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cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to george357

Re: Need advice on a small water-powered electrical system?

said by george357:

The stream is pretty small, about 18"-24" wide at the widest. It runs about 6"-10" deep average and does have a lot of fall, its pretty steep around here. My friend has the acreage to run several feet of pipe/trough to feed the wheel/turbine. I can try and get some pics later.

That sounds awfully small.
Do a test first and see how long it takes to fill a big barrel in order to get an idea about what you can achieve.


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to george357
said by george357:

We are hoping that the supply trough/pipe fall rate in combination with gearing of the alternator drive will be enough to supply the force needed.

It's all about power (energy/time), not force.
If the water doesn't have enough energy then no gearing will help.
You need to supply X watts of mechanical power to the alternator, plain and simple.


george357
Premium
join:2009-09-18
Weaverville, NC
kudos:1
reply to SparkChaser
We have not done any flow tests as of yet, I guess that would be priority at this stage. I will see what we can come up with. Thanks everyone for all the info so far.

walta

join:2001-05-22
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:2
Has this stream ever run dry?
Would it be possible to dam the stream and form a small lake?
Do you know the source of the stream?

Walta


george357
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join:2009-09-18
Weaverville, NC
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Charter
said by walta:

Has this stream ever run dry?
Would it be possible to dam the stream and form a small lake?
Do you know the source of the stream?

Walta

The stream has not run dry to my knowledge, a small dam could be made but nothing large...it is a spring-fed stream.
--
malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Cancer Cures Are Just A Crunch Away


tschmidt
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join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
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Not to discourage you but when we purchased our property had visions harnessing our small stream for hydro power.

Looked great in the spring after snow melt but by August it slowed down to a trickle.

As cowboyro See Profile posted it is all about flow rate and head. Need a fair amount of both to make the project worthwhile.

In NC at least you don't have to worry about the stream freezing in winter.

/tom


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to george357
OK, so here is the startup of my "normal" fridge from the basement.


The reference is a ~1500W heater which actually took 11.2A, so in the 1300W range. As you can see the fridge takes up to 1500VA for about 250ms, although I've noticed occasional higher peaks while some are lower... so even a smaller fridge may still suck some 1500VA at startup. I wouldn't even dare put a fridge on an inverter that can't reliably give peaks of 2000W+, as it takes a single random surge to end up with spoiled food.


drjim
Premium,MVM
join:2000-06-13
Long Beach, CA
kudos:3
Pretty cool.....

What did you use for a current probe?
--
One man's Magic is another man's Engineering.


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
said by drjim:

Pretty cool.....

What did you use for a current probe?

A piece of wire shunt.


SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:3
Reviews:
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said by cowboyro:

A piece of wire shunt.

Good keep it technical

I have an old 200A meter shunt I use for stuff like that.


drjim
Premium,MVM
join:2000-06-13
Long Beach, CA
kudos:3
reply to cowboyro
YUK-YUK!

I've made "shunts" before using quite a variety of stuff I had laying around. In one project I used some fine-thread brass bolts, with nuts, washers, and ring lugs to make the tap off places.
The nice thing about the fine thread was it gave me quite good "adjustability" for my "shunt".
--
One man's Magic is another man's Engineering.


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
reply to cowboyro
Blah...
Load plugged into a short intermediary extension cord, one prong into the main cord, one out. Short cable with alligator clips from the hanging prong to a nail stuck in the other hole of the main cord... monitor the drop across the cable...


ropeguru
Premium
join:2001-01-25
Mechanicsville, VA
said by cowboyro:

Blah...
Load plugged into a short intermediary extension cord, one prong into the main cord, one out. Short cable with alligator clips from the hanging prong to a nail stuck in the other hole of the main cord... monitor the drop across the cable...

