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  1. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    30
    Location
    north bay ontario
    Tractor
    john deere 4400

    Default Re: Water powered generator.

    too make somthing that you can use id say forget the 120 240 volts with regulating and frequancy cuzz these are all big money and you may find the flow will vary from hot day with sun to night fall and flow changes.....bin there done that best use for the money is big underground tank full a water and heat that sucker with all that comes out of the generator direct to heat element and forget all the fancy stuff. Could be domestic hot water......heat the garage and the house in spring fall and winter......good luck

  2. #12
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,312
    Location
    western NC
    Tractor
    Ventrac, Steiner

  3. #13
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    199
    Location
    Santa Cruz, Ca
    Tractor
    BCS735/720 Ford1200

    Default Re: Water powered generator.

    From what I've read, it's all about how much flow and or pressure you have. Kind of like Hydraulics, you can have a massive big cylinder at low pressure or a smaller cylinder at very high pressure to provide that force. A wide paddle wheel in a slow moving stream geared to turn a genereator will equal say 100'+ of water out of a 2" pipe against a pelton water wheel spinning fast.

  4. #14
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    85
    Location
    wellington ohio
    Tractor
    7510 bota...RTV 900

    Default Re: Water powered generator.

    unless you got a 5 foot of head or drop and allot of flow 50-75 gpm...your not going to create much power. then the whole ac issues...really needs to be dc, then you got the storage issue of this dc...ie battery banks, then the inverter to convert to ac. so, if you have a stream that is just flowing with not real head, hate to say it...but i believe your out of luck to power anything more than a flash light. I looked into the spiral water wheel for pumping water. Google Image Result for http://www.earthgarden.com.au/images/125waterwheel.gif

  5. #15
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,312
    Location
    western NC
    Tractor
    Ventrac, Steiner

    Default Re: Water powered generator.

    I am finding out it isnt as much a matter to generate the power is it is to get permission to hook it up to the grid. according to the math found int this Guide to Hydropower, I should have the capacity to generate about 17kwh of electricity, 24/7. In a net metering situation, this is way more power than we currently use, but as a stand alone system it doesnt meet our prime loads. Still, if connected to the grid using net metering, I should have excess electricity to sell back to the power company. Well, it seems the power company doent want my business, unless I am buying their power. First they require 2 meters, one for what i use and one for what I produce. No problem, but wait, I am not allowed to generate more power than I can use, and I must build my house and live in it for a year before they will conduct and audit to deteremine how big a system they will let me install. Bull hockey, You design a building along with the power system at the same times, you dont do the alternative power as a second thought sometime later one. Not to say you cant add alternative energy to an older home, just that it doesnt make sense to build a new house without considering the design aspects of any potential power source you might install later. If someone can generate more power than they use they should be allowed to do so, it cheaper on the tax payer if individuals build small , self maintained, power supply than it is for big government to build massive power stations and have the taxpayer footing the buill.

  6. #16
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    373
    Location
    Darlington, SC
    Tractor
    1957 Ferguson 35, 1977? Yanmar 2200, 1963 Cub Cadet Original

    Default Re: Water powered generator.

    Just yesterday I was talking to a neighbor who is planning to build a small house and have a big pot belly stove in it to heat/cook in cold weather. I gave him the idea of the smaller micro cabin but I think he wants to build bigger. He was talking about buying a turbine, said for 5K he could go off the grid. Said he would need battery backup. I never asked him about having air conditioning, if it was in the plan but with our hot summers it would almost have to be included.

    What size turbine can you buy for 5K and how much electricity will it produce?
    modify, adjust and improvise....a country boy can survive

  7. #17
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    14
    Location
    Idaho
    Tractor
    Bobcat CT235

    Default Re: Water powered generator.

    This is a pretty good user group for DIY power...

    Fieldlines.com: The Otherpower discussion board - Index

  8. #18
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    747
    Location
    Staunton, VA
    Tractor
    John Deere 3038E

    Default Re: Water powered generator.

    With a small stream and minimal head, you can run a water wheel to power a bit of sculpture, etc. But you can also use an hydraulic ram system to pump the water higher. The house I grew up in used rams to provide water to all toilets in the house, and for irrigation of the lawn, etc. The water - minus the cost of the rams - was free. The rams, old school metal ones, lasted for 40 years until a major flood took them out. The stream was small and had only 5 feet of head. Most of the water went downstream, but more than enough was available for other things. I am working on a ram now for my small stream just to fill some cattle water troughs. That keeps the animals out of the creek and keeps the creek pristine.

    A friend of mine who worked at a pumped storage hydro utility station, used a ram to fill a small pond up on a hill. He used it for decor and fishing, but always said he could put a turbine generator on it and get about 6 hours of good electricity out of it - lots of volume and lots of head. However, he'd have had to take a week to re-fill it. But you can get electricity out of a small stream... Just not a lot for a long time.

  9. #19
    Veteran Member sd455dan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,093
    Location
    North Idaho
    Tractor
    Rhino 554, Ford 3000, John Deere 550G L Dozer, New Holland L778 skid steer Co-Op ,Honda ,Gilson riding mowers

    Default Re: Water powered generator.

    Quote Originally Posted by chim View Post
    I discussed this topic with a guy who owns a property with a creek and a small dam. He told me he spent thousands on engineering to be told his dam isn't tall enough. He said the engineer told him he would need a minimum of 10' of head. I find that hard to believe but I'm no elec/hydro engineer. There was at least one smaller dam with a generator near here that was damaged and the generator dismantled when a flood hit in the 50's or 60's. That dam was only about 6 or 8 feet tall.
    A friend purchased land surrounded on 3 sides by fed, forest service land . stream had over 120 feet of drop . he installed a small dam and ran one inch pipe down to a shed . Installed a pelton wheel and gm alternator, several 12 volt batteries and a large inverter. It worked so well he had me design a voltage monitoring switch that would shunt current to a 200 watt heating element installed in a gas water heater. if the the excess energy was not used the pelton wheel would run away and destroy the alternator and damage the wheel.. Even with the smallest jet in the pelton housing, the alternater produced 15 amps 24 hrs. a day 7 days a week worked great for normal house hold use up to 4000 watts @ 120 volts...
    everything worked great for the 8 years I stayed in touch...
    The amount of drop is the most important thing, unless you have a huge stream with unlimited water usage..and I don't believe that is common. one more thing , he always said get the water use permits started right away , many hoops to jump through...

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