Flows of water
The correct use of the energy of the flows of water is hidden in the beginning of time, as a communication method, using the natural course of the waters for commuting and transporting of people and various goods.
In a face after technic knowledge, the moving water will be used to rotate a wheel with diverse uses: elevation of water for watering of fields and for human use (water mills ); transmission of the rotation for grinding (mills and casters); conversion of the rotation in movement alternatively ( fulling mills, mellows, drop hammers, saws).
The hydraulic energy was the only way of obtaining mechanic energy for a long time. On the river bancs the first industries settled: cereal mils, fulling mills, forges, looms, saws, paper mills and mineral blenders…
The limitation of the fluvial curses in some areas will lead to the beginning of the river mills drive by the sea water, using the flow and backflow on the tide mills, already existent in the year 630 in Ireland and known to exist since the year 1290 in the Península Ibérica, and since 1550 in Galicia.
In these mills, commonly called as “molinos de regolfo”, the wheel works on a cylinder compartment made out of stone, in which the water penetrates from a small slit and exits through the end of the “caldera” after going through the wheel blades making it spin.
The development of the steam engine freed the industrial instances from the special burden hat was the hydraulic dependence, either from a river of the sea; and coal, that would substitute timber as a heat source, that also substituted the hydraulic energy as the principal source of energetic resources.
Just like everything, in the last decade of the XIX century, the hydraulic energy will have an fantastic reuse linked to the energy that would meet the highest diffusion in the whole world: the electricity.
For more information:
In the Inventario del Patrimonio Industrial de Galicia can be found different examples, here highlighting some of which you can see, partly of fully, at least externally:
– Molino de A Seca, in Cambados
– As Aceas da Illa, in Arousa
– Molino del Cura, in Catoira
– Molino de las Mareas, in Muros
– Molino de las Torres de Cereixo, in Vimianzo
– Acea da Ama, in Culleredo
– Muíño do Mar, in Ortigueira
– As Aceas dos Verxeles, in Viveiro
– Aceñas del Ponto, in Narón
– Aceas de Ove, in Ribadeo
– Molino de Riocastro, in Cabanas