I hope none of the folks like nunya See Profile read these posts. LOL

BTW - I know you aren't talking about anything permanent.

iknow
Premium
join:2012-03-25
reply to george357
you might want to look into this, it has high efficiency, and can work well with a stream. »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archimedes%27_screw a blacksmith in upper new york uses one of these, he has it encased in a tube, and all the flow goes through it, and he powers many machines with that.


george357
Premium
join:2009-09-18
Weaverville, NC
kudos:1
Reviews:
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reply to george357
Ok, I hope to have pics of the stream up by Monday. After reading cowboyro's post on fridge start up, we are looking at a 3000 watt continuous inverter. I think the plan is to have a parallel bank of (4) four deep-cycle batteries charging from the water-wheel and those run the inverter.

lutful
... of ideas
Premium
join:2005-06-16
Ottawa, ON
kudos:1
reply to george357
said by george357:

said by lutful:

Please describe the actual stream with a few photos and/or co-ordinates so we can check using Google Earth.

The stream is pretty small, about 18"-24" wide at the widest. It runs about 6"-10" deep average and does have a lot of fall, its pretty steep around here.

Can you catch the water up high within the property and divert it down many feet? I uploaded an example which uses about 2 gallons per second flow but they managed to get a 240ft drop for 4000W output.

In that setup, flow is diverted through flexible HDPE hose to a home-made Pelton turbine connected to 7.5kW induction motor (from water pump) as the generator.

There is a book on such DIY "pico hydro" projects being deployed in many developing countries.


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
said by lutful:

I uploaded an example which uses about 2 gallons per second flow but they managed to get a 240ft drop for 4000W output.

That's ~9L/s @ 80m for 4000W (720L/sec @1m). So about 25% more electrical output than my guesstimate.


george357
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join:2009-09-18
Weaverville, NC
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Charter
reply to george357
Sorry for the lapse in updates, the pics have never been taken. I have tried to explain and relate all the issues with this project to my friend but he does not want to see the facts. He has decided that he can run some pipe, reducing from 4" to 1" and have the result power a waterwheel-operated alternator to keep his four batteries charged. He is of the mind that force will solve the problem and cannot or will not understand the need for flow/head. Thanks to all those that replied and the information provided.
--
malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Cancer Cures Are Just A Crunch Away


cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
said by george357:

He has decided that he can run some pipe, reducing from 4" to 1" and have the result power a waterwheel-operated alternator to keep his four batteries charged.

Pffffft... I'd laugh to see how he gets at most a small bulb lighting...
said by george357:

He is of the mind that force will solve the problem and cannot or will not understand the need for flow/head.

May the Force be with him... because he'll need it...


SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:3
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said by cowboyro:

May the Force be with him... because he'll need it...



Keep us up to date on the progress. It's an interesting project.

Tig

join:2006-06-29
Carrying Place, ON
Reviews:
·voip.ms
reply to george357
Any updates?
My .02
I've never though a car alternator to be suited to this type of application. While they are powerful, 60A in some cases, they require a lot of RPM. Even at minimal operation, a car idles around 900 rpm. Now multiply that by the pulley gearing, roughly 3:1. So 900 rpm x 3 = 2700 rpm for minimal output. To get 60A I would expect that you'd need more than idle rpm, say 3000 rpm x 3 = 9000 rpm at the alternator. Regardless as to how the numbers play out, the max end result is 60A x 12V = 720W


george357
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join:2009-09-18
Weaverville, NC
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Charter
said by Tig:

Any updates?
My .02
I've never though a car alternator to be suited to this type of application. While they are powerful, 60A in some cases, they require a lot of RPM. Even at minimal operation, a car idles around 900 rpm. Now multiply that by the pulley gearing, roughly 3:1. So 900 rpm x 3 = 2700 rpm for minimal output. To get 60A I would expect that you'd need more than idle rpm, say 3000 rpm x 3 = 9000 rpm at the alternator. Regardless as to how the numbers play out, the max end result is 60A x 12V = 720W

He has got his catch basin built and some of the pipe run, but thats it so far. He is talking more along the lines of the original generator idea now so I am not sure what he is going to implement.
--
malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Cancer Cures Are Just A Crunch Away

daveinpoway
Premium
join:2006-07-03
Poway, CA
kudos:2
reply to Tig
Here are some alternators which put out over 300 amps: »www.pearlandalternator.com/school_bus.htm