Atholl Estate, Pitlochry, Scotland

Powered by water until the mid 1940’s when due to the arrival national grid the three original 25kW turbines were sold for scrap, the Atholl Estate was keen to re-introduce hydro power to the 13th century Castle. A drive for efficiency and the fact that much of the original scheme including holding lochs and pipework still existed, made the re-instatement of hydro power at the castle a sensible long term and environmentally friendly investment.

Generating a modest 89kW at peak times the single jet Pelton machine is able to more than cover the requirements of the castle, with any surplus being transferred as renewable energy to the grid. The turbine for this project was a small Pelton from the Gilkes ‘Compact’ range – the type Gilkes uses on sub-100kW turbines. The generator was of the induction type (like an electric motor), which reduces the complication associated with the larger ‘full blown’ generator types.

Normally the Compact range turbines have a simplified Control Panel with limited functionality. However, for Blair Castle we retained the use of a PLC (logic controller) as is our practice on larger turbines. This was in order to have some flexibility to add additional functions. 

Scope of Supply

  • Gilkes 450mm single jet compact Pelton Turbine
  • Electric actuation of spear valve & deflector
  • Main inlet valve (gate valve)
  • 1000rpm induction generator
  • PLC control & switchgear panel
  • Head level sensor
  • Installation and commissioning
  • Service & maintenance contract
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Key Stats

  • Commissioned 2014
  • Power 89 kW
  • Net Head 112m
  • Flow 92 l/s
  • Turbine Type Single Jet Compact Pelton