A MILLPOND in the shadow of Laxey Wheel will provide all the energy requirements for a major new complex.
Stewart Clague of Stewart Clague Services (SCS) has converted an old mill into a restaurant and tearooms, incorporating an interactive exhibition centre for the Laxey mines.
Planning permission has just been granted for a corporate and private function room to cater for up to 120 people.
An innovative system that will make the complex completely self-sufficient utilises the resource – water – that is right on its doorstep.
A heat pump will be powered by the latest hydro-electric turbine system, to absorb or reject heat from the millpond which in turn will heat or cool the complex.
Stewart and son Alan, a director of SCS, travelled to the headquarters of Mitsubishi Electric in the UK to learn how the technology works and to specify the equipment required for the Corn Mill operation.
Alan said: ‘At SCS, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of new and renewable technology. We will be able to showcase this product in the flesh rather than relying on internet-based case studies. Mitsubishi Electric has taken a real interest in this project, particularly as it is next to the world-famous Laxey Wheel.’
The area is renowned for its engineering history, from the Laxey Wheel itself to the fact that the Corn Mill is renovated from the old Manx Engineers works. SCS believes this next generation technology is the way forward, utilising natural resources where possible.
Stewart said: ‘The millpond is fed by the river from Snaefell mountain. The water will travel under the building in a culvert to a turbine which will generate electricity to operate the new heat pump technology.
‘This system will power the whole complex, including heating, cooling, lighting and general power.’
Engineer Eric Wilkins, who helped with the wheel restoration project at the Corn Mill, said: ‘We drained the millpond because we needed to establish exactly how much water would be available to feed the new turbine.
‘We now know how many litres are in the millpond, how much water will come through the pipe and therefore how much power that will generate.’
Work will start at the end of this month with the installation of heat exchange pipework coils (slinkys) at the base of the millpond.