The Hydro power scheme at Dawyck Botanic Garden was officially launched on the 19th May 2014 by Fergus Ewing MSP, The Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism. It made Dawyck the first carbon neutral botanic garden in the UK and the system has produced an average of 80kWh of power a day since then.
In the autumn and winter of 2014 the original intake screen was often blocked by leaves and other debris being brought down to the pond by the Scrape Burn. It was clear to see that the potential was there to make more green energy, but only if the screen was changed to a self-cleaning system. BabyHydro (consulting Hydro engineers), set to work alongside RBGE’s Estates team to work toward a better intake which it was hoped could double the systems productivity. It has the potential to provide a supply of up to 11kW.
A Coanda screen was selected as this type of screen requires little or no mechanical cleaning, does not need a power supply, but best of all they are low maintenance and have no moving parts. Essentially they are tilted profile wire bar screens that catch only the bottom layer of water as it passes over, allowing debris to pass safely over the screen as water falls through.
Co-Hydro were selected as the contractors to carry out the necessary engineering and installation works, but the big question is, did it make a difference? The answer is a resounding YES.
There is a display in the visitor centre for all our visitors to clearly see not only the instantaneous generation which since the change of screen has always been around 10kW, but also to see the total CO2 saving since the start of the scheme in 2014. The total CO2 saving now stands at 28.2t.
At the time of writing the system has produced an average of 228kWh of power a day since the new screen was brought into service .
Come and see for yourself this weekend. We shut for the season at 4pm on Monday the 30th of November, but we reopen on the 1st of February when we will look forward to seeing you in our shop, café, studio or garden.