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River Ayr Survey

Some of the surveyors at Landform Surveys had the opportunity to get back into the water and perform another river survey.

Having previously surveyed watercourses at Cragside Hall and in Northumberland for MannPower consulting, this time we surveyed the River Ayr.

The survey was carried out to evaluate the possibilities of developing a hydroelectric scheme in the region as the UK aims to increase the use of renewable energy to 15% by 2020. The purpose of the survey was to produce accurate plans of the existing structures, such as weirs and fish passes to give engineers and developers a more comprehensive overview of the river.

Having worked with MannPower Consulting before, we seized the opportunity to work with them again. They install unique and environmentally friendly “Archimedean Screw Hydropower Systems” in rivers or watercourses to provide renewable energy. We carried out the survey at Cragside Hall in 2011 in order to determine suitability for MannPower’s Archimedes systems. 

The Archimedean Screw Hydropower Turbines are a less disruptive form of hydroelectric power as they are fish friendly. The turbine’s innovative design and slower revolution speed allows for fish to safely pass along the turbine’s length and emerge unharmed on the other side. Cragside Hall itself plays a milestone part in the use of hydroelectricity.

Lord Armstrong, the owner of Cragside Hall, had a revolutionary vision and in 1878, Cragside Hall became the first house in the world to be powered by hydroelectricity.

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MannPower helped modernize the hall’s hydroelectric power by installing a 17m long Archimedes turbine, which produces 12kW/year of electricity. That’s around 10% of their electricity and saves 10.5 tonnes of CO2 output a year.

Eric Hinds, Managing Director of Landform Surveys said, “The surveys we have carried out for MannPower Consulting have been extremely interesting, with such an innovative end use. Though wading through a river in January can be a bit challenging for the surveyors!”

We look forward to seeing more of this renewable energy being used. It was a great opportunity to get back into the water! Thank you to Chris Lowres and Adam Simms for carrying out the survey.