? is it possible to use all 3 wind , solar and water?

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by Vaejovis carolinanus, Aug 4, 2016.

  1. I have a place on a small river/ stream and I would love to be able to harness the wind, water and sun to get off the grid but have zero experience with this. I can do wiring of electrical if I have a plan.
    Dunerunner and GOG like this.
  2. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Yep... The electronics is easy, these days... All it takes is Money.... and a Water Right, to use the Water from the Stream.... Some States make it very hard to get the Paperwork done, to make it legal.... Check with your States Dept of Natural Resources.....
  3. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    Second the water issues, many states have very strict water use issues, and you do not want to be on the wrong side of things! the fines get huge and they love stacking them up!
    Sgt Nambu likes this.
  4. GOG

    GOG Free American Monkey Site Supporter

    If you have a halfway decent drop in your water source you may be able to put in a turbine. However they can be expensive.
    Or you can go dead cheap and put in a homemade waterwheel setup and charge deep cycle batteries.
    Look around the site, there's a bunch of alt energy info here.

    The last time I checked it was around fourteen grand for a turbine setup at my place that would just charge batteries. It's closer to twenty thousand to actually run the power straight through.
    The outfits that produce the turbines are scarce, but one of two that I know of is about six miles from here. So if I ever come into a windfall...

    You need pretty ideal weather conditions for serious wind power, but pretty simple windmills have been pumping water for centuries.

    Personally I'm not that keen on Solar, I find the various required bits and pieces a PITA.

    Good luck on your quest.
    Ura-Ki and chelloveck like this.
  5. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    As others have pointed out....

    Technically, feeding alternative sources of power generation (solar, wind, and water) into the one off grid electrical power system is doable.

    The practicality of doing what is technically feasible depends on a heap of variables, not least of which include affordability, reliability, topography, climate, prevailing seasonal meteorological conditions, and government regulation et al.

    Having a hybrid off-grid power system has a number of advantages: enabling sufficient power generating capacity regardless of whether water course levels are high or low, whether it's blowing a gale or the air's still, or whether it's sunny or not.

    Best wishes with your project. (y)
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
    GOG and Ura-Ki like this.
  6. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grampa Monkey

    I run quite a bit of Solar as of now, both the house and shop have full panels! This isn't enough power for full load in winter, but keeps the house running at normal loads the rest of the time! it's the shop that takes all the power! I could install wind generation, but with the fickle winds we have, it just wouldn't be worth the cost and effort! I too haye a year round stream, but the State says NO to any diversion or use of any kind. Period So, I am looking at a way to install something on a temp basis that dosn't effect the water way in any way!
  7. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+++

    It is very do-able, but wind and water are probably more trouble and money than they are worth.

    Solar is the easiest/cheapest. For what you would spend on wind/water you could build one mofo solar array and have enough battery reserve to keep you going for a long time.
    GOG likes this.
  8. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Just a NOTE, here: Water is the Best, and cheapest way to Power things, IF you have the Geography that makes it convenient... and You jump thru whatever Hoops the State makes you do, to make it legal... even a very small Alternator Type Turbine can make 500 Watts, with the right Head, and Flow.... just that small amount in a Day would amount to 12KWH per day... Store that in Batteries at say 80% Efficiency and your looking at a considerable Power Source, Day In, and Day Out, 24/7/365....
  9. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I am on a battery system,
    wind and solar are contributors to it,
    as well as power from the city for heavy loads.

    If I had access to a live stream , I would put a "ram pump" in place and plumb it to a reservoir as high on the property as I can, .and gravity feed it to the house.

