Students help canal project

Students help Canal Project

A report by SDC's Dave Marshall – Photograph by Mark Watkins of SNJ

Technology students are bringing their skills to bear in the Cotswold Canals Project.

The students, from Marling and Stroud High Schools, are assisting engineers designing a hydro-electric scheme, which will make use of water flowing around the Dudbridge Locks to generate electricity.

Two groups of students have just begun work on the project. One is measuring water flow in the canal to make sure there is enough to run the scheme’s turbine.

The other is finishing the design of the inlet duct using computer-aided 3D design.

They will then obtain alternative cost estimates for plastic, stainless or concrete and then choose the most durable and cost-effective solution.

The two groups are being mentored by Keith Tibbitts, a volunteer with the Cotswold Canals Trust, who is working with Marling School DT Manager, Steve Berry.

“Most of the theoretical work has been done” said Keith, “but the students are validating our assumptions by giving things a reality check.”


 
Contractor's involvement is key 

Key to the students’ involvement is Galliford Try, main contractor on the canal restoration at Dudbridge. The company has made a site available for the flow measuring and its engineers are helping with advice and equipment.

“As a major engineering company, we are really pleased to be helping tomorrow’s engineers,” said Project Engineer Richard Scott.

“The country badly needs engineers and we hope these students will go away enthused and want to make a career in engineering.”

Fund raising continues

The Cotswold Canals Trust is now busy fundraising for the hydro-electric scheme. Project leader Stroud District Council has provided for the scheme in the construction of the Dudbridge Locks bypass. Once installed, the turbine is expected to generate over 20 kilowatts of electricity, which will be fed into the National Grid.