Refurbished water wheel boosts on-site power capacity

Europe’s largest electricity generating waterwheel has been returned to service at the Aberdulais Tin Works and Waterfall in Neath, Wales, following refurbishment.

Powered by an overflow of water from the River Dulais at the Aberdulais Falls, the steel water wheel weighs in at 16 tonnes and measures more than eight metres across.

It is maintained by the UK’s National Trust and the scheme will contribute to the conservation charity’s drive to halve its fossil fuel use and generate 50% of its energy requirements from renewable sources by 2020.

The waterwheel will generate all the on-site power needed to provide heat and electricity for the National Trust attraction, including a tea room, visitor centre, cinema and education centre.

A second hidden hydro project at Aberdulais, called ‘Edvard’, will generate around 400 MWh a year with any power not used on site sold via the grid to renewable electricity supply company Good Energy.

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