Anderton Boat Lift Revision of the structure of 1875, backed by MP
Anderton Boat Lift Anderton Boat Lift It was constructed in 1875, and it was the very first building that was of this type in Britain
Plans to rebuild the oldest lift on British waters that could cost a few million pounds, are being backed by a MP.
It is the Anderton Boat Lift located in Northwich, Cheshire, needs its hydraulic system and computer to be fixed as the guidelines of the Canal and River Trust (CRT) announcement.
The wonder of engineering, situated on the Trent and Mersey Canal, was developed by Edwin Clarke in 1875.
Northwich MEP Mike Amesbury said CRT had “untapped potential” to use CRT as an educational center.
The lift, also known as the “Cathedral of Canals The lift is used for the transport of barges and boats from the River Weaver Navigation to the Trent and Mersey Canal.
The funds of more than PS7m was raised to fund a major restoration project in 2000 after the property was abandoned for over 20 years.
‘Enthusing young people’
It is an attraction for tourists, however it requires funding of an “huge sum” to sustain its operation in the long-term Amesbury said. Amesbury said.
The CRT informed him that the wiring was “past its sell-by date” and that the wiring needs to be replaced, along with other solutions.
The MP announced that the MP would submit a request to be a part of the National Lottery Heritage Fund to help pay a portion of the costs.
“The Canal and River Trust believes the attraction has untapped potential as a visitor attraction and as an educational facility for enthusing young people about science and engineering,” Mr Amesbury said.
The plans could also include making the visitor center more attractive for weddings, conferences and craft shows, he added.
The location is situated on the banks of the River Weaver in Northwich, Cheshire The Anderton Boat Lift is one of the most important landmarks of Britain’s canal age. It is often referred to as the “Cathedral of Canals”.
It was first constructed in 1875. it was the first in the world to be a Boat Lift, and has been proving to be the model for many other Boat Lifts all over the world. Three stories high and constructed from iron the lift was designed originally to speed up transportation of cargoes from the River Weaver and the Trent and Mersey Canal. The difference in height of 50 feet between these two rivers was a frequent issue for salt barges that carried cargo through the canal system.
The initial idea was to employ a revolutionary new hydraulic system, which included huge tanks, called ‘caissons’ with doors that are watertight, sealable and sealed are used to transport boats both up and down the lift and are backed by a single hydraulic ram. A small tunnel connecting the two was built to allow the fluid flow of the hydraulic fluid which was in this case water between the pistons.
But after 10 years of operation and an extremely high amount of pollution to the river, the corrosion of the seals and pistons led to the closing the lift in. The lift was later converted to an electrically-driven mechanical mechanism that continued to function until 1983, during regular maintenance work, significant corrosion was detected that caused the lift to be shut down again.
The idea was to bring the lift to its hydraulic operation in 1875 and Fairfields got an award to develop and construct the electrical systems. This made it all more difficult because the new hydraulic system needed integrate into the existing structure and brought the problem of integrating heritage of the wedges and gates into the current control system.
DESCRIPTION of Anderton Boat lift
The year 1998 saw Heritage Lottery Funding for PS3.3M was secured to cover the restoration cost in total. The idea was to restore the lift to its hydraulic operation in 1875 and Fairfields was awarded the project to create and build the electrical controls system. This was made more difficult because the hydraulic control system was integrate into the existing structure that brought the task of integrating the heritage of the wedges and gates into the present-day control system.
The original system was operated through hydraulics with water serving as the medium. It relied on the difference in water levels between two caissons in order to make the caisson that was descending heavier. The caisson that was the opposite was filled from the aqueduct at a level 150 mm higher than the one for the river’s lower caisson.
A valve that connected the two rams was manually operated in order to permit the caissons to move. But, trying to replicate the design resulted in difficulties with achieving the differential pressure across the caissons. This resulted in a “fully pumping’ design having to be developed using the hydraulic medium of mineral oil.
Two modes of operation were incorporated into the new system: an balanced Mode that allows both caissons operate simultaneously as well as an isolated Mode that runs either caisson separately. In this new mode of operation both caissons are equipped with the same amount of water. When the caissons are balanced, oil needs to be moved from one side into the other side in order to move. This is accomplished with two pumps of 45kW each that can provide the capacity of 1300 to 1300 L/min flow.
Acceleration and control of this flow are controlled by an “S” curve algorithm created by Fairfields. The smaller 18.5kW pilot pumps are utilized to stop leakage within the system , and keep the caissons in their positions.
When lifting a caisson while in isolated mode, two fixed 90kW displacement pumps must be used. They provide all the power hydraulically that should normally be supplied by the lowering mechanism when operating in an equilibrium mode. This is sometimes called a “virtual caisson’. In an isolated mode, only the main pumps are needed to move the oil back to the reservoir that is.
The measurement of rams’ positions is accomplished by a highly precise position measurement system referred to as “CIMS”. Each ram is serrated and coated with the protective coating ‘CERAMAX. The position of the cylinder is determined using an inducible pulse count taken from the serrated ram. This gives the accurate 1024 counts/cm.
Fairfield employed their expertise in the design of an interface card for the non-standard pulse train that connects to a standard high-speed encoder, allowing high precision of cylinder positions of 0.01mm within 15m.
OUTCOME of Anderton Boat Lift
The lift was successfully restored to hydraulic operation, and opened to boat traffic as well as visitors in 2002. The original 1908 structure as well as the pulley wheels were preserved and can be seen in the visitor center. The weights used to balance the caissons weren’t rehung and were instead used to construct an intricate maze on the areas of the visitor centre.
The lift’s operational control can be designed in a way to operate independent from the structure so that the operator of the lift can manage the operation of the lift through within the Visitors Centre, utilising the CCTV and public address systems as well as Fairfields. The gates, wedges and flood valves are handled by local operators, through the interaction with panels with local HMI interfaces.