On-site hydropower for UK hotel

A 6 kW waterwheel has been installed in the UK’s Lake District to supply power to the Langdale Hotel and Spa near Ambleside.

With a 4 metre diameter and a continuous water flow of 200 litres per second the overshot waterwheel (pictured) was developed by Smith Engineering with the University of Cumbria.

It is sited in one of the wheel pits of the former gunpowder works, adjacent to The Langdale Estate’s original turbine house, which generated electricity for the estate in the nineteenth century.

Funded through the University of Cumbria’s Renewable Energy Test and Education Centre (RETEC) with funding from Britain’s Energy Coast in partnership with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, with a water-to-wire efficiency of around 80% the return on investment period is expected to be about five years. Border Hydro designed the control panel and grid connection.

Commenting, Nick Lancaster, Director of Resort Operations for Langdale Estate said: ‘The opportunity to re-install a modern waterwheel in our original wheelpit was irresistible and we are keen to assist in the development of renewable energy systems. We already have a biomass boiler and some electric cars that we use around our site.’

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