Centre for Alternative Technology  22 April  2003

 

The Centre for Alternative Technology

The bottom car park adjoins the ticket office, after which you can ride the water-powered mountain railway to the main site.

 

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The cliff railway conveys visitors to the main level of displays, shop, restaurant and living accommodation.

 

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The machinery at the top station of the mountain railway. The track taken by the cable can be seen on its guides.

 

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Some polyanthus have taken hold on the steep trackway to my considerable pleasure!

 

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Perched above the centre are a trio of wind-generators, above a slate-strewn slope in the recovering ecology of a quarry.

 

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Some views of the landscaped area of CAT, with its lake and beach - and quiet landscape gardens

 

 

Beyond CAT are the forested hillsides towards Dolgellau.

 

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Accommodation, restaurant and play area.

 

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The main pathway from entrance to restaurant, with items and areas of interest along the way.

 

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A sod roof in the process of greening up!

 

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Dining area and solar panel, just behind the restaurant.

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A corner adjoining the animals and looking like many a farmyard.

 

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An attractive area of seedlings being taken outside the poly-tunnel in the background.

 

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Chickens being kept at CAT

 

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The area near the gardens and composting, with the geodesic greenhouse behind.

 

 

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Water power

 

 

 

 

 

A do-it-yourself water wheel in a traditional setting.

 

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This water turbine actually makes electricity for CAT when there is sufficient water in the upper lake.

 

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A Pelton wheel demonstrator.

 

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Commercial water turbines, one with the plaque from Power Gen at Rheidol hydro station.

 

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The funicular railway is cable operated, but the motive energy is simply that of falling water. a tank below the floor of the train is filled with water at the top station, allowing the train's weight to pull up the car from the lower level.

 

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At the bottom of the track a prod gently releases the water tank door and the water is released, making the car light enough to be pulled up the slope!

 

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A magnificent wave tank ca be operated by the visitors. Waves are created by pushing down on the blue handle in the foreground - making the wave travel along the tank....

 

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... and compressing air in a perspex tank at the far end, which is passed through a turbine to make electricity - and light the bulb above the traffic cone!

 

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Wind and solar power

 

 

 

 

In addition to the three wind generators at the top of the quarry, there are a number of further units on site, such as this pair.

 

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The boss of a huge wind turbine dominates the displays.

 

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The setting of the wind energy display.

 

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The telephone booth has dual-power from wind and solar sources.

 

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The most impressive display in the centre was one illustrating the power of passive solar heating. All the plates are metal. The 1st plate is painted white - cool.

The 2nd plate is painted black - warm.

The 3rd plate is black & insulated  - hot.

The 4th plate is also insulated by glass - can't touch it!

 

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Commercial solar heating pipes on display.

 

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An impressive array of solar cells at CAT.

 

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A mock-up of the plumbing and electrical systems needed to convert the solar energy into domestic hot water.

 

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Recycling

 

 

 

 

Slatted  imitation wood recycling bin made from recycled plastic waste (as seen on some footpath signs, play area boards, etc.)

 

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A grading system for recycling materials.

 

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A selection of garden compost-making bins.

 

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these two photographs show an area of the garden, where methods for keeping down weeds, without chemicals, are being demonstrated.

 

 

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The ultimate recycling machine - the organic loo!

 

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CAT Centre for Alternative Technology

Llandinam wind farm

River Severn meander

Montgomery Canal

Barmouth spit

 

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