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Low/No Head Microhydro Solutions

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  • crcurrie
    (Warning: Newbie questions follow) I recently acquired a small (2-acre) property bordered by two fast-moving streams, but not much fall (see photo links
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 2 8:24 AM
    • 0 Attachment
      (Warning: Newbie questions follow) I recently acquired a small
      (2-acre) property bordered by two fast-moving streams, but not much fall
      (see photo links below). I am exploring the feasibility of a microhydro
      solution to furnish the electrical power for the house on my property
      (lights, well pump, refrigerator, clothes washer, small appliances).
      I am not an engineer and have no experience whatsoever with hydro power.
      What I have done is search the Web and found information on microhydro
      technologies such as low-head turbines, river current turbines, and
      waterwheels. The information gathered so far has left me with many
      questions. I have not yet calculated the potential head on my streams,
      though it is safe to estimate that it is less than six feet. Neither
      have I measured the stream flow. Since the property is compact and the
      house located very close to the fastest moving stream, the transmission
      distance would be small. In the estimation of the bright and
      experienced minds on this listserv, is it even remotely possible that I
      might achieve the goal of providing for all of my electric power needs
      from my stream in a cost-effective fashion, or is it a pipe dream? (I
      should say that I'm willing to spend a little more per kwh than I do
      with my local utility in order to achieve some degree of energy
      independence, but we are not a wealthy family.) One option I've begun
      looking at is the Aquair generator, which seems attractive because it
      requires no head nor diversion of the stream (advantageous from the
      point of view of obtaining permits as well as environmental
      stewardship). However, several potential limitations present
      themselves: low capacity for power generation; question of durability,
      particularly mounted in a stream with its passing debris and floods;
      potentially higher maintenance (we will not be resident at the property
      continuously); question of winter hardiness; and susceptibility to theft
      or vandalism (the streams are popular with trout anglers so they would
      be encountered by many people). Waterwheels seem expensive and even
      with a permanent magnet generator I'm not sure whether they can meet my
      power needs. They also present potential civil engineering and
      permitting challenges. If anyone has any recommendations on how I
      might proceed on this quest, I'd be very grateful to hear them.
      Strategies, feasibility research suggestions, vendor recommendations,
      etc., all welcome. Thanks! Chris
      http://flickr.com/photos/crcurrie/2694275727/sizes/l/
      <http://flickr.com/photos/crcurrie/2694275727/sizes/l/>
      http://flickr.com/photos/crcurrie/2695090688/sizes/l/in/set-721576063271\
      19353/
      <http://flickr.com/photos/crcurrie/2695090688/sizes/l/in/set-72157606327\
      119353/>


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Nando
      Chris: You may forget about the Ampair. first you need to measure the water volume during the dry season and wet season to determine the volume, also careful
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 2 8:45 AM
      • 0 Attachment
        Chris:

        You may forget about the Ampair.
        first you need to measure the water volume during the dry season and wet season to determine the volume, also careful measurements of the head along the length of your stream.

        since the stream carries fish, then you may be able to use not more than 25 % of the volume during the dry season, wet season of course higher volume.

        With a battery bank most probably you could attain your electric needs if the head is like you say, the photos seems to indicate a bit higher, though water is quite deceiving and I may be mistaken .

        You need to define both streams carefully and as well inform in detail the topography of both to determine if both do connect later or what -- great detail will give you real and practical suggestions to your needed hydro solutions.

        one CFS = 28 liter/sec may produce around 250 watts or about 6 KWH/day that can supply practically all your energy needs if properly managed.

        Though if higher head indeed improves this power harvesting.

        I have known people that have gotten signed authorization to place a pipe up the stream to improve the head and reduce the water volume -- with proper environment concerns resolved ( pipe under ground or under the stream) etc.

        Nando


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: crcurrie
        To: microhydro@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Saturday, August 02, 2008 10:24 AM
        Subject: [microhydro] Low/No Head Microhydro Solutions


