Hacking Hydro Power on a Remote Scottish Island

Hacking Hydro Power on a Remote Scottish Island


My name is John, I’m a postman, and I run on hydro power. My previous knowledge of hydro was just big huge hydro electric schemes they had all over the highlands Small scale hydro it was all new to me, and that’s the way i went and I never regretted it. Yes, when I took over this job all I had was an old fashioned push bike, I hassled a van out of them, I was the first to get a post van. First class is $1.26. Perfect, thanks very much John. You’re very welcome. That was in 1979 I came to Eigg, which was 36 years ago, bloody hell. If you had electricity at all most people had diesel generators. While they are expensive to buy they are expensive to maintain. Until I got my hydro I didn’t have any electricity at all. The basic technology of my main hydro, the turbine, hasn’t changed much. And although I’ve gone through a couple of turbines, it basically does what it started out doing. What makes this such an ideal spot for a hydro is that this bern here is fed by three separate springs that come up there. When the water table gets high this water table will keep flowing for easily a month without any rain. Got the filter, it goes into this catchment area here which is 8inch pipe which goes to the top of the bank and straight down towards the sea. And then it goes down a bit to a 6 inch pipe The turbine is actually just this little bit under the green barrel. This is just a box with mainly capacitors in it. This is the main turbine where it goes in and now it’s down in the fine nozzle. Which spins the doings, to use the technical term. The electricity comes from the turbine to the house by way of 240 meters of electric cable. I’m very aware of the power coming through water pressure. It’s up to me to make sure it keeps running. I’m proud that I don’t use too much in the way of fossil fuels. And I think it would be good if we could all come down in our carbon consumption, even if it was just a little bit.

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