Heavy Engineering Sluice Gates

Meadowgate Heavy Engineering Sluice Gates

The Brief

The project aimed to address the inadequacies of the existing fish belly gate, a large tilting weir in Rother Valley County Park, powered by a single hydraulic ram. The lack of resilience in the system posed a significant risk, as a failure in the one ram would render the entire gate inoperable. The Environment Agency (EA) sought a new solution that would enhance resilience. The project also involved the design and construction of a motor control centre to manage the gate’s operation.

The Solution

Innovative Approach:

The chosen solution involved the construction of a vertical sluice gate upstream of the existing structure, allowing the retention of the old system. Various drive systems were considered, including cables on drums, hydraulic systems, and rack & pinions. The rack and pinion drive was selected for its added resilience.

Key Features:

The rack and pinion drive option offered several advantages. By placing a motor and gearbox on either side, both could independently drive 100% of the gate. This design ensured operability even if one motor failed. Additionally, the rack and pinion system could thrust the gate downwards, reducing the risk of crabbing and potential obstructions that gravity-dependent cable systems might face.

The Result

Successful Implementation:

The new gate, of 12.5 meters and with a total weight of 60 metric tonnes, was installed and commissioned seamlessly. Importantly, the old structure was retained, providing continued protection.

The Meadowgate Project stands as a testament to innovative engineering solutions, combining resilience, structural preservation, and comprehensive project delivery for the benefit of Rother Valley County Park and its stakeholders.



Enhanced Resilience

The adoption of a rack and pinion drive significantly increased the resilience of the gate system. The ability to operate with either motor independently ensured continuous functionality, even in the event of a motor failure.


Structural Preservation

By choosing the vertical sluice gate option and rack and pinion drive, the project successfully preserved the integrity of the existing structure. This not only met the EA’s requirement for resilience but also ensured the conservation of the park’s environmental and historical features.


Full M&E Scope Delivery

ACE delivered the entire Mechanical and Electrical (M&E) scope for the project, underscoring the comprehensive nature of the solution provided. This turnkey approach facilitated a seamless integration of the new gate with the motor control center, ensuring efficient and reliable operation.

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