Mini Hydro Anyone donig this???????

Discussion in 'Energy & Electricity' started by noisynick, Nov 1, 2008.

  1. noisynick

    noisynick Freedom isn't FREE.......

    8
    0
    Hi I'm new here and I have agreat water source for mini hydro what I'm needing is any info I can get on this subject from those that are doing it or hav seen someone else generating power this way.
    Theres lots of info on the net but few actual producers, Since being from missouri you kinda gotta show us Ole HIllbillys or we just don't get it ...
    Thanks
     
  2. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    684
    1
    I've helped with several, so I might be able to help.
    Do you want 'Micro-Hydro' electrical production,
    or are you looking for something like a 'Ram Pump' to move water?

    Do you have any idea of how much 'Fall' or 'Head' you have?
    Volume of water in the flow?

    Or are you just looking for ideas on generators construction and assembly?
     

  3. Tex

    Tex Pincushion

    278
    1
    Decent water for power is hard to find near Dallas. I'm jealous. If you have a steady year round source, you have a gold mine. With minimal investment, you can have free electricity for life. Jeephammer has mentioned Home Power Magazine in other threads. They lean toward the tree hugging side of life, but they give excellent advice and have lots of resources available for RE issues. Home Power Magazine: Solar | Wind | Water | Design | Build
     
  4. noisynick

    noisynick Freedom isn't FREE.......

    8
    0
    I'm tyring togather info on electrical production for household use, primarily.
    I have approximatelt 300gal a minute in volume and can get a couple feet of head pressure. I've been looking at a design with the basic stelel water wheel overshoot variety and then transmitting the energy via drive line to generatorthen turning it to 220 ac from there.perhaps using some type tramsission to step up speed if necessary as well as adding a counter balance in the system to smooth out rotational energy and help it remain more constant... Any thoughts>
     
  5. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    684
    1
    Actually, I think you would be better off if you went DC from the generator, then set that to an inverter for AC out to the house.

    DC current can be controlled better, can be stored directly in batteries and makes for much cheaper and safer generators.

    Tex, I've been getting 'Home Power' for a couple of years, and I think it's just GREAT!
    This should be a 'Must' for anyone wanting to live sustainably.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2008
  6. Tex

    Tex Pincushion

    278
    1
    DC is typically a lower voltage and thus more safe to work with, but if you have long wire runs between your batteries and inverter, you will have to use larger cable and it will cost more. Scrap copper has been going for $4/lb, so new cable is going to be pricey. A higher voltage results in less current, which results in less "line loss". That's why power lines run in the thousands of volts.

    I would look into using gearing to increase the rpms. I would send the raw AC to a rectifier which will convert it to DC and regulate the voltage to that which is usable by your batteries. You want your batteries at the house, where their environment can be monitored and regulated. I would then feed it to an inverter and to your loads.
    Lighting and some of your other loads can run on DC. An inverter is only about 91% efficient, so DC loads can stretch your battery efficiency a little if you haven't built your system yet.
     
  7. xj35s

    xj35s Guest

    63
    0
    This is a fantastic site for small home hydro. Any fast moving stream or constant running stream will work.

    Water Power
     
  8. JeepHammer

    JeepHammer Well-Known Member

    684
    1
    I think I would move my conductors away from the water!

    Anyway, the great thing about Micro-Hydro is it's constant power, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 Weeks a year!

    You don't need huge amperages if you have constant output and use batteries to supply 'Surge' or 'Peak' times of the day!
     
  9. codger

    codger Guest

    7
    0
    Could you take the electrical generators you can hang over the side of a yacht and make a modularly scalable system over time?
     
  10. xj35s

    xj35s Guest

    63
    0
    never seen one. would it be cost efficient? I hear yacht and think green$$
     
  11. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    4,230
    4
    I didn't see it addressed in the thread while skimming it, but were you planning on an off-grid or grid-tied system?

    Jeephammer mentioned DC generators then turning to AC, but the new VVVF (Variable Voltage Variable Frequency) drives are very economical now, & allow you to control AC voltages as easily as DC used to be during Jeephammer's day... the geezer ;) (jk, JH)

    the reason I ask is that depending on the unit & your usage, you can not only have free electricity, but can also get paid to be a producer & the beauty of it is that in almost every state the Utility Company will hook your system up to the grid to make sure that it is done in a safe manner.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2009
  12. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

    1,512
    0
    I've seen a setup in eastern europe where they attach a fan blade to an old car alternator. They string a bunch of them across the stream and they've got cheap electricity. It's probably not that efficient but it is a low cost way to get some juice.
     
  13. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    4,230
    4
  14. endurance

    endurance Well-Known Member

    190
    0
    I found this site and while it's not a cheap set up, 1kw in power output from as little as 1 meter of head is amazing. Looks like they're really perfected their impeller design.
     
  15. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    4,230
    4
  16. Viking

    Viking Well-Known Member

    2,280
    79
    Alternative Power & Machine in Grants Pass, OR has a number of mini-hydro power systems check them out at: APM HYDRO_Home of the User Friendly Hydro When I applied for our spring rights I tried to tie in a seasonal stream that is about 15 feet away but the state wouldn't allow me to have rights on it as they said it couldn't be interrupted. It would have been great for emergency power because the stream only ran with heavy rain or when there was a large amount of snow up on the mountain behind us, often power outages corresponded with these heavy weather situations. Since we don't have enough wind around here I'll go with solar panels. I'll use a system like the one I installed on our motorhome only I'll use six 100 watt panels, six or eight 6 volt 225 amphour golf cart batteries and a Xantrex RS3000 pure sine wave inverter/charger.
     
  17. Obsidian

    Obsidian Guest

    28
    0
    My brother told me of an electrician in Oregon who did exactly that. It worked! Have no idea how well it worked but if you just happen to have the car parts laying around doing nothing, why not?
     
  18. Obsidian

    Obsidian Guest

    28
    0
    If you plan to connect to the grid and perhaps produce more than you use, you must work with the utility.

    That's the law in most places because it constitutes a potentially grave danger to utility workers. They might assume juice comes from only one direction. The juice from your side may kill them outright or cause them to fall.

    As a bonus point, you will end up with a much smarter meter that can detect reverse energy flow and track the numbers for you.

    If you do go that direction, check w/ your utility to find out how to read your meter. The directions are on the back of my bill, but YMMV. They are required to tell you.
     
  19. MyBackAchers

    MyBackAchers Member

    15
    0
    Hydro electric from barrels

    I saw a barrel with fins to turn the barrel on water and the flowing water turned the motor inside for hydro power. It was pretty neat since the barrel floats with the water line for less problems with water table variation or flooding.
    We made a prototype here: hydro electric water bug

    How many motors you can put inside depend on how deep your water is since
    The weight of each motor sinks it a little deeper.

    They can float on creeks, rivers, behind boats / boat houses.