microhydro power

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by melbo, Nov 27, 2006.


  1. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Alright, alright... I know I've been talking about taking the plunge for a few years now. But, I didn't realize it PAID me $$$$

    I can put in a 4000kw system with a grid tie that will make me $15.56 a day for aroun $7,000. The TVA pays around double for 'alternative' electricity than what I pay them. So, $16 a day is around $480 a month. I think I can cover my elec bill out of that and get a few $$ back. (My highest elec bill ever was $300). They also sign a contract that they buy from me for 10 years...

    Now, the least expensive part of my system is the actual generating turbine at $1200. So, Iffen I have the flow, I could double that and possibly double my output to the grid for almost $900

    $900ish a month off my waterfall would be nice.

    Now, here's another idea on all that bugout and retreat land we talk about... I know that I have gotten a few links from Clyde and others that have MaSsIvE waterfalls on them. Mines just a stream that drops 100ft. I've seen some that are gushers, like 500 gallons a minute dropping 30-40 ft. That's a $25K system but could possibly make $2-3K a month in 'buy-back" from the Elec Co. Put an extra turbine in there and double that? Wow.... Maybe we need to start looking at those undesireable lands that have flowing water on them and secure 10 acres of them?

    If we could find a couple hundred acres, put in a hydro system, and use that $$ to pay the mortgage and tax and future improvements? hmmmmmmm. I'm in for that.
     
  2. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    dat's da realOSB
     
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Keep talking. Where?
     
  4. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Yup, IIRC its under Fed law that they have to pay you at LEAST what they normaly pay for electricity if you feed back into the grid and most pay what they charge. If you set up a system on a stream or some such on your place then you can have a battery bank to store juice then overflow to the grid and the house can run off the battery bank and if the grid goes down you flip a switch and disconect it from the grid and still have more power than you can use. If you have enouph electric line to reach neighbors then you can also become REAL popular with them at that point as well even if they have to pay you for it when the power company cant, let alone if its 'just to be neighborly'. If you have live stock you can also do like a couple of the dairy farms here have done and get a surplus military caamp size generators and have them converted to run on methane then use the manure to fuel the generators and make a mint off of it. IIRC the ones I read about spent around 1.5 mil to get it all set up but were produceing enouph power that they expected it to be payed off within about 5 years then be split between maintenance and profit.
     
  5. SLugomist

    SLugomist Monkey++

    I've always wanted a year round creek on some land for just that. They aren't easy to find, or are so far out in the bush as to not be practical. I had a link to a canadian website that had great info on hydro power. They had all the calculations and types of systems and efficiencies. It's all about the drop

    If you live on or near a moving creek/river, you can always put in a paddle wheel, low output but it may keep a battery bank charged.

    I always thought they should make large floating paddle wheel generators that line the mississippi or when water in a pipe goes from a large diameter to a smaller diamter it speeds up. then you could line the pipe with micro hydro generators. Better yet, drain spouts of your house, on your sink, toilet etc. every watt/amp counts.
     
  6. sheen_estevez

    sheen_estevez Monkey+++

    I'd really love to switch over to a turbine or at least use it to help with the energy, hydro around my parts may be tricky, when it's -20 out not too many things that are liquid want to stay liquid for long but something to look at.

    I keep talking to my wife about buying land, she wants here mom's place which has lake access, it's approx 2 blocks away in distance from my house but she shares her driveway with the neighbors, the houses are converted cabins and 3 of them are almost on top of each other, no room to really do anything. My thoughts are to pick up 150 -200 acres, good moving water for hydro would be a plus but enough land where I could put up a turbine and no one would really know, also enough land where I can put in a good size garden, hunt etc. House in the middle of the darn thing so I don't see or hear anyone else
     
  7. SLugomist

    SLugomist Monkey++

    FYI most waterways in most states are PUBLIC until not navigable by a canoe.
     
  8. Ex-Squid

    Ex-Squid Monkey++

    I've always thought micro-hydro was the way to go in the event of a SHTF situation. Generators make alot of noise and require fuel. Solar is pretty obvious. Wind turbines are hard to hide and also make a bit of noise. A year round stream is one of the defining factors in my search for my little 10 acre plot of independence.
     
  9. franks71vw

    franks71vw Monkey+++

    not to be a stickler but do you mean 4000 watts. Cause microhydro producing 4 megawatts of power (4Mw= 4000kw= 400000watts) for the amount your saying I think would be the answer to the worlds problem. and to produce 4000kw from a 100ft drop in water I hope you bought the hoover damm or something....
     
  10. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Hydro power is the least expensive method of providing power to your home.
    Using the formula W (watts) = H (head or fall) x GPM (gallons per minute or flow rate) x .18 x .30, you can determine the number of available watts from your water source.

    price sheet and sizes:
    http://www.nooutage.com/HydroElGen.htm
     
  11. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Hydro would seem like a good bet for MOST areas where had the drop for it but would be concerned in some areas and some times of year as far as the water freezing and creating problems.
     
  12. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    There is another form of hydro turbine that makes use of fast water with little or no drop. If there is an abundance of moving water, a Kaplan turbine could be made to work.
     
  13. RaymondPeter

    RaymondPeter Simple Man

    The freezing water can cause MAJOR problems for many people in Northern areas too... Anyone ever had frozen pipes knows what I'm talking about. Sure there are ways to help prevent that, but I hope you have back up power plans if you have hard winters and are using small scale hydo power.

    Before anyone thinks that I am against this I'm not at all! I think it is a great thing to use....IF you are able to. If not there are plenty of other ways to make power.
     
  14. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Which while the convenience would be lost I suppose at least for me the biggest thing for power would be refridgeration and if its freezing moveing water then that wouldnt be an issue. So I guess it COULD be an option even where it freezes as long as the equiptment was protected from resulting damage.
     
  15. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Ever wonder how our dams out here produce year around?
     
  16. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Heat generated from friction in turbines combine with intakes below level water freezes and moveing water being LESS seceptable to freezing? Would be my guess anyhow. Just figured micro would be a bit less protected or able to deal with iceing, especialy with chunks when it breaks up and starts to flow but not real informed on it.
     
  17. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    The heat from hydro-turbines is truly negligible. You have to have the intakes well below frost, and depend on Momma Nature to not freeze the stream either at the intake or tailrace. Moving water will not freeze as readily as standing water, but it will freeze given temps low enough; more than any other reason than the source is frozen as well. The phenomenon of break up in the spring is real, as melt water lifts the ice cover on streams that don't get completely frozen. Jams, ice dams and damage is the rule, not the exception.
     
  18. zarraza

    zarraza Survivalist in training

    i have been considering acreage for some time now - but how in the world do you find something like that with running water - i'm not above using a combination of solar and wind, and even microhydro providing i could find land properly equipped - does such land really still exist????? if so, how do you find it? i'm practically willing to move ANYWHERE except heavy tornado areas! i think montana is where my heart tells me to move! but it would also have to be close enough to employment and "civilization" to be able to entice my other half to come with me!

    next question, does the power company actually cut you a check for your power on the grid tie system? or do they just credit your utility account? does it depend on the power company?


    i dream of a secluded piece of land that could sustain just about every possible need - something to grow small crops on, and have livestock etc. and even a few side businesses i have dreamed about

    so help a brotha out, how does one get started in their search?
     
  19. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    lots of it in the Northwest.
     
  20. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    ... and no tornadoes, either. [winkthumb]
     
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