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  1. #11
    Platinum Member wasabi's Avatar
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    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    IMHO, fuel cells will sprout wings and spread like termites before cold fusion becomes viable.

  2. #12
    Platinum Member wasabi's Avatar
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    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    MossRoad, I agree about the turbines. They look to be quite efficient.

    As for increasing GPM by building a pond, the goal, of course, is to capture the maximum amount of near "constant" flow ---I don't see how filling and draining a pond to provide "surge" flows would improve performance, as average GPM wouldn't change.

    That said, I'm planning to build a small intake pond anyway for three primary reasons:

    1) to funnel and help regulate the aforesaid flow,
    2) 'cause it is a great justification for getting the backhoe! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]
    3) I'll get enjoyable seat time out of it[img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img][img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img][img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

  3. #13
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
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    South Bend, Indiana (near)
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    Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year

    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    I completely agree. That is why you get all the required paperwork first, and have it done properly.

  4. #14
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
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    South Bend, Indiana (near)
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    Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year

    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    Some turbines won't run well at lower speeds. The surge flow might make the turbine run at a higher, more efficient speed to spin the meter backwards and reduce your utility bill. Like others have said, use the utility company for your battery. Push into the utility grid all power that you don't consume and pull out of it what you need.

    Either way, it sounds like a fun and worthwhile project.

  5. #15
    Platinum Member wasabi's Avatar
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    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    As with tractor hunting, the research and chase is half the fun. TBN makes it ever easier!

    Thanks to all for informed insights. I'm narrowing in on the optimum turbine, pipe size etc. I'll keep this thread posted as I make decisions and eventually post pics.

    What a worthy project for a PT trencher & backhoe, eh?

  6. #16
    Super Star Member
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    Triangle Of North Carolina
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    JD 4700

    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    Wasabi,

    Check you state regulations on selling power back to the utility. Some
    states require the utility to buy surplus power and some don't. Course
    I would not be suprised that the regulations don't specify the price that
    the power company would purchase. So the utility would buy at whole
    sale prices and sell it back to you at retail..... [img]/w3tcompact/icons/frown.gif[/img]

    My understanding is that NC does not have a buy back requirement at
    all. Which is really lousy.

    I'm designing a passive solar house with some active components but
    no power generation. NC has a solar house that is affiliated with
    NCSU and I just happened to get a brochure about a class they are
    having at the end of the month on designing a solar house. The
    class covers roofs, windows, foundations, as well as power generation.
    Though they don't mention hydro power.

    So check with you local state organizations or universities. They can
    be a heck of a resource.

    On the other hand some of the "greens" are just plain financial
    zeros. Some of the "green" energy ideas just don't make sense
    money. One solar house design we studied looked very energy
    efficent. The problem with the design was that the house had
    to be built on three floors. For most models each floor had two
    major rooms built around a stair case so you had to live on at
    least two floors if not all three. Our current house design
    is slowly inching to 3,000 square feet. To get the same living
    space with this solar house we would have had to go to a
    model that was at least 4,000 if not 6,000 square feet.
    If you took a low ball price, say $70 per foot, not realistic
    at all, and because of the design had to have an extra 1,000
    square feet, the house was costing an extra 70 grand! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/frown.gif[/img]
    Now this house had wood heat but that was it. Supposedly
    it would heat and cool itself without power. But 70 Grand buys
    a heck of a lot of expensive power.....

    Now that is a real wacky example but we know of a house
    in our county that was just built with this design. Its how
    we found our builder. But I have a more realistic example. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]
    A more conventional solar house design has one room as a
    heating space. Usually the room is dedicated to just heating
    in the winter. If one builds the room like this and say the room
    is 180 square feet at $70 per square foot that works out to
    12,600 dollars. That room costs $420 per year, $35 per month
    over 30 years. And that does not include how much you pay
    in interest. I can buy alot of power for $35 per month.

    We are hoping that our design does not "waste" a room like
    some "conventional" solar designs.

    But it does not sound like you are even going in this direction. I
    just could not resist mouthing off. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img] BUT, if I had the water
    source and head that you have I would be seriously looking into
    hydro power. I'm jealous! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Start checking your state's web site and see what info and regulations
    they have on hydro power. The state can be an awsome resource.

