Micro-hydro systems?

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Re: Micro-hydro systems?

Postby mikef » Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:42 pm

Next 2 photos

IMG_20120427_113818 (Small).jpg
before the lid is put on


IMG_20120427_114006 (Small).jpg
finished and running (it is very quiet in the drum and uv protected)
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Re: Micro-hydro systems?

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:02 pm

If that figure 8 twin cable is where the power comes out, it must be running quite warm with 10A flowing! Using larger cable would give you more usable energy out of the turbines.

48V * 10A = 480W * 24hours = 11.5kWh * 2 for your 23kWh total.

How much flow do you need for that much power? Is it reliable all year round?
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Re: Micro-hydro systems?

Postby gyro » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:06 pm

Hi
Great work, pity I omly have about 800mm head where I am, I think I might sluce it up and fit a big paddle wheel because when it rains I get quite a powerful flow next to my house.
Thanks Tony
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Re: Micro-hydro systems?

Postby Tracker » Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:55 pm

What a GREAT job.. ;)

I think that we are ALL jealous.. :evil:

And - with a big drum like that, you could even add 2 or even 4 more jets..
..
.
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Re: Micro-hydro systems?

Postby gyro » Tue Oct 30, 2012 9:13 pm

Yes I am Jealous! you show me how I can turn 800mm into 90 metres of fall and I too would have a pelton wheel turbine of some sort. I tried using Arcamedes Screw to drive 800 watt generator, it took far too much volume of water just to get it to turn, then a small stick or pebble was enough to jam it up. I got sick of climbing down there in my longins and unjamming it every half hour or so during a storm. At least the big wheel sitting in a sluce trough is not going to jam up so often. Then there is the matter of council! seeing it is a designated easment they may not like it and ask me to remove it. Well that is another hill to climb. :twisted:
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Re: Micro-hydro systems?

Postby mikef » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:06 am

Gordon-Loomberah wrote:If that figure 8 twin cable is where the power comes out, it must be running quite warm with 10A flowing! Using larger cable would give you more usable energy out of the turbines.


It is noticeable but only just. Mostly it feels just like the day. Cold. Though you are right, it is not the most efficient cable I could have used. Basically it was available on the day (only 2 meters to the batteries). But it is on the list of things to do.

Gordon-Loomberah wrote:How much flow do you need for that much power? Is it reliable all year round?


I estimate it is about 5 - 6 L/s and yes that is available all year round with ease. In fact the river runs quite a lot of water and the amount that we divert and return is not noticeable. I will be duplicating what is there in time as I can afford it. Currently I estimate that it is saving us over $2000 a year in power costs and the return on investment is less than 3 years. Pretty good return but mostly is has been great fun to do it.

IMG_20120528_115753-001 (Small).jpg
Waste nothing from the washing machines. They work great as a filter at the penstock
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Re: Micro-hydro systems?

Postby mikef » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:12 am

Tracker wrote:What a GREAT job.. ;)

I think that we are ALL jealous.. :evil:

And - with a big drum like that, you could even add 2 or even 4 more jets..
..
.



Tracker, do you think there is a significant efficiency to gain by more jets. We worked on the size of the pelton cups versus the size of the jets that we needed. The jet diameter is 6mm (for maximum power output from the piping) and the pelton cups maximum is 8mm

The cost of the tap valves, pipe fittings, flexible hose, jets and the like are about $200 or so dollars for each jet after you add them up. I could not see the value in more than 2. But...
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Re: Micro-hydro systems?

Postby Gordon-Loomberah » Wed Oct 31, 2012 11:36 am

The usefulness of additional jets on each turbine would have to take into account whether or not the
generator can output any more power, and how much additional friction head loss you get in the pipes due to extra flow.
If I recall correctly, maximum power is attainable from the system (assuming the alternator is up to the task) with a flow that causes about 1/3 of the head to be lost due to friction down the pipes- which is not a problem if you have essentially unlimited flow for your purposes. That's not what you want when the water supply is limited though!

Also, you might be able to get a bit more flow by adding more of those washing machine filters at the top end, there must be a bit of flow restriction with them? Of course you no doubt have smooth curves rather than right angle bends in the piping, bends are bad news for frictional losses due to the turbulence they cause.
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Re: Micro-hydro systems?

Postby Tracker » Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:57 pm

mikef wrote:Tracker, do you think there is a significant efficiency to gain by more jets. We worked on the size of the pelton cups versus the size of the jets that we needed. The jet diameter is 6mm (for maximum power output from the piping) and the pelton cups maximum is 8mm

The cost of the tap valves, pipe fittings, flexible hose, jets and the like are about $200 or so dollars for each jet after you add them up. I could not see the value in more than 2. But...

Look - in all honesty, I don't know..
It IS going to be a balance between available pressure and the power.
A pressure meter would show you the loss between one and two squirters, and might give a guide to what you could expect from four..

GG, is likely more atune to the maths of how you could estimate the results. I'm too bloody thick..

My cloudy older brain says more force = more power..

I do LOVE your use of the old tubs - I have finally found something GOOD about FingPaykel washers..

You are aware of the differences between motors and the wire gauges etc. and have gone for the "Heavy" model.. At least YOU have an infinite supply of spare parts..

Be sure to allow for drainage from the tub-base-flutes, should any water get up there..
...
..
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Re: Micro-hydro systems?

Postby mikef » Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:10 pm

Tracker wrote:
mikef wrote:
Be sure to allow for drainage from the tub-base-flutes, should any water get up there..
...
..


I have put water there and it evapourates quite quickly because of the amount of air moving around. Also the water running through the jets is so cold that it "dries" the air out so there is no condensation on anything. It is amazing how dry it is.

I have pressure meters on the pipe and the dynamic (flowing) pressure is 2/3 the static (not running) pressure so the system if pretty well optimised. Anyway there is always an ability to squeeze a few more watts out of it and one can spend way too long trying for 20 watts more here and there.
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