    When I lived on the desert we trucked our water in, and I had a tank on the pick up with a little 12 volt air compressor to push the water up to the tanks in the loft of the shop/out house, above the house, about a 15 foot difference if I remember rightly .
    You might do the same thing with a tank at stream level and when it's filled use a small 12 volt air compressor to drive that water up to tanks in the attic of the house. I put an over flow /breather just out side so I could tell from out side when the upper tanks were full.
    I have fixed old water heater thanks and use those for back up water here at home .
    As for winter ,when the sun was only low on the horizon , we used wood cook stove and heavy electrical needs resorted to generator or small engine /alternator to supplement the wind and solar, keeping the battery bank charged . we didn't have LED in those days , you are soo lucky .
    For water heating we used both the wood stove and solar .
    I did an experiment and found that between the flat panel ,(coiled copper pipe)( about a gallon) and glassed, and the 10 gallon tank inside a glassed box.
    Though the flat panel got hotter= 165 degrees, it did not heat the volume of the water tank at 130 degrees, both at the same time in one hours time.
    the tank won.
    Like others have said , it's good to know if you have any right to the water.
    chelloveck and GOG like this.
  10. Well, it would be nice to use the running water because it has been flowing well for hundreds of years but the state will most assuredly say that it is forbidden. I am near the peak of a small mtn ,so wind and solar might be my best option until the government fails and then it would not be an issue. oops I did not mean that. I guess the smartest way is to prepare for today and leave my options open.
    Dunerunner and Cruisin Sloth like this.
  11. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter+++

    And have the gear on hand to take care of what ever you need to do to get along in future troubled times..
  12. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    This one reads true !!
    I harvest rain waters ,waterwheel . Im on top of a bump .
    Solar is 16,800

    Wind would need to be 300' above the trees .. Not going to happen , trees are 250+
  13. The problems that I fear are the hoops that are going to be costly for the water wheel and the fact that the river/ stream is at the bottom of my property. I do believe the property line is the middle of the river which also divides two counties. I bet twice the paperwork. Wait no I only have property tax in one county . So that is a good sign
  14. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    First question and the only one that really matters.
    How much money do you have to spend?
  15. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    I simply can not fathom this ''Water Right'' thingy.
    We have so much here that the parishes want us to capture water and use it, Any place else has more issues than natural law of man should allow.
  16. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I don't know the geography of your place however it is possible to pump the water with out running power to it by using a "ram pump".
    There are plenty of samples of this device on line "you tube " to glean from . I have built them to prove them to my self and they work.
    you need 4-6' of fall, inside 40' of 2" steel pipe and 2 -3/4" swing check valves, a ball valve, several pipe tees , and an expansion chamber and pipe that will take the pressure going up to your place.
    The effect is similar to that of the hydraulic ing that occurs in a plumbing system in a house when you close a valve and hear that sharp rattling in the pipes.
    Water is fed to the 20-40 feet of iron pipe by the stream ,it is the gravity of the 4-6 foot fall that creates the pressure required to make the pumping action. PVC pipe does not work as it does not have the rigidity to make it happen. this first pipe is connected to a ball valve giving you control at the start up. next you have a pipe T and the
    the first check valve is in backwards as it were not in line with the flow of water but it's arrow facing up on the T . Next you have the expansion chamber . these are available for hydraulic problems in the home . about a one gallon pressure tank with a rubber bladder inside and a small amount of air pressure is applied to balance the load.
    Then a second check valve holding the water pressure going up the hill . This water going up hill is just as important as the rest of the system .It assists the snap shut in the first check valve.
    Having a pressure gage is valuable in knowing how well your system is working . It is not essential but valuable information when starting up. I recommend installing one with a 1/4" ball valve between so you don't need the information while your gone, that the gauge is not enduring a beating unnecessarily .
    There are commercially made ram pumps much larger, but this is enough to develop an understanding, and it depends on the volume of the stream as well .
    That first valve is spending about 2/3 of the water being fed to it , what's interesting is that it's pulse is about the same as our own.
    My experiment with it, provided about 45' of lift 300' away about 7 GPM if I remember rightly (All I had to work with ). it's not a lot of water but it is steady and essentially energy free.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
  17. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    Harvesting water or using it as it flows by can be against the law in many USA states .
    The fight to control oil ,has moved into water control & rights !
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