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GPS pipe powers up Cadair Hydro

11 September 2013

Cadair Hydro HDPE Pipe

GPS PE Pipe Systems has added to its growing portfolio of hydro-electric projects with the supply of 2km of black plastic piping to Dragon Hydro’s Cadair Idris hydro scheme.

Designed to deliver a maximum electrical output of 315kWe to the grid - sufficient to power around 300 houses - the Cadair Idris scheme is being constructed on farmland in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park.

The scheme involves construction of two intakes high up on the mountainside to extract water from two tributaries of the Afon Cadair, along with a weir to ensure that at least half of the flow remains in the river. The intakes will deliver water into the 2km high performance polyethylene (HPPE) penstock which will travel down to a purpose-built power house where it will enter the turbine at 15 bar to generate electricity for the grid. The water will then be released back into the river downstream.

Explains David Roberts, Consultant to Dragon Hydro: “The very steep and rugged nature of the site meant that plastic pipe was really the only material capable of bending and twisting with the undulating terrain. Commercially, it also offered
the advantage of being able to tailor the wall thickness and diameter of the pipe to different flow rates along the route, reducing the amount of raw material required.”

GPS has supplied the pipe in 10m lengths to address the access and manoeuvrability challenges in the Snowdonian terrain and provided fortnightly deliveries from stock to manage storage limitations on the mountainside. The pipe supplied ranged
from SDR33 at the top of the penstock to SDR11 when it reaches the power house, in sizes from 90mm to 560mm, offering a robust solution tailored to varying flow rates all along the 2km route.

Construction of the Cadair Idris hydro-electric project is scheduled for completion in early September with the facility becoming fully operational by mid-September.

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