Principles of Pico Hydro-electric Systems

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by chelloveck, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

  2. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    Great find. Thanks!
    I visited the article. They have a link to a 35 page manual for assembly. I downloaded it:

    Attached Files:

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  3. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

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  4. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    The people in Europe in the middle ages developed the most practical water power system for most survivalist. They used a boat with a paddle wheel on one or both sides and moored it in a section of the stream where the water was moving fast, and let the wheels turn a mill etc on the boat. Was also done on places where the water was constricted like bridges. Can use a chute to move the water down a few feet and develop some forward momentum. Doesn't require any dams or long pipes to develop a head of water and the low speed, high torque power is good for a lot of things. Pelton wheels etc develop high speed low torque power and require gearing to reduce th rpm and increase the torque to usable levels. Direct use of water power is the most efficient use of a small head or higher head low flow water power source. Most water machines, turbines, wheels, etc are not very efficient, losses occur in the gearing, then lose more in the generator, in the battery bank, in the dc to ac conversion and lastly in the motor, and you will see why the people in the 1700's using wheels or turbines to turn a mill stone or cut saw logs were able to do so much work with such small streams and low heads. In addition, they only used the power when needed, a few hours a day and a few days a week and stored the water behind the dam when not using the mill etc. They also did not use it during the driest parts of the year. The most efficient low head modern water power system that is easy to build is the Banki or Mitchell cross flow turbine. I have played around with one made out of plastic pipe and plastic sheets and really want to build a metal one someday.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
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  5. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Thanks for downloading the .pdf file linked in the web article. It seems like an interesting project for a rainy day when there's not much to do outside. :)
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  6. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    thank you for your input CS. Much of what I post has not been personally tested, and although I know a little about many things, I am no polymath. What I post is for inspiration and the encouragement of my fellow monkeys to explore and experiment with. Your and their mileage may vary. Cheers from chello.
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  7. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    Drop the electric ball was being polite. ;)

    From what I've read, the type system selected should be based on the rate of the available water flow.
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  8. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    Am not offended,'s all good. The OP is a starting point for discussion, and input from folk who have more knowledge and experience with the topic than I are welcome to comment. We all benefit from the discussion.
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  9. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    One pees in their Cheerios, my friend. ;)

    I never considered DC until the camper and now I do. Any using the creek would be to recharge batteries for the camper. Currently I have solar and a converter that generates clean or non saw tooth AC capable of powering a lap top which is unneeded as the laptops run on DC just fine.
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  10. Tikka

    Tikka Monkey+++

    I built most of my "electronic stuff." Although it may not be cheaper, I get exactly what I want. For lap tops on DC, all I do is supply what they expect. DC is a lot easier than a clean AC sine wave. (Yes, I am lazy.)

    I did buy a couple of 10 amp power packs to power the NVS optics. As a small box is better and nicer than what I could build. Often, building is a lot easier and less expensive than buying.
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