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Author Topic: micro hydro  (Read 7558 times)

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Offline moonhill

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micro hydro
« on: August 04, 2008, 10:30:08 pm »
I have solar electric, wind and a backup genny.  I am wondering about a small hydro set up.  I have a small brook that flows 3/4 of the year, and it's flowing well now due to the rain.  It runs into a gorge, if I dam it up I would store up a fair bit of reserve, and gain 20' of head as well. It will fill a 5 gallon pale in a few seconds.  The volume varies through the year.  I would be looking for a supplement to the power I now have.   Mostly wondering if any other members are using such a system and it's +'s and -'s.    Tim   
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Offline ohsoloco

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Re: micro hydro
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2008, 12:47:35 pm »
Not sure if it's what you're looking for, but there's some talk in THIS THREAD


Offline John Mc

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Re: micro hydro
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2008, 01:18:01 pm »
Home Power Magazine has run some good articles on micro hydro. It's a pretty good resource in general for wind, solar, and hydro electric power and for solar hot water.

John Mc
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Offline moonhill

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Re: micro hydro
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2009, 07:46:10 pm »
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Online Ianab

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Re: micro hydro
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2009, 09:36:48 pm »
http://www.eurekamagazine.co.uk/article/17130/Water-wheels-begin-their-come-back.aspx?u=82317

This may be a possibility, an over shot wheel.   

Tim

Thats what I was going to suggest. The amount of head sounds right, flow seems enough to be usefull, then it's just a matter of connecting it to some sort of generator via pully / fanbelt to get the rpm up for a Car Alternator.

There are several of those restored and still operating around our area. One at Pukeiti gardens used to generate power (~1,000W?) but is now connected to a small water pump.

Another one in a central New Plymouth park just runs as a novelty.

Looking at them, it's somthing a DIYer could build, given a box of stainless bolts, a shaft and a stack of white oak or similar durable wood.

I dont have any good photos of them at the moment, but a few minutes with a the camera would fix that.

Ian
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Offline moonhill

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Re: micro hydro
« Reply #5 on: April 29, 2009, 06:27:27 am »
Ah, there is hope, some pictures would be nice, we all like pictures. 

This summer I am going to be digging out the seasonal run off, drainage ditch / gulch.  The culvert is rusted out and need to be replaced, in doing so I am going to move it down stream and build up the new road.  It will be a multi purpose pond, no fish, a log soaking pond and it will create the drop or head needed to power the wheel.  I haven't settled on the type of system, just looking as of now.

As I drive the country side I am constantly noticing the rivers and streams that are not being used for power anymore, it is what ran this country in our past.  I am aware of the environmental cost, but their must be a system that will work in harmony and not cause issues with the fishes. 

I did dig out a VW Bug generator and its mount as a way to fool around, ADD interrupts such matters but I can return at any moment and progress.  ADD is a wonderful thing, it allows one to test all kinds of ideas, and not finish them, which is the down side I suppose. 

Tim
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: micro hydro
« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2009, 09:52:23 am »
If you have enough flow, you can get by without a lot of head. I ran across a grist mill in the mountains of tennessee that ran off a home-made tub turbine with 3 ft of head. The turbine was all wood, 6 ft diameter. Also, you might check into a hydraulic ram to provide running water to the cabin. The university of North carolina web site has extensive information. some pvc pipe and a couple of one-way check valves can make a pump that will build enough pressure to burst pvc water pipe. No external power required. I would love to piddle with this sort of stuff, but no running streams to speak of, the sun don't shine for weeks at a time during the winter. All we have is plenty of wood, so I'm slowly accumulating the stuff for a wood gassifier running an old car engine...
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Offline ErikC

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Re: micro hydro
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2009, 11:45:30 am »
  I built a water ram like that Piney. One check valve has to be modified, and everything else from the shelf. I pumped about 1.5 gallons a minute just over 50 ft up, with a little under 5 feet of fall in the drive pipe. Pretty cool way to move water. Now I have a gravity system, and don't use it any more-but it worked good. 
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: micro hydro
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2009, 02:37:44 pm »
Tim do a little at a time and don't make a big production with your water project.Streams swamps and waterways are checked by satilite for tampering also greenies can turn you in.Frank C.
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Offline moonhill

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Re: micro hydro
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2009, 08:04:54 pm »
It will be a slight difference, not enough to attract a lot of attention, I hope.  The main purpose will be to preserve some logs.  I may even put a liner in the bottom.  The power will be for fun, if it pans out I will enlarge it and run it to the house.  Now for a dry spell, I should be careful of what I wish for.   

