Home > Projects > Rack & Pinion Gates at Faughan Weir
  • Faughan Weir
  • Faughan Weir
  • Faughan Weir
  • Faughan Weir
  • Faughan Weir
  • Faughan Weir
  • Faughan Weir

Rack & Pinion Gates at Faughan Weir

Faughan weir, originally constructed in the late 1950’s was built to pen the river Faughan to a set upstream level enabling raw water abstraction by the pumping station which is situated just a few meters upstream of the gates.

Aquatic Control Engineering (ACE) were initially commissioned to inspect the gates, drive system, and produce a report detailing the asset condition. ACE carried out a video recorded dive inspection and provided experienced engineers to examine the drive system. The gates were deemed to be at the end of their serviceable life and the walkway would need to be replaced but the rest of the civil works could be retained.

Northern Irish water experienced issues with the wheels on the gates that occasionally caused crabbing. The wheels were difficult to maintain as they are below the waterline and therefore a solution which removed the need for wheels was deemed preferable.

NI water also experienced trouble closing the gates as they were prone to sticking. ACE suggested an alternative drive system based on a rack and pinion. The “ladder” rack and pinion system can drive the gate down as well as pull it open. At Faughan there were further benefits as each gate would have two racks joined with a common drive shaft, this removes the risk of the gate crabbing as both racks are fixed relative to each other by the common drive shaft (one rack can only move in parallel to the other).

The proposed solution was to design and deliver new sluice gates on polymer sliding blocks rather than wheels and with a “ladder” rack and pinion rather than cables and drums.

ACE proposed to deliver the drive system pre-assembled on the new walkway allowing the full walkway and drive system for each gate to be lifted in a single lift minimising time on site.

ACE with our partners Jansen Venneboer SPIE carried out the mechanical inspection, optioneering, design & engineering, fabrication, and installation of the stoplogs to set the gates dry, three sluice gates, drive systems and walkways. It’s a project that will greatly improve the resilience and reliability of the asset whilst also reducing the amount of maintenance it requires.

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