site is to conduct a full feasibility study.

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Once complete, you will understand the site potential and be guided through the next steps to develop your project. You can read more about hydropower in our Hydro Learning Centre.

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