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The Gallery | Scottish hydro upgrade

Work to improve the piping system at Sloy Reservoir in the Scottish Highlands is now complete.

Loch Sloy Dam and Sloy Reservoir have a combined catchment area of 80km2 which is collected to supply Scottish and Southern Energy’s (SSE) Sloy Hydroelectric Power Station.

Located on the banks of Loch Lomond, the power station converts energy generated by water travelling down the mountainside from Loch Sloy above in pipework, which is then turned into electricity for homes across Scotland.

Polypipe’s Ridgistorm-XL large diameter piping system was used during repair works to the existing pipework at Sloy Reservoir, which was originally installed in 1946. The system replaced part of the original pipework to collect excess water from the catchment area of the reservoir to feed the power station.

Due to the challenging location, the piping system was airlifted up the mountainside of the Arrochar Alps to the site at Loch Sloy.

Polypipe marketing manager Emma Nicholls said: “We often receive requests from clients that have unique elements, and occasionally these can include site and delivery considerations, but it’s not often that our engineers have to consider how to make our products fly!”

Working closely with SSE, Polypipe devised a system comprising two RidgistormTrap Catchpits and five lengths of the company’s popular Ridgistorm-XL large diameter pipe in 750mm diameters, offering storage for excess water from the catchment area.

Standing at 3.45m high, the 1,500mm diameter catchpits were selected to provide separation of silt and debris from water entering the system – a vital consideration given the remoteness of the site.

Manufactured off-site under factory conditions and delivered ready to install, the catchpits featured inlets and outlets at exact heights in order to suit the site’s gradient and allow the effective flow of water through the system.

“This project provided an ideal opportunity to showcase our ability to pre-fabricate unique fabrications and safety accessories, along with the benefits of plastic over traditional materials,” Nicholls added. “Not only has our team been able to provide benefits at the delivery and installation phases, but they have also supplied a system that will serve a vital energy provision for years to come while protecting the natural beauty of the area being spoiled by erosion.”

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