Bathampton Weir

Small Hydro • 2009

Transition Bath (TB) is a community group which tackles the twin issues of climate change and peak oil via local practical initiatives. An initial TB project is to develop a hydropower scheme behind the pub at Bathampton Mill on the river Avon just outside Bath and a full feasibility study was undertaken by RDC in association with Camco with support from the Community Sustainable Energy Programme (CSEP).

Because of the listed nature of the site an important aspect was designing the scheme in association with the local planning office. The technical work involved carrying out power and energy capture analysis, site investigations considering the full range of low-head hydro power technologies (Archimedean Screw, Kaplan turbine, waterwheel) and the costs for installing them at the old mill site.

The site itself is constrained by a narrow tunnel that used to supply water to the old mill, to the side of the pub, which limits the flow to the scheme. Therefore the maximum scheme power was estimated as up to 50 kW, well below what the River Avon is capable of at this point with its mean flow of 20 m3/s and maximum head of 1.43 m.