Hydrover can take your scheme out of the river and all the way up the wire. With our full service on offer you will have the convenience of working with only one contractor. The added bonus of Hydrover is that we are also designing and fabricating your turbine, we know exactly what to build and how to build it, and how long all aspects of the project will realistically take to complete.
Our feasibility studies benefit from over fifteen years experience as enthusiasts and developers, we’ve been there and done that. We have worked with many types of turbine over a range of power outputs, with our bread and butter on sites that have the potential of less than 1kW to 100kW, although we have built schemes over 100kW, the Turgo turbine being our preferred type.
This experience bolsters our feasibility studies to ensure that your project is built on a solid foundation, and will result in the expected outcome. Your site will be one of a kind, no two sites are the same, making the site survey a very important part of the feasibility study. With all the information gathered we can quickly design the turbine and through our wealth of knowledge and experience in prior projects and installations we can establish a fairly accurate cost of your scheme with a desktop survey and then more accurately with a site survey.
Every hydro scheme is designed and developed to fit your site. We aim to grasp all the information on the ground to create a site plan. We would point out key areas to make the ideal system for your site, and with this, work out a practical layout for the intakes, pipe routes, power house, cable routes, grid connection points, tree felling, roads and lay down areas for construction and so on.
We use accurate measuring instruments to measure the height difference between the intake site and the power house, this figure will give us our gross head measurement. The power house would ideally be situated near an existing grid connection point but is not essential and fairly close to a water source which will allow the water to return.
We will look at existing structures such as weirs, bridges, out-buildings, roads and access points to utilize what you have, and to lessen the cost of the build. We will design a turbine to suit your site, our most efficient range is between 15m – 250m of head and 10 l/sec and 350 l/sec flow. We have developed a turbine that will work on 1.5m head, so nothing is out of the question.
We have dealt with distribution network operators (DNO) all over the UK. Where possible we prefer to grid connect our turbine, this will be the most efficient way of running, if it’s achievable at a cost effective price we will aim to connect through an existing point, so that the property would benefit from the turbines power before exporting any unused power to the grid.
In certain circumstances the grid will be unavailable to some properties, but we do have lots of experience in off-grid systems. These systems are more expensive, however in a lot of situations it’s much cheaper than acquiring a new grid connection point.
Capacity and Production Estimation:
We have lots of experience from the previous 150+ turbines we’ve built and installed to understand and provide an accurate system performance estimate. We are always developing and improving our turbine design in pursuit to beat our estimations.
With the data we collate in the feasibility study (head/flow/length of pen-stock/grid etc.), we will be able to specify the correct size and standard dimension ratio (SDR) of your penstock, then these figures are calculated to give you a net head (gross head – head loss (inefficiency)).
From these calculations we will be able to design the ideal turbine, generator and control system for your application.
Licensing, Ecology, Planning:
During our feasibility study we will look closely at the environment for anything that could have an impact on the applications for licensing and planning. This could include bats, endangered birds, fish, eels, otters, rare and endangered mosses and so on… These will be highlighted as agreements that will likely be required by the governing bodies such as NRW (Natural Resources Wales), SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency), EA (Environment Agency, England) and local authorities.
This is essential to most landowners, to know whether or not to go ahead with their scheme, we’d like to think if we have arrived at this point then the cost won’t be surprising. However there could be some unforeseen expenses that can’t be found doing a desktop study, that is why it is crucial that a full feasibility study is carried out, to make sure there are no surprises after breaking ground.
We have years of experience designing, costing, building, and installing a whole range of schemes and we pride ourselves as being affordable, realistic, experienced and knowledgeable, giving our clients the most accurate and competitive estimation as possible.
The turbine that is designed for your scheme will usually be intended to give the best return. The return is based on what your turbine can generate and how it’s used. The main source of income is from the feed in tariff (FIT), this is a government funded incentive to subsidize the cost of building a green energy development.
Another source of income is from export, this is the amount of energy your plant will produce and send back to the grid. Our clients will also benefit where possible a connection to a property to save on high import charges.
This also works for off-grid sites, you won’t get export as you’re not connected to the grid, however you will get the FIT as you are still generating green energy, so not only will you experience a reliable source of green energy at your property you will also get a return to help fund your build costs.
We believe that all schemes should go ahead where possible, we encourage schemes to go ahead even if the returns aren’t as great as they initially were. We understand that not every landowner can afford to develop a hydro site, therefore we do encourage Joint ventures (JV’s). We are more than happy to negotiate an agreement to fund, part fund, supply or lease some land from the landowner, with the main purpose being to get more and more green energy generators and raising awareness throughout the UK and across the world.