        (Warning: Newbie questions follow) I recently acquired a small
        (2-acre) property bordered by two fast-moving streams, but not much fall
        (see photo links below). I am exploring the feasibility of a microhydro
        solution to furnish the electrical power for the house on my property
        (lights, well pump, refrigerator, clothes washer, small appliances).
        I am not an engineer and have no experience whatsoever with hydro power.
        What I have done is search the Web and found information on microhydro
        technologies such as low-head turbines, river current turbines, and
        waterwheels. The information gathered so far has left me with many
        questions. I have not yet calculated the potential head on my streams,
        though it is safe to estimate that it is less than six feet. Neither
        have I measured the stream flow. Since the property is compact and the
        house located very close to the fastest moving stream, the transmission
        distance would be small. In the estimation of the bright and
        experienced minds on this listserv, is it even remotely possible that I
        might achieve the goal of providing for all of my electric power needs
        from my stream in a cost-effective fashion, or is it a pipe dream? (I
        should say that I'm willing to spend a little more per kwh than I do
        with my local utility in order to achieve some degree of energy
        independence, but we are not a wealthy family.) One option I've begun
        looking at is the Aquair generator, which seems attractive because it
        requires no head nor diversion of the stream (advantageous from the
        point of view of obtaining permits as well as environmental
        stewardship). However, several potential limitations present
        themselves: low capacity for power generation; question of durability,
        particularly mounted in a stream with its passing debris and floods;
        potentially higher maintenance (we will not be resident at the property
        continuously); question of winter hardiness; and susceptibility to theft
        or vandalism (the streams are popular with trout anglers so they would
        be encountered by many people). Waterwheels seem expensive and even
        with a permanent magnet generator I'm not sure whether they can meet my
        power needs. They also present potential civil engineering and
        permitting challenges. If anyone has any recommendations on how I
        might proceed on this quest, I'd be very grateful to hear them.
        Strategies, feasibility research suggestions, vendor recommendations,
        etc., all welcome. Thanks! Chris
        http://flickr.com/photos/crcurrie/2694275727/sizes/l/
        <http://flickr.com/photos/crcurrie/2694275727/sizes/l/>
        http://flickr.com/photos/crcurrie/2695090688/sizes/l/in/set-721576063271\
        19353/
        <http://flickr.com/photos/crcurrie/2695090688/sizes/l/in/set-72157606327\
        119353/>

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • paulfinlay28
        Based only on your photos: stream width = 2.5m depth of flow = 0.1m velocity of flow = 0.5m/s slope = 0.6 m over 20m gives So = 0.03 From this you can ask
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 2 12:36 PM
        • 0 Attachment
          Based only on your photos:
          stream width = 2.5m
          depth of flow = 0.1m
          velocity of flow = 0.5m/s
          slope = 0.6 m over 20m gives So = 0.03

          From this you can ask someone to applies Manning's equation to check the rough estimate of
          v = 0.5 m/s

          Flow, Q = 2.5m x 0.1m x 0.5m/s
          = 0.12 cumec

          Lets use 50% of the stream flow, with a 20m run of river pipe along the bank and dropping
          into the stream

          Gross available power = 0.125 x 0.6m (fall) x 0.5 9.81
          = 0.36 kW (too small) Pipe losses not allowed for

          Try a 100 m pipe => 1.8 kW worth considering
        • crcurrie
          First of all, thanks to those of you who responded to my naive questions on and off list. The responses were very enlightening and I appreciate your having
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 3 8:07 PM
          • 0 Attachment
            First of all, thanks to those of you who responded to my naive questions
            on and off list. The responses were very enlightening and I appreciate
            your having the patience and taking the time to share your insights with
            me.

            Second, I'm amazed at how much you guys can glean from a couple of
            photos. While I don't understand all the calculations completely, I'm
            getting the impression I might be selling my stream a little short --
            and that's encouraging. I'm inspired now to do the careful measurements
            that will let me know for sure whether the numbers work.

            (Nando, regarding your point about stream configuration: yes, the
            streams do connect at the edge of my property to form a wider, deeper
            stream. My property is a 2-acre triangle with the three sides
            consisting of one road and two streams. Here is a topo map of it, which
            seems to indicate the head on either stream to be less than 10 feet --
            the distance between contour lines:
            http://www.chriscurrie.net/images/Trouthouse%20Topo%20Map.JPG
            <http://www.chriscurrie.net/images/Trouthouse%20Topo%20Map.JPG> )

            I have another question based on Nando's reply. I've been assuming that
            I would need to do the battery bank, and I have a little experience with
            that from helping a friend set up one at a remote camp in Michigan's
            Upper Peninsula, which is charged by a propane-fueled generator. So I'm
            familiar with the high cost of having to replace batteries every several
            years, and the occasional unreliability of the connection with the
            inverter.

            But it occurred to me today that since I have utility service to the
            house already, it seems possible that I could sell power back to the
            utility when I'm not using it, and then draw utility power when I need
            it during heavier use periods or for when the fridge comes on, etc. Is
            that so? Would that essentially obviate the need for the batteries?
            Also, I seem to recall I read that working out the link with the utility
            company involves more red tape that might make it more difficult to get
            the necessary approvals to construct the systm. Does anyone have any
            experience with this?

