Fife water tank for Argyll hydro community project

A community energy project on Scotland’s West coast is set to use a Scottish-made water tank at the heart of a new hi-tech energy management system.

ardgour centreArdgour Outdoor Centre already has its own hydro scheme, but sometimes there has just been too much power to use on site. Storing energy as hot water when the hydro is running needs a clever electronic system and a purpose-made hot water tank.

This innovation project is being coordinated by Community Energy Scotland’s Nick Chapman and the Abernethy Trust’s Barry Edmondson. 

Nick said:

“A large tank will also mean that there is no shortage of hot water when the outdoor centre users return to the centre for showers after a day on the hills.

“Having 2,000 litres of water on tap will also mean that should the hydro turbine be switched off  for a spell when there is a lower flow in the burn, then the thermal store will see the to the centre’s needs for much longer.”

He added:

“The new water tank is at the heart of the system, and is on order from McDonald Engineers.  This company designs and manufactures water systems from a factory in Glenrothes, Fife.”

bill-stewart-tanksMcDonald Engineers’ Managing Director, Bill Stewart said:

“We have specialised in manufacturing copper hot water cylinders since 1946 and are one of the UK’s market leaders in developing cylinders for renewable energy solutions.

“Our expertise and experience in this area means that we can advise on the optimum sizing, coil specifications and connections to ensure every cylinder we manufacture maximises the heat transfer process and minimises the ongoing running costs.”

Stewart continued:

“And by using copper for all of our renewable energy cylinders, we capitalise on its natural super powers which kills bacteria, such as legionella and ecoli, which can be an issue if sufficient heat is not maintained.”

Optimising the generation capacity of the hydro and making best use of the local power available will reduce the running costs for the Ardgour Outdoor Centre which offers adventure breaks for school parties and youth groups. 

The project is supported by the Scottish Government’s Community and Renewable Energy Scheme (CARES) and Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s Local Energy Economies project.


Pictured is part of Ardgour Outdoor Centre (r) and McDonald Engineers’ Managing Director, Bill Stewart (l)

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