Idea for Micro Hydro

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peat
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Idea for Micro Hydro

Post: #224460 peat
Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:07 am

I am moving to Spain soon and will be living completely off grid, with a bike generator and possibily a solar panel. However, the current residents on the land have been living the for a year without any electricity. The have a fairly sizable river running below their property with a number of weirs. It seems to me that it would be perfect for a hydro system. Unfortunatley the cannot really afford to purchase an off the shelf one. Fortunately a few of my friends run a renewable energy co-op, building wind turbines and bike generators and I have been spending some time working with them. The is a possibility that in the future one or some of them will come out to spain and play around with water, but in the mean time I think we will help them make a bike generator...

But last night I had an idea. It is still in its earliest stages, and I really don't know if it would work but I thought i'd run it past you folks to see if you had any thoughts.

I was struck by the relative similarity between a pelton turbine and a centrifugal pump. So I thought, there's a lot of these lying around (certainly more than there are pelton wheels), and if you ran them in reverse, you should be able to turn the shaft. You might even be able to use the original motor as the generator. So, like with a pelton wheel you would run a pipe from upstream which would have a high pressure by the time it reached the pump, the water jets in, spinning the pump blades and turning the motor or shaft.

So i don't have great electrical knowledge, but the system I am making my bike generator with is fairly simple. We use a 24v 200w electric scooter motor in reverse. My idea is to attempt to connect one of these up to an easily available centrifugal pump and see what it can do. This is the type of pump that sprung to mind.

Image

It is a pump designed to be powered by an electric drill, which usefully means it has a protruding shaft, and it can be bought for £3 off ebay, Now obviously its not going to be the sturdyist device, and its not built to last, but I thought I might as well try it to test the principle. I think the difficult part will be linking the axels and getting them lined up perfectly. Also, it is likely that there will be issues with speed and torque and the pump may not even be able to turn the motor....

Any feedback on my idea? Is it doomed to failure?
Pete

oldjerry
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Re: Idea for Micro Hydro

Post: #224462 oldjerry
Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:03 am

Hello Peat, have you spoken to /visited the people at the NCAT in Machy...Macle...Machll.. Wales? Last time I was there they were doing Hydro small scale (but it was a while ago).
Small scale hydro in dry areas may seem counter-intuitive,but if you think storage tank,height,and hydraulic water ram ,I'm sure someone younger and better educated than me could work something out.

dave45
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Re: Idea for Micro Hydro

Post: #224742 dave45
Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:41 pm

When I tried to use one of those things as a pump I couldn't get it to work. Cheaply made and lots of friction. I think every connection was leaking air so the pump suction failed.. or something. Even if you got it to spin up, you'd have the problem of matching the revs with whatever your generator needs.

So I wouldn't be too hopeful if your pump is like mine was. I binned mine.

peat
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Re: Idea for Micro Hydro

Post: #224800 peat
Sat Feb 26, 2011 2:44 pm

Cheers for the info dave. The others of a similar style available. For example http://www.my-tool-shed.co.uk/p14581/Wo ... _info.html Looks a bit more sturdy. Matching revs would certainly be an issue to be considered, but I wouldn't have thought it would be too difficult to gear it up or down with gearing, perhaps off a bike or with wheels and belt.

I still feel the idea has potential, although I won't really know until I test it.
Ideas and criticism welcomed still.
Pete

Oilystairs
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Re: Idea for Micro Hydro

Post: #225928 Oilystairs
Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:47 pm

Hi, if you have decent head (height difference) then even with relatively low flow you will have success with a pelton turbine. Try to avoid gearing as this is the best way to loose power through friction and it means maintaining various extra elements. This pdf link may be of some use and it gives you lots of additional links. http://www.habiter-autrement.org/12.ene ... ower_1.pdf
If you can get hold of a real second hand pelton turbine and generator i think you will do best. The wheels themselves are available quite cheap on ebay and the like. Good luck


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