Renewable energy at Morden Hall Park
The rangers at Morden Hall Park have re-started the Archimedes screw turbine which is situated upstream of the 18th century East mill water wheel, next to the weir, on the river Wandle. The screw turbine is now supplying energy to the Stableyard. It's in action on week days. At this point it's not accessible to the public but you can find out about it in the learning display in the snuff mill exhibition centre. You can visit the turbine during the free guided history tours taking place on selected Sundays.
What is the Archimedes screw turbine?
The Archimedes screw was one of the greatest inventions of the ancient world. Archimedes, a Greek mathematician who lived over 2000 years ago, invented the screw which was a device used to lift water to higher levels to irrigate fields and is made from a screw placed within a cylinder.
Morden Hall Park uses the same principle with its Archimedes screw turbine. By placing the screw in the River Wandle, the water makes the screw turn and moves the water to a lower level. The power of the water flowing down the screw is harnessed to make electricity.
The 8.5 KW Morden Hall Park Archimedes screw turbine was first installed in 2012 funded by the Living Green project. It was London’s first hydroelectric turbine. It had been stilled in recent months due to a faulty variable speed drive and concern over the efficiency of the fish buffers which protected the fish and eels from the turbine.
Following repairs funded by Morden Hall Park the Environment Agency has given the go ahead for the Archimedes screw turbine to be restarted and everyone at the Park is thrilled their offices will once again be supplied with renewable energy. It is expected that the electricity generated by the newly repaired turbine will supply power to the stable yard at Morden Hall Park. The turbine should produce enough energy to supply 18 households and any excess electricity will be fed back to the National Grid.