    Later...
    Dan McCarty

  7. #17
    Platinum Member wasabi's Avatar
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    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    Dan,

    <font color=red>My understanding is that NC does not have a buy back requirement at all. Which is really lousy.</font color=red> Why are we not surprised?

    <font color=red>But it does not sound like you are even going in this direction.</font color=red> Actually, I'm right about where you are. We too have been hot on the house design trail since we bought our place. Hope to break ground next month! We're incorporating some (passive) solar features, but, although enamoured with the concepts [img]/w3tcompact/icons/love.gif[/img], I've pretty much come to the conclusion that, aside from extra thermal mass and super insulation, all we will do is use solar panels to heat glycol and then run it through heat exchangers to help defer cost of radiant floor heat and domestic hot water needs. (By the way, have you ever looked at running cold water through radiant floor heating piping to reduce heat gain in summer?)

    <font color=red> I just happened to get a brochure about a (NC) class they are having at the end of the month on designing a solar house.</font color=red> - would like to see more on this....are you planning to go?

    I like environmental friendly ideas, but I'm too much of a pragmatist to invest in zero or slow paybacks, however green.

  8. #18
    Super Star Member
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    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    Mr. GreenHorseRadish,

    [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Here is the address for the NC Solar Center. Lots of good design
    information.

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.ncsc.ncsu.edu/>http://www.ncsc.ncsu.edu/</A>

    The site has information such as how the ratio between
    window and floor area to prevent over heating. As well as
    the formula's on how to calculate the length of the roof
    overhang to prevent the summer sun from hitting the
    windows.

    Carolina Power and Light as well as Duke Power certainly have
    the legislature in thier pockets over the resale of power.... [img]/w3tcompact/icons/frown.gif[/img]

    I'm almost certain that I'm going to the class. Its 155 dollar if I
    register by Tuesday and given what we are going to spend on a
    house that is money well spent. The class is on a Friday and Saturday
    so its really going to crimp my tractor time. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/frown.gif[/img] I have been
    rained out over the last two of three weekends and this Saturday
    I have other ToDos. Course as slow as the power company is burying
    the power cable I guess it does not matter... [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    We are planning to put in a six inch concrete slab with radient heating,
    fireplaces, and a solar water heater. NC will reimburse us for some of
    these expenses. Its not 100% reimbursement but I'll talke what I can
    get! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img] We are putting in a 2x6 wall for more insulation and will
    put up a rigid foam on the exterior to provide a good bit of insulation.
    Should be in the mid 20s on the R value.

    The builder, his son and I where gabbing about running cool fluid
    through the radient floor during the summer. Sure seems smart. BUT,
    I read somwhere that the problem with this approach is condisation.
    Seems like that could be worked around though.... Since we are having
    a finished concrete floor, I'm wondering if we can't just run the fluid
    throught the floor during the summer to help cool the house. The slab
    will be insulated but I would think it would still be cooler than the
    air temps....

    Maybe the class with tell me something about this? [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Later...
    Dan

  9. #19

    Join Date
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    Location
    South Central Oklahoma
    Tractor
    Kubota Grand L4610HSTC

    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    I don't know about wings but if I were a bettin' man I'd bet fuel cells will proliferate based on economy of scale before even Bill Gates and his ilk will have home based cold fusion. Nevertheless, I'd still like to see practical small scale cold fusion widely available and inexpensive. It would be interesting to see the distribution of wealth on the planet after that was accomplished. I wonder what the nations previously refered to as OPEC will eat then? I wonder who our allies would be then? Our enemies? What would be be fighting over then?

    I wonder what the impact on compact tractors would be. Energy costs would be ridiculously reduced, metals refining and alloying would be greatly impacted and on and on.

    Patrick

  10. #20
    Platinum Member wasabi's Avatar
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    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    Dan,

    Thanks for the informative solar link! Date and location of the class?

    Yup, definitely 2x6, double insulation, thicker slabs, radiant heat and solar assist for us too. That said, part of the reason we're trying to control energy is 'cause we're not willing to forgo cathedral ceiling (SIP panels with metal roofing over T&amp;G decking up there) and we too gotta have the fireplaces!

    How's that for an oxymoronic "green" house. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img][img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img][img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

    Patrick,

    Without question market forces will heavily influence this evolution. I too will bet on Fuel Cells. As for the poor oil suppliers, when they finally become disenfranchised from their monopolistic grasp of our "short ones" , I say, "Let 'em eat their own sludge!"

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