            I probably also need to talk to someone at the relevant Pennsylvania
            state and/or county agency. The Fish and Game Commission stocks both
            streams with trout right at the property line and I suspect that the
            authorities will cast a wary eye on any plans to draw water from the
            stream at that location. I would be interested in anyone's experience
            navigating the bureaucracy in a similar situation ...

            Thanks again and have a great week!

            Chris


            --- In microhydro@yahoogroups.com, "Nando" <nando37@...> wrote:
            >
            > Chris:
            >
            > You may forget about the Ampair.
            > first you need to measure the water volume during the dry season and
            wet season to determine the volume, also careful measurements of the
            head along the length of your stream.
            >
            > since the stream carries fish, then you may be able to use not more
            than 25 % of the volume during the dry season, wet season of course
            higher volume.
            >
            > With a battery bank most probably you could attain your electric needs
            if the head is like you say, the photos seems to indicate a bit higher,
            though water is quite deceiving and I may be mistaken .
            >
            > You need to define both streams carefully and as well inform in detail
            the topography of both to determine if both do connect later or what --
            great detail will give you real and practical suggestions to your needed
            hydro solutions.
            >
            > one CFS = 28 liter/sec may produce around 250 watts or about 6 KWH/day
            that can supply practically all your energy needs if properly managed.
            >
            > Though if higher head indeed improves this power harvesting.
            >
            > I have known people that have gotten signed authorization to place a
            pipe up the stream to improve the head and reduce the water volume --
            with proper environment concerns resolved ( pipe under ground or under
            the stream) etc.
            >
            > Nando
            >
            >
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: crcurrie
            > To: microhydro@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Saturday, August 02, 2008 10:24 AM
            > Subject: [microhydro] Low/No Head Microhydro Solutions
            >
            >
            > (Warning: Newbie questions follow) I recently acquired a small
            > (2-acre) property bordered by two fast-moving streams, but not much
            fall
            > (see photo links below). I am exploring the feasibility of a
            microhydro
            > solution to furnish the electrical power for the house on my property
            > (lights, well pump, refrigerator, clothes washer, small appliances).
            > I am not an engineer and have no experience whatsoever with hydro
            power.
            > What I have done is search the Web and found information on microhydro
            > technologies such as low-head turbines, river current turbines, and
            > waterwheels. The information gathered so far has left me with many
            > questions. I have not yet calculated the potential head on my streams,
            > though it is safe to estimate that it is less than six feet. Neither
            > have I measured the stream flow. Since the property is compact and the
            > house located very close to the fastest moving stream, the
            transmission
            > distance would be small. In the estimation of the bright and
            > experienced minds on this listserv, is it even remotely possible that
            I
            > might achieve the goal of providing for all of my electric power needs
            > from my stream in a cost-effective fashion, or is it a pipe dream? (I
            > should say that I'm willing to spend a little more per kwh than I do
            > with my local utility in order to achieve some degree of energy
            > independence, but we are not a wealthy family.) One option I've begun
            > looking at is the Aquair generator, which seems attractive because it
            > requires no head nor diversion of the stream (advantageous from the
            > point of view of obtaining permits as well as environmental
            > stewardship). However, several potential limitations present
            > themselves: low capacity for power generation; question of durability,
            > particularly mounted in a stream with its passing debris and floods;
            > potentially higher maintenance (we will not be resident at the
            property
            > continuously); question of winter hardiness; and susceptibility to
            theft
            > or vandalism (the streams are popular with trout anglers so they would
            > be encountered by many people). Waterwheels seem expensive and even
            > with a permanent magnet generator I'm not sure whether they can meet
            my
            > power needs. They also present potential civil engineering and
            > permitting challenges. If anyone has any recommendations on how I
            > might proceed on this quest, I'd be very grateful to hear them.
            > Strategies, feasibility research suggestions, vendor recommendations,
            > etc., all welcome. Thanks! Chris
            > http://flickr.com/photos/crcurrie/2694275727/sizes/l/
            > <http://flickr.com/photos/crcurrie/2694275727/sizes/l/>
            >
            http://flickr.com/photos/crcurrie/2695090688/sizes/l/in/set-721576063271\
            \
            > 19353/
            >
            <http://flickr.com/photos/crcurrie/2695090688/sizes/l/in/set-72157606327\
            \
            > 119353/>
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Carlos Bonifetti D.
            Chris, As photos said, water depth is too low and you have very low head at the river (about 6 feet?), so it s very difficult and expensive to try harness
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 4 1:32 PM
            • 0 Attachment
              Chris,
              As photos said, water depth is too low and you have very low head at the river (about 6 feet?), so it's very difficult and expensive to try harness hydraulic energy from that flow.
              Local utility service will be the best way at your site.

