Friends of Dinham Millennium Green Trust helped to raise thousands of pounds towards the Green and the Mill. They help with running costs, fundraising and social events. Joining is simple, and so worthwhile…
Volunteer friends needed.
The mill wheel during construction
The centrepiece of the Mill rehabilitation is the new Water Wheel. This is the legacy of the old mill. The new wheel recreates the old defunct wheels in modern form using the potential power of the River Teme to once again produce natural energy to serve the community, this time as hydro-electric power.
The new wheel is installed in the same wheel pit chamber as one of the now defunct timber wheels which ground the barley and corn for brewers and bakers in Ludlow. The wheel uses modern materials and better knowledge of hydraulics to maximise power production from a limited water source and small hydraulic head of 900mm. The wheel is steel and has curved blades rather than the old style flat timber paddles to give more efficient turning power. The wheel operates an electric generator geared to spin at approximately 1500 revs per minute and designed to generate between 2 and 3 KW of electricity in optimum conditions. The power is fed directly to the main incoming grid supply to the building.
The Grid connection was established towards the end of 2009, and was tested and commissioned at that time. First results of the installation were affected by very low river levels, river debris accumulating at trash barriers, and the Environment Agency demand for fish screen protection. These problems have abated and a satisfactory 2 KW was produced in December 2009.
The wheel spin will naturally be affected by wide fluctuations in river levels. If the hydraulic head at the incoming mill trace drops below 800mm the turning effect will reduce, the power will drop and the grid connection will automatically close, to be restored when the level rises. Conversely, if the river level is excessive in times of flooding, the backflow along the outgoing tail race will prevent the wheel from turning at the required speed.
Although the wheel operation may have to be closed down from time to time because of site flooding or adverse weather conditions, electricity will be produced during most of the year. Maintenance costs will be minimal although regular monitoring of function will be necessary.