MHDC motion to declare a climate emergency

Malvern Hills District Council (MHDC) will consider a motion to declare a climate emergency on 23th July. 

The meeting will take place at the Worcestershire County Council chambers due to renovation on the local MHDC chambers.

Please come along to support this motion. 

You can join us at the WCC chambers at 7:00pm, or you can take the 5:09pm train with us from Great Malvern to Worcester Foregate Street, where XR will hold a march through Worcester city centre to the WCC offices on Spetchley Road, Worcester WR5 2NP. It is about a 2 mile walk. Bring banners.

Updated display at Tourist Information

We have updated our display at the Malvern Tourist Information Centre. We are now back to our roots with a display based on the theme:

Climate Breakdown now is the TIME TO ACT

The poster in the from is a from Clean Slate The journal of Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT). CAT is also the home of Zero Carbon Britain.

The wind turbine is kindley loaded by Mike of Green Link

Below are the message we are displaying in the window

Here are the links from the messages

IPCC REPORT 2018 – What does it mean?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released a new report SR15

If the global temperature rises by 1.5°C, humans will face unprecedented climate-related risks and weather events.  Currently we are on track for a 3 degrees or more of warming if we do not change course.

It’s the final call; the most extensive warning thus far on the risks of rising global temperatures.

Zero Carbon Britain the flagship research project from the Centre for Alternative Technology, has produced a report  Raising Ambition.

Pump Storage Hydro Power for Malvern

This is copy of an article by Robin Coates, first written for Malvern Hillistic in December 2017.

This is an article about what at the moment is a speculative idea that explores how a problem may possibly be turned to a valuable local scheme for energy generation.

You may know the reservoir that is on the East side of the British Camp (Herefordshire Beacon). Many years ago this was built to store water and provide a header tank for Malvern’s water supply. It had its own treatment plant at the base of the dam. Some time ago it ceased being used for this purpose. We guess that this may have been as a safety precaution, we note that the water level has been kept low for some time or because treatment was centralised on a few large plants. Dams have quite rightly very rigorous inspection schemes for public safety reasons. The dam is owned by Severn Trent and if it is not being used for water supply it will be a financial burden with high maintenance costs. This will encourage Severn Trent to consider removing its water holding ability as a dam.

We pondered whether an alternative might be to create a pumped storage hydro-electric scheme. This would enable the dam to be a financial asset rather than a liability. It would work by releasing water from the dam into pipes that are linked to turbines at the bottom of the hill and then to a large pond. The turbines generate electricity at peak times. Then at off peak times, either cheap electricity at night or surplus daytime renewable energy is used to pump the water back up to the dam. To do this there needs to be another large pond at the bottom of the hill to store the water ready to be pumped back up.

For the electricity generating companies to provide us with peak power there are many power stations that operate for a very short time and therefore at very high cost. The payments made for this power are many multiples of the normal wholesale rate paid to generating companies.

As we change the mix of methods of generation from fossil fuels to renewables we need more storage solutions. Pumped storage hydro-electric is one of these. It needs rather special geography to be able to have two reservoirs with a big height difference and tends to be very capital intensive. In Malvern’s case at least we have the high level dam, easy access to the dam, pond, turbine and pump house site (this could also be below ground) and grid connections reasonable close.

It is possible that for safety reasons the existing dam can only be used half full but that is still plenty of water for peak power.

So it is a great idea but there are so many obstacles to overcome if this is to be realised. Initially it would need the full support of the AONB and the Malvern Hills Trust, Severn Trent Water, any other landowners, The Malvern Hills District Council Planners and local people. If there was at least tentative support from these areas then a major Feasibility Study would be needed to check the environmental, engineering and financial details. Raising funds for this wouldn’t be easy as there is always the risk that the scheme will not go ahead and an organisation would need to be created to commission the report and later on see the project through and become the operator.

Assuming all the agreements could be arranged and the environmental, engineering and financial feasibility is sound then it would be a case of raising the money to carry out the scheme. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this could be funded by local residents. As we did with the much smaller and simpler Malvern Community Energy Coop for the Cube PV panels.

In a few years’ time there will be more local grids connected to the national grid and the local generation by renewables will be feeding our buildings at lower cost, might Malvern be one of these local grids. At Malvern Community Energy Coop we will be tentatively exploring the issues raised, no promises but what an exciting possibility.

If you would like to find out more, get involved or be kept up to date contact us on robin@robincoates.com

 

Our Brian makes the news with his gaslamp that runs on dog poo.

One of the main members of Transition Malvern Hills Brian Harper has made the news in the Guardian with his gaslamp that runs on dog poo.

The Article is here 

Brain would also like to acknowledge  Methanogen (UK) Ltd who provided the Digester. This got edited out by the Guardian.

He was also on the BBC TV . And on Radio 5 Live, BBC Hereford and Worcester and BBC World service.

The story has also appeared in the Malvern Gazette and other newspapers

Build a wind turbine in one day! – Cancelled

This workshop has been cancelled due to receiving too few
paid bookings.

