Life at the end of the road

January 15, 2008

‘Calum’s road’ and other reading

Filed under: reading — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:53 pm

There are quite a few books about Raasay but these are my favourite as they’re about the north end.


If your eyesights as bad as mine the first one is called ‘The cruel clearance of Raasay’ by Calum Macleod

The mini hydro scheme

Filed under: daily doings, hydro, life off grid — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 8:48 pm

After mrs C had left for work taking the dude with her and I’d finished loading the washing machine (the genny had started up so i was making the most of it) I decided, as it was a nice day to go and do some work on the mini hydro scheme at Torran. The beautiful ‘old schoolhouse’ is like us not connected to the grid and relies on a good old (noisy) Lister to charge up a battery bank. That then supplies electricity to the house via an inverter (this converts 24vDC to 230v AC). In a bid to cut down on noise/CO2/expense and not to mention the hassel of taking 200lt barrels down the mile track to the house, The owner commisioned Hugh Piggot at to design a small hydro scheme as I’d allready done some work for Hugh previously on my own wind turbine I got the job of doing the donkey work.

The dude his pal and I had already taken the 4 x 50m lengths of 63mm plastic water pipe over there before christmas and dragged them up the hill well past the site so we could use gravity to assist us laying them. A local builder had already made a most excellent dam for the supply to the header tank.


A 110mm pipe will be connected to this and sit on a screen on top of the header tan, the 63mm pipe comes out of the tank and runs 200m down the hill to the turbine 30 or 40m lower giving a really good head of water. The rough calculation is head (30m) x flow (2lts per sec) x gravity (9.81) = 588.6watts now thats the possible power, allowing for efficiency of conversion, frictional losses in the pipe wiring etc then you can probably half it so say at the very least 300w and thats in the summer. Now 300w does not sound much but bear in mind it’s 24 hours a day 365 days a year and that’s the min flow today it must have been double that and it’s not rained for 2 days!.

So the hard labour of dragging the pipes through the jungle began, we’d done the easy 2 before chrissy now it was the turn of the hard ones. First of all I had to get the pipe under this small bridge by the ‘old mission’


One of my mates was baptised on these steps just by the ‘mission house’ I think a minister used to visit every other week. I’ts all in John Nicolsons most excellent book ‘I remember’ about his childhood at the north end of Raasay but I’ve not read it for years and my memory is a bit fuzzy! Then it was down through the thick undergrowth a foot or so at a time.


It took about 3 hours in all and by the time I’d finished I was almost down at the shore. Having got there i went and did a bit of beach combing, I’d been down yesterday and found nothing but today neptune was in a good mood and sent me this fine mooring bouy and chain.


So feeling very pleased with myself I went home for lunch!! after which I did a few trailer loads of rock for my road and a wee bit of fencing.

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