Wind generator provides power for electric vehicle at iron age fort


A wind generator has been built at Castell Henllys, the Scheduled Ancient Monument situated within the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, to provide power for an electric powered people carrier.

Castell Henllys is one of many prehistoric promontory forts dating from around 600BC in the region, but what makes this site particularly important is that archaeologists have been excavating here for over twenty years and thatched Iron Age buildings have been reconstructed on their original foundations.

It is a major attraction for visitors of all ages, but the access to the hill fort is steep and can often deter the elderly and those suffering from physical disabilities. To help ensure that there is open access for all, the park authority has purchased an electric powered vehicle to overcome this problem and provide transport to the settlement.

Following a statutory tendering process, they selected an E-Z-GO MPT utility vehicle marketed by Ransomes Jacobsen and supplied by Birds Vehicle Solutions of Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan.

The MPT features a 48 volt motor with E-Z-GO's revolutionary Precision Drive System, which has three drive options - All Terrain, Mild Hill and Steep Hill - to suit specific topography characteristics. In this particular instance the Steep Hill option was selected.

Lloyd George is Head Warden at Castell Henllys and is responsible for the site. He commented - "The MPT is excellent; we expected to use it a couple of times a day, but word has got round and we are using it more frequently. This can only be good as we want to welcome as many visitors as possible. A real positive of the vehicle is that it has regenerative braking, which means that it can't run away downhill. This is a particularly important safety feature and sets it apart from similar machines."

Phil Bennett, Heritage Archaeology Manager at Castell Henllys added - "This is a sensitive site and our environmental policy is in place to protect it as much as possible. We received Sustainable Development Funding to support the purchase and to build a wind turbine, which generates the electricity to power the vehicle. We're confident that it will generate enough power to exceed the needs of the MPT.

"The MPT has proved very popular and has certainly helped us to be as socially inclusive as possible. Its walk through platform allows easy access and the cargo bed is ideal for transporting wheelchairs."