A modern-day version of one of the world’s oldest engineering wonders was today (Mon) installed at the new JCB Academy… and will be responsible for generating the majority of the centre’s electricity.
An environmentally-friendly Archimedes Screw turbine was lowered into place at the Academy, which is based at the historic Grade II listed Tutbury Mill in Rocester.
The pump, shaped like a giant corkscrew, was first used over two thousand years ago to move water to higher ground to irrigate farmland in ancient Greece.
This latest version – weighing 13.5 tonnes and measuring 36ft by 10ft – uses the reverse principal of harnessing water power from the adjacent millrace to turn a turbine to create power.
It will generate up to 85 per cent of the centre of learning’s electricity needs when it throws open its doors to students for its inaugural term in September, and will save up to 64 tonnes of CO2 compared to using mains electricity.
The innovative hydropower pump was developed in Germany to JCB’s specification, before being shipped over to the UK ready to be installed at The Academy.
JCB Group Property Director and Academy Trust Director Alan Thomson said: “When we designed The JCB Academy we wanted to be as green as possible and the Archimedes Screw turbine embraces the very latest technology to generate electricity in an environmentally friendly way.
“It also complements other methods of power generation that will be used which include installing a wind turbine and photovoltaic cells to harness solar power.
“When the turbine starts operating it will be the first time the millrace will have been used to generate power at the site since 1946, when a mill wheel was replaced by a steam engine.”
Alan added: “We have also ensured it is wildlife friendly, having installed a gate and ladder to allow fish to pass freely.”
A total of 170 young people from Staffordshire, Derbyshire and the cities of Stoke-on-Trent and Derby have enrolled at The Academy which will specialise in creating Britain’s engineers and business leaders of the future.
These will include 120 Year 10 students (14-year-olds) who over two years will study for the new Diplomas in Engineering and Business as well as GCSEs in the core subjects of Maths, English, Sciences, a modern foreign language and ICT.
In addition, 50 Year 12 Sixth Form students have been awarded places to study for Advanced Engineering and Advanced Business Diplomas.
As well as classroom working with the most sophisticated IT and equipment, students will benefit from unrivalled hands-on experience with JCB’s blue chip Academy partners such as Rolls Royce, Toyota, Bombardier and Harper Adams University College as part of their exciting industry-orientated curriculum.