Extra Sloy

Been looking through some other Loch Sloy stuff and got this wee gem from a 50′s English Electric catalogue. I love these old school illustrations and I wish I could use the friendly printed letters that said the words below.

Every inch of rainfall at Loch Sloy now yields as much power as 400 tons of coal. Every year what was once a shallow mountain loch now produces 130 million units of electricity, bringing better living to the people of Scotland. Loch Sloy is the most ambitious hydro-electric project yet completed in Great Britain. All the turbines and electrical equipment were supplied by “English Electric”

Previous and Devious

6 Comments

  1. Andy says:

    I’m guessing that picture was done before the dam was built! Like you, I love this area, the harshness of the industrial stuff jammed in to the landscape, but yes, they could be a bit tidier with their old toys.

    An inch of rain equals 400 tons of coal – I like that and will quote it to anyone who moans about hydro.

  2. Mike R says:

    I am not a scientist but I wonder why the majority of reservoirs built in Britain after that seem to have been built without hydro-electric generating capabilities. could some of these dams be retro-fit with this capability ? Surely it would cause less further damage to the environment to consider this than bulldozing a load of new access roads across pristine land for wind turbines.

  3. PTC* says:

    Andy, it looks like it’s a painted version of a real shot of the dam, it’s pretty accurate. Plus the dam was almost as bright as that when the concrete was new!

    The rain to coal equation is a good one right enough.

    Mike, maybe its a height thing for big electricity production. I know lower sited schemes have small generators that serve local communities and last year the new big one in Glen Lochy was all over the news.

    There has to be a better way.

  4. roddyp says:

    > An inch of rain equals 400 tons of coal

    It’s a nice round figure, but the truly scary one is that a typical 500Mw coal-fired generator burns 1.4 *million* tons of coal a year. You’d need around 30 schemes the size of Sloy to replace just one.

  5. roddyp says:

    Mike: it’s a nice idea, but if you extracted all the potential energy from the water ‘at source’, you’ve got no way to get it to where people can drink it (which is what those reservoirs are built for in the first place). The Elan Valley (Powys) reservoirs deliver their water to Birmingham (73 miles away) entirely by gravity… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elan_Valley_Reservoirs

  6. PTC* says:

    Nuclear :o)

    Loch Katrine is a good local one, Glasgow’s Victorian water system piped from the Trossachs by Irish navvies.
    But like all such things, the water has to be fed there from a huge area, a reservoir is never a stand alone problem.

    Behind me there’s several reservoirs at around 250/300m that could feed small generating plants, you could do it with a waterwheel. I’ve seen it done.

    Using less electricity is probably the way forward.
    Fat chance.

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