Get hands-on with a unique wind turbine making experience!

This one day workshop will be held on Saturday 9th December 2017 at The Cube, Albert Road North, Malvern, WR14 2YF.  Select here for a map. This is being run by V3Power.

They bring all the tools, materials and expertise. You leave with practical skills, an understanding of how and why wind turbines work, and a huge sense of achievement

The practical tasks are achievable regardless of skill and experience. The number and range of tasks means everyone stays interested and engaged throughout the day!

Different groups take different amounts of time to build the turbine but Tom the instructor says he allows for seven hours to build the turbine, and investigate it outside. Tom will define the start time nearer the date but either 9am or 10am.

Cost per person: £70. This covers the cost of the materials and parts used to build the turbine. Having made mistakes and wasted materials and money making my own turbines through trial and error this workshop tuition is value for money.

A lunch break will definitely occur but lunch will not be included in the booking fee. As the Cube cafe will not be open bring your own lunch, tea and Coffee will be provided.

The Cube has a visitors car park However, it is possible to walk to the cube from either of Malvern’s two railway stations.

We will build the turbine inside and weather permitting we will investigate the finished turbine in the garden.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask Tom at V3Power.

If you’d like to book a place for the workshop, please email: info@v3power.co.uk and tell Tom how many people you are and would like to book a place. Tom will then tell you his details so you can pay V3Power via either BACS transfer, or Paypal.

V3Power.co.uk have spent a decade teaching people how to build their own wind turbine using the reliable Hugh Piggott design and common workshop tools. Hugh’s turbines have powered homes worldwide from India, South America and Scotland.

V3Power have developed a new low cost demonstration wind turbine to teach the science and engineering of wind turbines. This turbine can be built in one day by just ten people.

What Happens?

Together, your group and the instructor build a wind turbine to generate electricity using simple materials and a range of hand tools. All participants carve a wooden turbine blade, wind a copper coil, and manipulate powerful magnets.

  • Blades; each person carves a wooden wind turbine blade with an aerofoil shape based on an introduction to fluid dynamics and blade design.
  • Mounting; each person cuts, shapes & drills a metal component to assemble the turbine mounting, and the group assembles roller taper bearings.
  • Electrical generator; after an introduction to electromagnetism each person winds a copper coil, prepares its output wires with solder and the group works together to connect them into a three-phase stator. Each person secures powerful magnets into a rotor to make up the other part of the generator.
  • Electrical system; the group learns about the different components that make up a safe wind turbine electrical system whilst wiring them together to make a battery charging circuit.
  • Assembly; the group bolt together the components to complete the turbine and learns about the importance of mechanical overspeed protection, blade balancing & maintenance.
  • Testing; the group connects the turbine to their electrical system, watch it spin and charge some devices!

Please note; although you are welcome to keep and reuse the blades that you make on the day, due to the cost of the other provided components the instructor needs to reclaim the rest of the turbine at the end of the day for other future workshops. However, during the day you will learn about building and erecting wind turbines, so you will be left with a set of working turbine blades, and all the theory to get you kick started on making your own wind turbine.

Build a Wind Turbine

An update from Duncan:

This is a photo of the stator we’re making for our 1.8 metre diameter Hugh Piggott wind turbine. I thought you might like to see it.

For those of you who don’t know what this object is and does

Two weeks ago we laid the coils of wire we’d made in the plywood mould (also made by us) and poured in polyester resin to make the rigid stator casting. On Tuesday we opened our stator mould, removed the casting and got our first look at what we’d made.

The stator contains six coils of wire, now sealed in a disc shaped casting of now set and solid polyester resin. The stator is bolted to the turbine frame. A rotor disc mounted on ball bearings holds eight magnets and spins over the six coils. The movement of the magnetic field from the magnets past the coils generates electricity.

Long flexible wire “tails” lead out of the casting and connect the coils together to generate three-phase electricity.

The magnet rotor is bolted to, and thus turned by, the wind turbine blades.

Members of Transition Worcester are planning to build a wind turbine. They will be using a tried and tested design produced by Mr Hugh Piggott who has designed homemade wind turbines for people in many countries.

They would welcome anyone  who would like to join them in making this turbine.

Select here to download the poster.

If you would like to be involved or to know more about renewable energy please
contact us or the Transition Worcester energy group transitionworcester@gmail.com.

Sustaining the Energy

We will be holding our Annual Network Meeting on 19th June 7:45pm at the Cube,  Select here for a map.

The main talk will be by Jon Halle, who is the co-founder of Sharenergy Co-operative, which has helped over 100 community energy groups across the UK to get up and running – from solar in Somerset to wind on Shetland. The talk is Sustaining the Energy, How to keep building community renewable energy in turbulent times.

There will also be a talk on the latest Zero Carbon Britain report by Robin Coates.

Select here to download the PDF of the poster.

For the formal part of the Annual Network Meeting here are: