THE WATER-POWERED SAWMILL
Of mainly historical importance is the water-powered sawmill, still in use today.
Water coming from the Clavalité stream is led to the plant by a canal with a flow of 240 litres per second. The duct measures 40 x 40 cm and gets narrower where it meets the turbine. This little cleverness improves the plant’s efficiency inasmuch as it allows the water to hit stronger the turbine’s buckets.
The turbine, with its diameter of 118 cm, is able to develop a power of around 5 kw. The water’s force turns the turbine’s propeller shaft which, via the driving belts , moves the blade around 180 times per minute.
Given that the saw itself is in a fixed position, it is necessary to position the tree-trunk on a mobile trolley in order to saw it into the desired pieces. It is possible to saw beams to the required dimension thanks to a crank which allows for the regulation of the blade’s height.
Sadly, the production of around 1 m3 of sawing per day, much limited with respect to its competitors, has progressively reduced profits so much so as to put to question the economic convenience of its running. One might hope that with eventual agreements with public administrations the closure of the plant might be avoided, and that it might then be converted into an museum.