We all know the importance and power of water for life and living but water also harnesses power in a different way, that of electricity. Water is an extremely efficient and powerful way of generating electricity both in terms of large scale and small scale projects. Examples include hydro electric power stations such as those seen in the Scottish Highlands and tidal energy solutions such as the underwater turbine in Ramsey Sound, Pembrokeshire and Seatricity’s wave power testing hub off the coast of Cornwall.
The full extent of the way in which water can be used to generate clean energy is still in its infancy, under going much testing and development and awaiting more and more backers. As with any alternative energy source, opposition is a factor whether it be in terms of nature conservation or the impact on the aesthetic environment. What is definitely for sure is that the power of water is being heavily investigated both on and offshore.
These are all large scale prospects but what about smaller scale water power harnessing. The Langdale Hotel & Spa in the Lake District have installed a new waterwheel in the location where a waterwheel would have been back the 19 century when the site was a gunpowder works. This brand new, innovative piece of engineering was designed, developed and implemented by Smith Engineering of Maryport, Cumbria with Border Hydro designing the control panel and grid connection. The 6kW waterwheel is up and running and producing power to the national grid with a predicted payback of 5 years.
This is just the latest in the long list green energy practices Langdale Leisure Ltd have implemented over the last few years proving this business to be one of the most sustainable in the Lake District and the wider area. The waterwheel is very much an attractive a feature in more ways than one.
By Jenny Andrew