There is still hope…

With so much horror in the world at the moment, it was my privilege and thrill to have  faith in human nature restored on Saturday afternoon with a visit to Esk Valley’s hydro-electric generator on the River Esk.

DSC06834 - CopyNamed “Eureka” by local school children, and, of course, famously because of the Archimedes’ screw which is the project’s basis, this is a work of dedication, perseverance and perspiration…

DSC06831 - Copy (2)It was fantastic to watch the sturdy blades strutting their stuff, such a simple idea, using the power from our recent rainfall to generate green electricity for the equivalent of 45 homes.

In order to accommodate the varying water levels from the river, a gearing system is in place…

DSC06836 - Copyand an automated penstock also to increase or reduce the flow…

DSC06838 - Copy…too much water can be as problematic as too little…

Much care has been taken, involving local wildlife and fisheries organisations, to include an elaborate fish pass for fish moving upstream…

DSC06840 - Copy

Apparently fish can use the Archimedes screw to travel downstream, unharmed by those daunting-looking blades. Now they have several alternatives for migratory travel, leaving as little danger-time as possible (delay by the fish in deciding the route can result in becoming a tasty meal for predators).

It’s a high-tech system, controlled remotely, or by the power house on site. All in all, highly impressive. And scarcely interfering with the environment at all…

DSC06842 - CopyFor more information, head to the website: http://whitbyeskenergy.org.uk/

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