Tim
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Offline Chico

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Re: micro hydro
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2009, 12:05:39 pm »
Bandmiller 2 is right you can get in a heap of trouble blocking or slowing streams esp if they have an effect on wildlife above or below thew surface My bil found this out the 50000 $ way best to check and get the right permit if required be a shame to do all that to have to destroy it and maybe pay fines or worse
Chico
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Offline moonhill

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Re: micro hydro
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2009, 06:42:46 am »
My original thought to replace the rusted culvert just down stream doesn't allow enough room, I want more.  I have checked and will be doing it through the proper channels.  It is going to be a challenge either way. 

Tim
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Offline maple flats

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Re: micro hydro
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2009, 06:35:04 pm »
5 gal in a few seconds sounds like a good flow for a nice size water wheel. I would think you could get 2 kw or more with a waterwheel turning a gen or alternator. Northern hydraulic has some belt driven generator heads much like the PTO types. Try looking into that. I am sure others and maybe even some surplus places might too.
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Offline bandmiller2

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Re: micro hydro
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2009, 06:23:57 am »
Pineywoods,when you do your wood gassification please take many photos and measurements that is an interesting project.Frank C.
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Offline moonhill

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Re: micro hydro
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2009, 09:20:37 pm »
I would be interested in any gassification project as well.

It has dried up of late, if it holds off I may have a chance to clean the ditch out, a start in the right direction.

Tim
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Offline mometal77

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Re: micro hydro
« Reply #15 on: October 01, 2014, 02:09:17 pm »
Too many Assholes... not enough bullets...I might have become a millionaire, but I chose to become a tramp!

Offline trooperTdiesel

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Re: micro hydro
« Reply #16 on: October 03, 2014, 01:36:10 am »
dont have one but ive seen one sorta off the record set up..... :-X
other then a house phone there 100% off grid....

he has to have about 25 GPM for it to really work. being only a small stream its only in use for about 4 months a year.
silt in the small reservoir is a issue and has to be cleaned up once a season for good efficiency.

he has a automotive ALT with a life time warranty from a bargain price auto parts store, and has lost count of the amount of returns........
takes the diode's out and transmits the power as AC current about 0.1~ of a mile to his BAT bank and changes it once there from AC to DC everything is 12V in the house that he can make 12v they have a converter for the 110v in the house its on a switch to limit the power use when 110v is not needed
any thing regularly used that draws 220V is on propane, or is used so seldom is vea Generator.


the water wheel that the water hits is about the only thing thats really properly meant for hyd power.
his issue was limited head, when the water is flowing he had maybe 20psi tops....i think this is part of the need for the higher GPM number, and the limited season of use..

the large main pipe comes in and splits in to 4 different water nozzles or maybe better to say water jets. around the water wheel.
so he can limit water flow when theres less and still make a little power.

on the low setting he was making about 300W of power. i know that don't seem like much, but 24 hours a day for a month is about $25 in power at 0.12c a KW

1.5KW would be about the same as a wall heater, $130 for a month.
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Offline mometal77

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Re: micro hydro
« Reply #17 on: October 05, 2014, 02:58:22 am »
I know the exact set up he has.  A guy I know built one for a man in my area.  It is a project.  It took him hours to build it.

I think I have photos up on what I have.  It is a project always doing something new and buying more pipe. 

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Offline HuckFin

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Re: micro hydro
« Reply #18 on: October 05, 2014, 03:04:05 pm »
Surprised to find the alternative methods and solutions forum on this site. Fifteen years ago I hooked up my micro hydro system, started out with the Harris Pelton wheel and a Trace 1500 watt inverter, charging two T105 batteries. Later updated to Outbacks dual 2800 watt power center with eight L16 batteries coupled to a 10,000 watt Onan generator to bring the batteries up to full charge when necessary and for back up. All this from a small seasonal (about 11 months of the year) creek. As far as head, I'm guessing 75 feet running through 2 inch PVC pipe for 300 feet which gives me 35 LBS pressure at the Pelton wheel. Back in 2008 I hooked up to the grid but still rely on the hydro system to get us through the numerous power outages we get up here. Its was well worth it and has been low maintenance.

Offline r.man

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Re: micro hydro
« Reply #19 on: October 06, 2014, 07:02:28 pm »
If your flow changes you should be able to do a nozzle change for the Pelton wheel. The one set up that I saw for sale on line had a number of nozzles with it that were easy to change.
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