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Another micro-hydro application?

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Posted by jimgnospam on January 10, 2005, 11:26 pm
 
My home is pretty well insulated (I use about one cord of wood per year to heat
in the
mountains of S. Oregon).  My creek is off limits for hydro due to the steelhead,
but I'd
like to tap some seasonal sources for space heating, so that the stove is only
needed on
the coldest nights.

I have several spots on the property where I can get 100 gallons per minute with
40-50
feet of head during the cold months, with relatively short pipelengths and a few
hundred
feet of cable.

Seems like I could get a few hundred watts 7/24, which would make a big dent in
my
woodstove use (a 1500w wall can overheat the house running less than half the
time).

An obvious (but pricey) solution is to take a Stream Engine type product and
drive a
couple of big power resistors in a small louvered cabinet.  I can actually
improve the
specs of the engine by stripping out the rectifier, since the "wild AC" is
easier to
transmit and provides slightly more power. I can buy a whole flock of power
resistors on
eBay for a few dollars.

My problem is that "anything worth doing is worth doing from scratch for next to
nothing".
I think I can fabricate a passable pelton wheel (I've also seen plastic peltons
for
cheap), but which alternater/generator would be the best tradeoff of cost,
durability, and
production?  Obviously, an automotive unit would be cheapest.  I don't mind
replacing
brushes every once in awhile.



Posted by Hamish on January 11, 2005, 2:32 am
 
My home is pretty well insulated (I use about one cord of wood per
year to heat in the mountains of S. Oregon).  My creek is off limits
for hydro due to the steelhead, but I'd like to tap some seasonal
sources for space heating, so that the stove is only needed on the
coldest nights.

I have several spots on the property where I can get 100 gallons per
minute with 40-50 feet of head during the cold months, with relatively
short pipelengths and a few hundred feet of cable.

Seems like I could get a few hundred watts 7/24, which would make a
big dent in my woodstove use (a 1500w wall can overheat the house
running less than half the time).

An obvious (but pricey) solution is to take a Stream Engine type
product and drive a couple of big power resistors in a small louvered
cabinet.  I can actually improve the specs of the engine by stripping
out the rectifier, since the "wild AC" is easier to transmit and
provides slightly more power. I can buy a whole flock of power
resistors on eBay for a few dollars.

My problem is that "anything worth doing is worth doing from scratch
for next to nothing". I think I can fabricate a passable pelton wheel
(I've also seen plastic peltons for cheap), but which
alternater/generator would be the best tradeoff of cost, durability,
and production?  Obviously, an automotive unit would be cheapest.  I
don't mind replacing brushes every once in awhile.


 To work it out go metric......
Flow
100 gallons/ min * 3.78 ( liters/gallon )/60  = 6.3 Liters/sec
Head
40 Feet / 3.28 = 12 m

flowrate * head * 9.8=Energy available
6.3 * 12.19 * 9.8 = 752 watts

But turbine only 80%, generator 80% effiency, so power at generator
752 * 0.8 * 0.8 = 481 watts

For cups http://www.ecoinn.co.nz/pages/Build_it_yours_hydro.html

You could yse the generators in thepage or build your own  based from
the generators described in http://www.scoraigwind.com/index.htm

Have fun

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