Life at the end of the road

May 1, 2008

May at last

Filed under: daily doings, hydro — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:06 pm

I love May and it’s not because I’m a Taurus, it’s because it’s the best month there is on the west coast of Scotland. The dreaded midge has not yet arrived, the braken is only just starting to grow, the days are long and the weather usually good. June is a close second with all its greenary only moderate midgies almost 24 hour daylight and warmer sea temperatures, July and August on the other hand usually mean midgies, ticks, 6′ high braken and warm wet rain. I could live with July and August when I spent all day on or under the sea but in our sheltered little spot at Arnish you can get eaten alive. I just hope the rest of May is as good as today.

First steps in the big wide world

Both sets of piglets ventured forth into the big wide world today but poor Jamie Lea was looking terrible, her 11 piglets seemed to be sucking the life out of her though she still had a good curly tail and was eating and drinking plenty. Poor thing having all those in a first litter.

Here’s Shona’s 7 getting ready to play out.

Once everyone was fed and watered I made a start on my own hydro scheme. Regular readers will know of the successful ‘Harris Hydro’ turbine that I fitted for my mate, so impressed was I that I decided to install my own. I’ve been watching several possible sites for months and taking flow reading in all conditions and I finally settled on here for the inlet.

It doesn’t look much but the flow is never less than 1lt per second. The calculation ( ignoring frictional losses in the water pipe, efficiency of the turbine and electrical losses ) is – Flow (in lts per min ) x head ( in m )x 9.81 and as the head ( the height between the inlet and turbine ) is around 30m then that should give – 1 x 30 x 9.81 = 294.1 so allowing for only 60% efficiency ( 70 or 80 is more likely ) then that = 176 watts. Multiply that by 24 and that gives you 4.224Kwh which is well on the way to supplying our daily average of 5kwh. The first job being to start uncoiling the 50m lengths of 63mm water pipe that I’d acquired FOC for the penstock ( supply ) pipe.

As this pipe was 2nd hand and me and my mate had coiled it manually then I just undid all the binding ropes and pulled it straight with the quad.

If your using new pipe that’s been coiled on a machine then it’s better to throw the coil over a post in the ground and pull it whilst someone helps it around. I got a couple done done before I had to go on a pork delivery and seaweed collecting mission after which the day went a bit ‘pear shaped’. As I was delayed at the south end of the island I ended up collecting the Dude from school. Having a trailer full of seaweed and rock I left the ‘old girl’ at the end of the road and walked to ‘Raasay Primary’ and got my first look of the finished extention to the school.

It was actually finished last year as in usable but I was not that impressed but now with it’s coat of paint, lawn and finishing touches it really looks lovely. With the Dude on board I headed northwards home only to get distracted by ‘Raasay’s last peat cutter’ John Macleod who was working like a Trojan as usual.

After which my day went down hill but it’s after 11:00pm now and my bed time so I’ll fill you in tomorrow.

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