Back Raking Machines

Kinlochlevin Back Raking Machine

The Brief

Operating since the Victorian era, the Kinlochleven hydroelectric power station comprised one main dam and three smaller dams. The smaller dams, vital for water supply during rainfall, were manually operated by Victorian technology, demanding a permanent operator presence. With rising labour costs, the smaller dams were mothballed for 60 years, impacting the station’s green energy production. SIMEC GHR sought a solution to revitalize the smaller dams efficiently and cost-effectively.

The Solution

Automated Penstocks and Debris Screens: ACE collaborated with SIMEC GHR to implement a modern solution for the smaller dams. The project involved the installation of automated penstocks and automated debris screens. The automated penstocks regulated water flow from the smaller dams, optimizing energy production. Additionally, automated debris screens prevented blockages without manual intervention, ensuring continuous and efficient operation.

Enhanced Efficiency through Automation: The introduction of automated systems replaced the outdated Victorian manual operation. The automated penstocks and debris screens brought the smaller dams back online, allowing for precise control of water flow without the need for a permanent operator. This transition to automation aimed to maximize the hydro power station’s efficiency and green energy output.

The Result

Increased Green Energy Production: The implementation of automated penstocks and debris screens resulted in a significant boost to the hydro power station’s green energy production. By reviving the smaller dams’ functionality, the station could harness more water resources efficiently. This led to increased power generation, surpassing even the output achieved during the Victorian era when manual operation was in place.

Continuous Operation and Water Conservation: Automated systems allowed for continuous operation, eliminating the need for a permanent operator at the smaller dams. The optimized water flow regulation prevented unnecessary water consumption reductions. The hydro power station achieved higher sustainability by ensuring a constant, reliable source of water, contributing to its commitment to CO2-neutral power generation.



Revitalising Historic Infrastructure

ACE’s collaboration with SIMEC GHR successfully revitalised the historic Kinlochleven hydroelectric power station. By integrating modern automation technology, the project breathed new life into the smaller dams, aligning with environmental and economic considerations. This achievement showcased the adaptability and sustainability of historic infrastructure through innovative solutions.


Efficiency Through Automation

The shift from manual to automated systems not only restored the smaller dams’ functionality but also demonstrated the efficiency gains achievable through automation. ACE’s contribution allowed SIMEC GHR to embrace contemporary technology, optimizing the station’s operational processes and increasing overall efficiency.


Contribution to Green and CO2-Neutral Energy

The successful implementation of automated systems played a crucial role in enhancing green and CO2-neutral power generation at Kinlochleven. By overcoming the limitations of Victorian-era manual operation, ACE’s solution contributed to a more sustainable energy future, aligning with the evolving needs of the modern world.

Efficient, professional and friendly

The ACE project management team managed their supply chain very well, always meeting all of our requests and dealing with changes in an efficient, professional and friendly manner. They are good people to work with and achieved high safety standards, embracing all of our safety procedures and requirements.

John Smith – Langford Lowfields


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