The inclusion of a valve to enable emergency draining of the dam was a design requirement. While we hope never to use it we needed to test that it works. This was done last week and the picture gives you some idea of the power we are in process of harnessing.
Since the last entry in the blog ‘visible progress’ has been on holiday. We have our control panel in place, a connection to the grid and a broadband link; we need now a turbine and a generator too. However the turbine and generator, currently stored in Kilsyth, are now scheduled to be moved into the building on 20th April, the delay being largely due to the availability of certain key people.
Control Cabinet and Grid Connection
The link to the grid is now in place, thank you SPN, and the first significant piece of equipment is also in place. Harlaw Hydro, Kestral Controls and SJB Construction teamed up to maneuver the control panel into the building today.
The Control cabinet being carefully lowered down to the turbine house.
Steady progress continues, the turbine house now has its doors, roof and rough casting.
The Turbine House now has walls and all being well in a weeks time it will have a roof.
Block Work Completed
SJB solved the concrete delivery problem! We now have the floor of the turbine house completed and will soon have a turbine house ready for the turbine.
The Floor of the Turbine House – Walls next
No shortage of water at the moment. The ‘staircase’ on 12th January.
Water from Harlaw and Threipmuir Reservo
In November the project spend reached the point where Harlaw Hydro could apply to HMRC for acceptance into the Seed Enterprise investment Scheme (SEIS). The paperwork was submitted to HMRC and they responded with a bundle of blank SEIS3 forms, one for each member in the first share issue. Harlaw Hydro has completed its part of the forms and they are being distributed to the relevant members.
This milestone allows us to issue the second tranche of share certificates, these too have been prepared and are being distributed to the relevant members.
SJB continues to make good progress with the civil work. Most of the pipework is in place, along with two thrust blocks which will ensure the pipes stay in place when the water is turned on.
The concrete for the turbine chamber has been poured and three drains have been laid to make sure ground water doesn’t build up behind the structures.
Concrete is a major and vital constituent of the construction but supply has been very difficult; concrete has never been available when required nor in the quantity required. However the quality of work appears to be excellent and only one more major concrete pour is still to come. If all goes to plan electricity will be generating in March, but there is plenty of work to be done before then.
The Shuttering in place – all we need is concrete
First thrust block complete and the chamber for the release valve poured.
The two thrust blocks plus 600mm pipe
Concrete being poured for the turbine chamber.
The turbine chamber
At long last work is underway. The contractor, SJB Construction Services Ltd, has created an access road, laid the cable ducting in the Visitor Centre Garden and started work on the connection with the outflow pipe.
The Victorians left us with a brick built stilling chamber that was designed to last.
Empty Settling Chamber – Ready to go?
The engineer’s instructions were to partially demolish by hand but despite more than 150 years in the water hands and even a hammer drill made no impression.
Hammer and Chisel won’t do
A large hydraulic hammer was needed, as it was for the man hole built about the same time.
If it can crack concrete it can surely manage Victorian brick
Finally after much digging and careful measurement of heights we have a hole but there is a solid base to build on.
Stilling Chamber removed and bed rock reached.
Next is a concrete base, thrust block and pipework.