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george357
Premium
join:2009-09-18
Weaverville, NC
kudos:1
reply to george357

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

said by cowboyro:

In the 1000W+ range. From what I see in a quick search it can be as high as 20-30A (2400-3600VA) for a fraction of a second. I've been unable to start either of my 2 refrigerators on a 900VA UPS, it would shut down instantly. You made me curious, if I have time tonight I'll try to record on the oscilloscope...

Thanks, that could be interesting to see.

said by SparkChaser:

+1 on the alternator

said by drjim:

And IIRC, when Chrysler was the first to start putting alternators on cars, they made quite a big deal about how it would keep the battery charged even idling at night with the lights on.
Probably moot in this case, as you can change the drive ratio to get whatecer speed you need with the water flow you have.

said by shdesigns:

More the other way around. My Willys could not charge at idle with the lights on (I had added tail lights.) The alternator had no problem.

Generators are unreliable, brushes wear and they would have mechanical regulators with relays.

I have yet to see a car that cant do a good charge at idle with an alternator.

Ok, looks like we will use an alternator, thanks for the input!

said by DesertRats:

George357,
You may want to take a look at a magazine called "Home Power" www.homepower.com
They cover Hydro, Solar, and Wind Designing and Building.
I have seen them cover many hydro projects in the past.
My interests are in solar so I have not followed the hydro projects.
As I recall they have a forum where you can ask questions. Don't hold me to the forum part.
I see on the web site a tab for "Microhydro Power"
That may have some info that could help you.

Thanks for the info, I will look that site over and see what I can come up with.

said by lutful:

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

Google earth is not likely to help as the pics aren't very detailed with no views of the stream (just so you can see what I mean the co-ordinates are: 35 degrees 48' 41.56" N x 82 degrees 51' 7.75" W). 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.
--
malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

Cancer Cures Are Just A Crunch Away


jrs8084
Premium
join:2002-03-02
Statesville, NC
kudos:1

I certainly hope you meant feet and not inches for your stream measurements.



george357
Premium
join:2009-09-18
Weaverville, NC
kudos:1

said by jrs8084:

I certainly hope you meant feet and not inches for your stream measurements.

No, the inches are an accurate guesstimate. 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.


SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:3
Reviews:
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said by george357:

said by jrs8084:

I certainly hope you meant feet and not inches for your stream measurements.

No, the inches are an accurate guesstimate. 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.

Let's hope the fall is enough to make up for the flow. Have you done any flow measurements, yet?

OT - Nice country down there. Used to have a relative that lived in Hickory and I traveled a bit there.
--
--
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"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." - Aldous Huxley

"I’m not familiar precisely with exactly what I said, but I stand by what I said, whatever it was.." - Mitt Romney


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

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
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
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
Premium
join:2009-09-18
Weaverville, NC
kudos:1

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
Reviews:
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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


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
Reviews:
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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.