A new office development at the Clock Tower building in Haverthwaite in the English Lake District is playing a part in history by becoming one of the first buildings to be powered by an environmentally and fish-friendly Archimedes screw, hydro power scheme that is one of the largest in the world.
The Clock Tower Offices, being created by developer Julius Barratt within a building that has a history stretching back to the 17th Century, are integrating history and heritage with a state-of-the-art green power generation source powered by surplus water from the River Leven via the old mill race that used to power the gunpowder works.
The River Leven hydro power station will be driven by two massive reverse Archimedes screws installed by Spaans Babcock – experts in this field of work and the name behind the world’s largest Archimedes screw hydro power station in Teesside. Each screw on the Leven has a diameter of three metres, a length of 19 metres and a weight of 40 tonnes. Together, they have a combined output of over 400 kW when operating at their full capacity of 4000 l/s each.
It is this capacity and the head produced by the falling river, measuring over 7.2 metres that make this green hydro power scheme so significant on the world stage. This hydro power station is set to become a best practice case study for others around the world, but will also be the power source behind the 5000 square feet of office space within the state-of-the-art Clock Tower Office development, which will house eight office units ranging in size from 200 to 1200 square feet.
Heat generated as a by-product by the hydro power turbines will be passed directly through to the offices for use, rather than being expelled and lost to the atmosphere. The heat from the turbines will pass through a heat exchanger and the resulting warm water will then pass through a heat pump and into underfloor heating maintained at a constant 35 degrees centigrade. At times when electricity is not being generated by the turbines, the office heating will be powered by four air source heat pumps, thus ensuring that all of the heating system can demonstrate green credentials.