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  1. #31
    Platinum Member wasabi's Avatar
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    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    I've only been researching fuel cells for a bit over a year now (for investment potential), so I by no means claim to be conversant in all aspects. At the risk of raising TBN ire for 1) being a bit off topic and 2) discussing a quaisi-political topic, here is my .02 summary version take on it all:

    I too have been skeptical about the H production aspects, but have come away from my research convinced that there are myriad viable means to do so...electrolysis, salts, ammonia, hydro-driven and yes, hydrocarbon extraction are all out there. Remember that hydrogen is literally the most ubiquitous element on earth.

    The real bottleneck problem (aside from the HUGE global political challenges) is, IMHO, infrastructure related. It will take years to change consumer patterns and provide for safe storage and transportation. (Significant strides kind of akin to computer code compression are being made in this area)

    If (a huge IF) the political/economic climate were to become more favorable toward shifting to a hydrogen based economy, I'm convinced the solutions are now there or very close. The problems are primarily functions of scale and demand.

    I'm tracking a couple dozen amazing little companies that are after various aspects of this. Great work is happening all over the globe in this area....ALL the major car and oil companies are frantically chasing after this puck with significant investments in R&D. Check out a little company in Vancouver called Stuart that owns most of the electrolysis patents and makes small hydrogen generating appliances (stationary or portable) the size of an air conditioner (yes, electricity is an ancillary cost) that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen.

    In the next few years we'll see a slew of new "green" autos and scooters ranging from fuel cell only to hybrids, some with on-board conversion technologies that transform gasoline to hydrogen with some actual efficiency gains, innovative storage approaches and such...together with attendant hype, misinformation and confusion on these related topics.

    I don't believe for a second there is any question of "if" fuel cells become accepted....more simply a matter of when....but unless more consumers embrace the concepts it could be lifetimes before REAL significant shifts occurs.

    Imagine what a full court press toward such innovative independence from foreign oil could do to stimulate our economy....that said, I doubt there is a politician on the planet that would risk taking arrows or falling on their sword for such a cause in this day and age....

    Ok, sorry for the excessive pontificating....I'll step off the soap box now.....A good read on the topic is Tomorrows Energy by Peter Hoffmann.

  2. #32
    Platinum Member wasabi's Avatar
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    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    Thanks for weighing in on this hayden. Harris is a terrific resource...I've spent time talking with them and visiting their website. I like what I read about the Trace inverters.

    Did not know about the backwoodssolar bit. I'll check it out. Mayhaps, if you and others have interest, we can rally the growing TBN clout to garner members a discount like MChalkley was able to do with pro-ears. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/cool.gif[/img]

  3. #33
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    Solar Power:

    Gosh fellows, I beleive all those fossil fuels are the result of solar power. In fact our whole system seems to run on solar power.

    Egon

  4. #34
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
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    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    On a slighlty different subject, have you ever seen a hydraulic water ram? I've heard of them and seen them on the web, but never seen one in operation.

    Apparently, they use the pressure of falling water to pump water up hill. The formula that I saw was something like for every 10 gallons of drop 1 gallon can be pumped up hill up to 10 times the drop. So, 10 gallons falling down 10 feet can pump one gallon up 100 feet. They use no power at all and only have two moving parts. Do a search on google or altavista for 'hydraulic water ram' and you'll get quite a few hits.

  5. #35

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    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    <font color=blue>ever seen a hydraulic water ram?</font color=blue>

    Now that you jog my memory, I looked into them a few years ago and thought they were a terrific idea. My intention then (and will be again someday) was to intall one below the dam of my pond where the runoff could be captured and rammed up to a holding tank at the top of the hill. From there I could use gravity to irregate parts of the land which are otherwise pretty far from a water source.

    I'd have to dig some, but I had charts that showed the relationship between the amount of head at the source, the diameter of the first ram stage and the diameter of the final output. Seems to me there was a limit as to how high you could pump, and 100 feet sounds like a little much to hope for, but you may be right.

    It's a very cool concept. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/clever.gif[/img]

  6. #36
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
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    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    Here's a link to a home made hydraulic water ram.
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://virtual.clemson.edu/groups/irrig/Equip/ram.htm>http://virtual.clemson.edu/groups/irrig/Equip/ram.htm</A>

  7. #37
    Platinum Member wasabi's Avatar
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    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    There is also a double acting ram that will use flow from a stream to move water from a spring. Link: http://www.riferam.com/rams/daram.htm

  8. #38

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    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    Hey, that's a great web page, David!

    I've bookmarked it, and will probably waste a good deal of my day reading it over. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

    Not sure where to put this on my project list, but let's see. It took me two weeks to plant a tetherball pole, so this one should take me, uh..........

  9. #39
    Bronze Member
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    Navasota, Texas
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    Kubota B7800HST, Gator 850D XUV

    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    So which OIL COMPANY do you work for Egon? [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  10. #40
    Platinum Member wasabi's Avatar
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    Default Re: small scale hydroelectric power

    Egon,

    agree re: the source

    are you fluent with hydro electric generation on small scale?

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