Members stores
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 24

Thread: Hydro power from small streams?

  1. #1

    Hydro power from small streams?

    There is a year round creek/stream on the back side of the property we hope to build on.

    Its a long way from the build site but we could use a power supply on that end of the property to run irrigation pumps.

    Has anyone seen a small/affordable hydro system that would work on a creek/stream to generate enough juice to run an irrigation pump?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    LHBA Member BoFuller's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Seligman, Arizona
    Posts
    1,907
    I haven't spent too much time on it since we have no creeks or streams, but I heard it can be pretty economical. I believe the return is way better than solar or wind.

  3. #3
    LHBA Member StressMan79's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Brickleberry NP
    Posts
    2,166
    streams have the advantage of not needing it to be sunny or windy to operate if you are lucky enough to have a creek with enough drop, then USE IT. You can live pretty much like you do now off the grid with a 4" PVC and a Pelton Turbine (provided ~20' of fall). You can buy some 1/0 gauge wire and bring in split phase 220, and run your house off of it, pretty cheaply (I estimate ~5-10k) for the whole setup. I'd combine some solar with that and crank up the toaster/blow dryer/home theatre.

    I don't have that option...

  4. #4
    LHBA Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    East TN, Western NC
    Posts
    2,002
    Blog Entries
    3
    We are that lucky. We plan to do a hydro system of some sort. We have 2,000 feet of mountain stream running the entire length of the valley of our place. We just have to figure where to take the water out and back in to get the most fall in the least distance. Of course that will naturally be at the waterfalls so an old fashion water wheel would be nice to look at but not so practical. A friends says he can make it work but I'm not really convinced that we won't need more that that. Since there will be 3 cabins at some distance from each other we may need to each have our own setup at the cabin and have battery banks on wheels to park in a charge station close to where the power is being generated or some such set up. I don't know if sharing the generator and charging separate battery banks would be feasible or not. A lot of trouble I'm sure, probably better to figure something else out. There will be at least 1200' between the highest cabin and the lowest cabin. All will be within a 100' of the creek. If we put the generator station in the middle it would be 500'-600' to the other two cabins to run electric line if we tried to just wire it and I know you lose a lot with distance so I just don't know which is best. We might be the only full time residents so I'm thinking we put it close to us and let the others figure out how to get some to them. Ha.

  5. #5
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Grants Pass, Oregon.
    Posts
    5,294
    Blog Entries
    1
    We lived off of a small pelton wheel for years. It was great! You'll need this to start and go from there.

    http://homepower.com/home/

    Lots to learn. There is power to be gotten from flowing, nearly level, water (low head hydro) and there is power to be gotten from falling water (high head hydro). Lots of fall can use a small pelton wheel to make a lot of cheap power.

    You'll also need to consider your State's water rights laws and permitting.

  6. #6
    LHBA Member jrdavis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    CB, Iowa
    Posts
    1,013
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Mosseyme View Post
    <cut>...that will naturally be at the waterfalls so an old fashion water wheel would be nice to look at but not so practical. A friends says he can make it work but I'm not really convinced that we won't need more that that.
    Mosseyme --
    You can look at a Tesla wheel -- basically looks like a computer harddrive turned sideways.
    Tesla built his first one around age 6-7, I think. Less friction and water restriction.
    go for it... then let us know
    JD
    Iowa Log Building -- some day
    pics http://s1249.photobucket.com/albums/hh510/pltn1042/
    Member since Oct 1999

  7. #7
    LHBA Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    East TN, Western NC
    Posts
    2,002
    Blog Entries
    3
    Since the water will go come out and back in all several hundred feet within our property bounderys do water rights and usage really come into it?

  8. #8
    LHBA Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon
    Posts
    378
    Water Wheel here's the spot this guy's got it figured out
    http://www.waterwheelplace.com/main.html

  9. #9
    The biggest issues concerning water rights and usage involve depriving someone downstream of water, or flooding caused by a dam you built rupturing. Dams are looked at closely for that reason and often require all sorts of legal hoops to jump through.

  10. #10
    LHBA Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    East TN, Western NC
    Posts
    2,002
    Blog Entries
    3
    lilbluehonda
    thanks for the link. very interesting, I'll keep that on file.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •