MERIDEN — Meriden has made history as the first city in the United States to install the technology of ancient Greek scientist Archimedes to transform a dam into a hydroelectric generator. The 20-ton, 35-foot-long steel screw lifted by crane into the Hanover Pond dam Tuesday morning will generate about 900,000 kilowatts of electricity annually and is expected to save the city $20,000 a year when it starts producing power.
“It is renewable energy, zero emissions, using a water resource that used to drive all our industry in New England 100 years ago,” said New England Hydropower CEO Michael Kerr.
The Archimedes screw was invented over 2,000 years ago and has been used in European dams for the last decade.
The screw alone cost about $750,000 and was manufactured in Holland, Kerr said. It was stored in New London before being transported by tractor-trailer Monday night to Meriden, where it had some trouble maneuvering South Meriden’s narrow roads before reaching its destination at Hanover Pond off Webb Street. After several hours of preparation work Tuesday morning, crews attached the metal screw to a massive crane and steadily lifted it into the air. Less than 20 minutes later, it was lowered into the dam.
“It executed perfectly,” Kerr said. “Everything lifted perfectly.”
Electricity will be generated when water at the top of the dam is sent through the screw, causing it to rotate at about 30 revolutions a minute.
© Copyright 2016, RJ Media Group