Page last updated at 15:00 GMT, Friday, 26 February 2010

Hydro power from old water wheel

Water wheel
The Cider Press will use the electricity generated by the water wheel

An old water wheel at Dartington Cider Press in Devon has been refurbished and is now generating electricity.

The wheel, which is driven by water brought in a leat from Bidwell Brook, was originally used to power the looms which made Dartington tweed.

Cloth production ceased about 50 years ago and the water wheel's belts and pulleys were dismantled.

The power generated by the wheel will be used to supply electricity on the Dartington estate.

"Getting the water wheel up and running again is the first of a number of renewable technologies that will help Dartington move near to zero in carbon emissions by 2015," sustainability coordinator Dr Jon Rae said.

The 1.5 kilowatt generator produces about eight to 10 megawatt hours a year - enough to power three households.

The electricity produced by the water wheel will be used in the Cider Press building during the day and fed into the Dartington Estate network at night.

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A Devon water wheel which used to drive the looms to make tweed is now producing hydro-electricity.



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