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  1. #21
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    wasabi,

    Take a look at "Motors as Generators for Micro-Hydro Power" by Nigel Smith. He shows how to use low cost highly reliable induction motors as generators. The induction motor has no windings, diodes or slip rings on its rotor, solid cast bars replace the normal windings. In the 10KW to 25KW range the cost of the induction motor is minimal. A Pelton wheel driving an induction motor runs for years with little maintenance. The book is available on Amazon or I can loan you my copy. Also here is a pretty clever overshoot wheel <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.homepower.com/download2.htm#Hydro>Hydro Power</A>
    Al

  2. #22
    Platinum Member wasabi's Avatar
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    Cullowhee Mountain, NC
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    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    TT, I previously read the article cited and printed and saved it in my growing notebook. Great stuff! Also, oddly enough, previously bought (from amazon) and read parts of Smith's book on using induction motors....VERY pithy stuff, that.

    Concur on the Pelton wheel approach.

    Thanks for the conveniently supplying the timely Home Power link....I was just about to do a search to find it.....now, instead, I'll glean additional data from the PDF articles there!

  3. #23
    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

    Sounds like fun!

    Have you found any information on your states rules regarding running the meter backwards?

    Here's a link to the Homepower web page.<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.homepower.com/> http://www.homepower.com/ </A> It has some interesting reading regarding home made power. I don't advocate their enthusiasm for illegally putting power on the grid, but their technology makes for interesting reading.

  4. #24
    Bronze Member
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    Apr 2002
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    Location
    Navasota, Texas
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    Kubota B7800HST, Gator 850D XUV

    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    I'm a regular reader of HomePower.com and have bought all of the back issues on CD ROM. With the water flow you're describing I think you can run your entire house from hydro-electric power and have energy to spare.

    There is a case study of 4 families in Scotland that get ALL of their power from a $200 industrial electric motor tied to a (Pelton? Peltier?) wheel in a creek.

    Each home has a battery bank and the motor (generator) recharges each battery bank when it gets low.

    The key is the CONSTANT supply from the creek's flow.

    The battery banks act as a buffer (capacitor) to ensure smooth, steady output when your surge demand exceeds the generators output.

    I plan on solar and wind generation for my new home and am considering hydro as well. I have an Artesian Spring which I intend to harness to make electricity AND fill a pond AND irrigate my gardens. God gives us all the free, non-polluting energy we want, we need only harness it.

  5. #25
    Super Star Member
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    Sep 2000
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    Triangle Of North Carolina
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    JD 4700

    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    wasabi,

    The bell finally went off in my head. You are in the NC mountains. DUH!

    The class is Friday May 31st and Saturday June 1st. There is an evening
    session on the Friday. The class is $155 per person if the check is post
    marked by May 21st. $175 for the class after that date. I just got the
    notice Saturday so there sure was not alot of advanced notice. I'm
    assuming the class is in Raleigh but they are not saying in the brochure.

    The NCSC phone number listed in the brochure is 919-515-5778. This
    might be a fax number. I don't see any other contact information other
    than that number and snail mail.

    The info that they want for registration is title, name, address, phone/fax,
    email, how you be paying, price you are paying, and whether you want
    a vegitarian meal. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Since you are in NC. NC does have state tax breaks for solar. And they
    are strange requirements/rules. There are to maximum amounts the
    state will provide for solar. The first maximum is 50% of what you
    paid in state taxes. So if you paid $1,000 then you can only get a
    refund of $500. The other maximum is the cap they put on a particular
    item. For instance, if you put in a solar water heater, I guessing at
    this point, but I think the state will pay as much as $1,500. But if you
    only paid $1,000 in state taxes then they will only give you $500 back.
    If you paid $10,000 in state taxes you would get the full refund amount
    of $1,500. If $1,500 is the actual amount the state refunds. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]
    The other side of this three sided coin, is that the solar water heater
    ain't gonna cost $1,500. Its going to be a bit more. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img] At least
    the prices I have seen.

    Now this gets a bit more confusing when you start talking passive
    solar houses. You have to meet certain ratios between the area of the
    windows and the floor area to be heated. Also north facing windows
    are minimized if I remember. BUT, you can right off the cost in some
    of the passive solar items. The real limit in much of this is what one
    pays in state taxes. So if you are paying alot in state taxes consider
    yourself lucky! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    To maximize what we can get the state to pay for we are going to
    try to put in the solar in stages. Obviously the structural passive
    aspects we will right off first. You right the "system" off in the year
    it goes into service. So the passive "system" would be written off
    in the year the house was built. We will put in the radient flooring
    when the house is built. But we won't add the solar panels for
    heating the water/fluid until the following year. That way we should
    be able to structure this over two years.

