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.




Accommodation, restaurant and play area.




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





A sod roof in the process of greening up!





Dining area and solar panel, just behind the restaurant.






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




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





Chickens being kept at CAT








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














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





A grading system for recycling materials.





A selection of garden compost-making bins.









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











The ultimate recycling machine - the organic loo!



CAT Centre for Alternative Technology

Llandinam wind farm

River Severn meander

Montgomery Canal

Barmouth spit