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Thread: Hydro power

  1. #1
    LHBA Member
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    Hydro power

    www.powerspout.com
    Looks like the info and product we may need to set up a simple system without spending weeks doing it.

  2. #2
    LHBA Member
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    You are so lucky to have that resource! Let us know how it works.

  3. #3
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    Micro hydroelectric is the greatest. In the old days we had a Harris Hydro pelton wheel setup ( http://harrishydro.biz/ ) that charged a battery bank and fed a 1200 watt inverter. Used the generator only for loads down at the barn/workshop. If you have access to the water and a bit of fall, it's the only way to go.

    Had a neighbor who had a great solar site and used a small pelton wheel setup to catch winter runoff to augment his moderate solar setup.
    Every time I have strayed from the teachings of Skip Ellsworth it has cost me money.

  4. #4
    LHBA Member cooper's Avatar
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    I'm really interested in micro HE but have limited knowledge. I understand how it works and I've seen some cool DIYs, but this looks like a pretty easy way to get started. I have a year-round creek on my property with plenty of flow most of the year, but very little head. Harnessing enough of the flow to compensate for the lack of head will be my biggest challenge.

    Other concerns to think about are location and proximity to load. Do you want to run more pipe or more wire? Also, it seems you can tweak the efficiency with different size jets for different flow fluctuations, so you'll want easy access if fluctuations happen regularly in your area.

    Lastly, as with any power generating system, you have to decide on battery bank, direct tie in, AC or DC, etc.

  5. #5
    LHBA Member rreidnauer's Avatar
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    Power = pressure (head) x flow (volume) so, if you have low head, the only option is to find a way to harness a large volume of water. Pelton wheel generator isn't going to do it because it doesn't use enough water.

    Probably not something you can do, but if you could, some sort of low head dam and a long paddlewheel arrangement catching the fall over the dam. You'd probably have to gear up your output rpm, and loose a little efficiency, but you'll be able to make more power than with a Pelton arrangement. Even a long paddlewheel stretched across a moderate flowing stream will make a lot of torque to convert to rpm's. I could even tell you how to design it to compensate for water level fluctuations.

    As for AC or DC, always better to have an AC permanent magnet generator, (preferably three phase) transmit power as AC, and rectify near the point of use/storage. Also, better to generate higher voltage, and use an MPPT controller to convert it down to your needs.
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  6. #6
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    The same company that makes the Power spout (the first posting) also makes a low head unit that works with a small amount of drop but a large amount of water

  7. #7
    Regular+ User Grey Knight NFO's Avatar
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    for a low head application, you need a reaction turbine (such as a crossflow) instead if an impulse turbine (such as a pelton). A crossflow turbine can handle as low a head as 3 ft, as long as it has enough flow to keep it spinning. With hydropower, as with everything else, it is always a trade, and you don't need to be next to Niagra Falls to harness it effectively. In any case, a well designed turbine will be cheaper in the long run than a thrown together one. Hydro-electric power generation has been around long enough, (unlike solar), to be very mature in its design. I'm still waiting, (for various reasons), to take the class, and to buy land, but I plan to have a mix of solar and hydro power, (enough to operate a house, a 100W PEP HF Radio Mail Server in the Ameteur and MARS bands, a LAN with a small server and the HVAC required for those on a continual basis and other equipment at need), without a grid connection.

  8. #8
    LHBA Member loghousenut's Avatar
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    I'm sure you'll appreciate the LHBA method for your own log home. Like water power, it is much cheaper to have a well designed log home than a thrown together one. LHBA has been around a long time and it is a proven system that is strong, simple, and as long lasting as it gets.

    I can fully appreciate what you are saying about hand made power. We bought our first solar panels 25 years ago, when we could barely afford it. Gradually went to a Harris pelton wheel and Trace 2000w inverter to run our household. Worked great back then and I can only imagine that it would be easier and cheaper in this day and age.

    You'll fit right in here whenever it's time. Probably no big hurry... I think LHBA will be around for quite awhile. I first took the LHBA class long before I bought my first solar panel and it has only gotten better.
    Every time I have strayed from the teachings of Skip Ellsworth it has cost me money.

  9. #9
    Regular+ User Grey Knight NFO's Avatar
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    LHN,

    I've done enough reading on the site and other places to know that I will be a member of the LHBA as soon as I am able to, (I've been registered on the forum since 2010, and have been lurking ever since...). (Also, I'm not going to buy land to build on until I take the class). Looking to buy in the Crestview, FL area, so I'm checking the info on windloading, (If possible, I'll build to withstand 150kts) and water incursion. Also, since my bride doesn't want to live anywhere that gets really cold, , ((at least on a regular basis, prayers go out to those on the US east coast now), and we don't want to live in a nanny state like Hawaii, (current duty station)), getting a place in the mountains where i can set up a high head impulse turbine is out of the question.

    GKN

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    LHBA Member edkemper's Avatar
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    What you mean is once it's paid for it's almost free.
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