    Now if this was a buisiness or a MULTIFAMILY dwelling then you can
    write this off over five years. We where playing with the idea of a
    mother in law suite to see if we could qualify for a multifamily
    dwelling but that just is not going to work for us. Plus we would
    most likely run into some other obstacle. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Hope this helps...
    Dan McCarty

  6. #26
    Platinum Member wasabi's Avatar
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    Cullowhee Mountain, NC
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    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    I share your desire to harness energy, but think you will conclude, as I have, that hydro far more viable and efficient than the alternatives.

    My feeling is if you have it, why not use it! We are blessed with two year round springs for our water supply, gardening, orchard and vineyard irrigation....all available for the routing with a gravity feed system. Our main stream, which is about middle of the property elevation-wise, will be used for two ponds of just less than an acre each and hydro-electric.

    You are correct, the means IS often provided...(in our case we also shopped for it) too often all that is lacking is the initiative (you have my permission to remind me later of that when I am covered in mud, trying to dig trenches, cursing the rocky terrain and whining for more help and ideas here on TBN).

    My calculations lead me to believe this is imminently doable. I doubt I'll get off as cheap the Scotland folks, but I vow not go too far overboard on this project....I'll save that for PT attachments [img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img]

    So many projects, so little time...

  7. #27
    Super Star Member
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    Triangle Of North Carolina
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    JD 4700

    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    Wasabi,

    I'm not sold on fuel cells based on what I keep hearing and reading.

    Nothing is free, well TBN is I supposed, [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img] and that goes for
    fuel cells. Some POWER/ENERGY is still required to create the
    hydrogen. I just read the Honda was trying to build/sell
    some fuel cells that would be used by cities/truck companies, etc,
    The fuel cells would be rather large and would supply fleet operations
    with the Big H. BUT the energy to do this was provided by natural
    gas. All of the auto applications that seem to be serious are using
    gas or some other petro product to power the process to create the H.
    The H is then burned to run the car. One advantage is that pollution
    is zero with burning the H but I wonder about the process TO H. No
    body seems to mention this at all. Nor due they talk about the energy
    loss in the process to create H. So I'm sceptical of the claimes of
    better milage...

    The only other sources of power are Nukes and Solar. But I don't really
    see either of those really working to produce the huge volume of H that
    is required. I hear quite a bit on the news about how fuel cells are going
    to change the world but I don't see how if the basis for the conversion
    is fossil fuel based.

    If cold fusion or fusion at all ever became a reality. Then we would see
    a huge change in they way people live. The politics would change as well.
    I'm not sure for the better but they would change. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Later...
    Dan

  8. #28
    Bronze Member
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    Location
    Navasota, Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota B7800HST, Gator 850D XUV

    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    "I would bet everything on solar power"..Thomas Edison

  9. #29

    Join Date
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    California - S.F. East Bay & Sierra foothills
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    Kubota L2500DT Standard Transmission

    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    <font color=blue>Some POWER/ENERGY is still required to create th hydrogen.</font color=blue>

    True, but that energy could be solar. At least that what a buddy of mine does. For many years he headed alternative energy research for the Chevron Corporation, and has since started his own company called <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.hionsolar.com>H-ION Solar Inc.</A> Take a look at what he's been up to, and maybe drop him a note. He's the easiest guy in the world to talk to, and loves the subject.

    Tell Walt that the scrawny kid that grew up next door to him sent you.

  10. #30
    Veteran Member hayden's Avatar
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    MA/VT
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    Kubota L5740 cab + FEL, Cat D5G dozer, Kubota KX121 excavtor

    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    Patrickg's pointer to Home Power is a must.

    Harris Hydro is probably the most popular micro hydro generator/wheel used for high head sites like yours. They just came out with a version based on an induction motor too!

    You can also check out www.backwoodssolar.com and look at their hydro section. There's good info and they sell a video tape and planning guide papers that are useful. The video is a real kick, but the info is good.

    You can run the generator to produce DC, then use an inverter to get AC for your house. The inverter can also do the intertie to the grid to provide backup power and sell back. Trace/Xantrex is a very popular inverter and they have models made specifically for intertie with no batteries. If you don't need battery backup, let the grid be your batteries as Patrickg suggests.

    I haven't done one of these but would love to, and I've got the head and flow for it. Just need time.

    My neighbor has a house that's 100% powered by a Harris Hydro system and has been so for over 10 years. He's real happy with it.

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