              Regards,
              Carlos
              ----------------------------



              ----- Original Message -----
              From: crcurrie
              To: microhydro@yahoogroups.com
              Sent: Saturday, August 02, 2008 11:24 AM
              Subject: [microhydro] Low/No Head Microhydro Solutions


              (Warning: Newbie questions follow) I recently acquired a small
              (2-acre) property bordered by two fast-moving streams, but not much fall
              (see photo links below). I am exploring the feasibility of a microhydro
              solution to furnish the electrical power for the house on my property
              (lights, well pump, refrigerator, clothes washer, small appliances).
              I am not an engineer and have no experience whatsoever with hydro power.
              What I have done is search the Web and found information on microhydro
              technologies such as low-head turbines, river current turbines, and
              waterwheels. The information gathered so far has left me with many
              questions. I have not yet calculated the potential head on my streams,
              though it is safe to estimate that it is less than six feet. Neither
              have I measured the stream flow. Since the property is compact and the
              house located very close to the fastest moving stream, the transmission
              distance would be small. In the estimation of the bright and
              experienced minds on this listserv, is it even remotely possible that I
              might achieve the goal of providing for all of my electric power needs
              from my stream in a cost-effective fashion, or is it a pipe dream? (I
              should say that I'm willing to spend a little more per kwh than I do
              with my local utility in order to achieve some degree of energy
              independence, but we are not a wealthy family.) One option I've begun
              looking at is the Aquair generator, which seems attractive because it
              requires no head nor diversion of the stream (advantageous from the
              point of view of obtaining permits as well as environmental
              stewardship). However, several potential limitations present
              themselves: low capacity for power generation; question of durability,
              particularly mounted in a stream with its passing debris and floods;
              potentially higher maintenance (we will not be resident at the property
              continuously); question of winter hardiness; and susceptibility to theft
              or vandalism (the streams are popular with trout anglers so they would
              be encountered by many people). Waterwheels seem expensive and even
              with a permanent magnet generator I'm not sure whether they can meet my
              power needs. They also present potential civil engineering and
              permitting challenges. If anyone has any recommendations on how I
              might proceed on this quest, I'd be very grateful to hear them.
              Strategies, feasibility research suggestions, vendor recommendations,
              etc., all welcome. Thanks! Chris
              http://flickr.com/photos/crcurrie/2694275727/sizes/l/
              <http://flickr.com/photos/crcurrie/2694275727/sizes/l/>
              http://flickr.com/photos/crcurrie/2695090688/sizes/l/in/set-721576063271\
              19353/
              <http://flickr.com/photos/crcurrie/2695090688/sizes/l/in/set-72157606327\
              119353/>

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





              __________ InformaciĆ³n de NOD32, revisiĆ³n 3301 (20080727) __________

              Este mensaje ha sido analizado con NOD32 antivirus system
              http://www.nod32.com


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Paul Finlay
              If you do have excess load and I doubt it, feed it to your battery bank and hotwater as overload, and increase the size of your hot water cylinder. You need
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 5 1:40 PM
              • 0 Attachment
                If you do have excess load and I doubt it, feed it to your battery bank and hotwater as overload, and increase the size of your hot water cylinder. You need that hot water in winter when flow is greatest and temp. is lowest.
                For the trout in the stream, you can reckon on about a 50% flow as a conservative guide. You may want to consider say 5m diameter fish pools between the intake and the power generation, but you may not need that.

                Paul T. Finlay
                76 Kaipara Coast Highway
                R.D.1 Kaukapakapa
                North West Auckland





                ----- Original Message ----
                From: crcurrie <c.currie@...>
                To: microhydro@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Monday, 4 August, 2008 3:07:41 PM
                Subject: [microhydro] Re: Low/No Head Microhydro Solutions - more qq.



                First of all, thanks to those of you who responded to my naive questions
                on and off list. The responses were very enlightening and I appreciate
                your having the patience and taking the time to share your insights with
                me.

                Second, I'm amazed at how much you guys can glean from a couple of
                photos. While I don't understand all the calculations completely, I'm
                getting the impression I might be selling my stream a little short --
                and that's encouraging. I'm inspired now to do the careful measurements
                that will let me know for sure whether the numbers work.

                (Nando, regarding your point about stream configuration: yes, the
                streams do connect at the edge of my property to form a wider, deeper
                stream. My property is a 2-acre triangle with the three sides
                consisting of one road and two streams. Here is a topo map of it, which
                seems to indicate the head on either stream to be less than 10 feet --
                the distance between contour lines:
                http://www.chriscur rie.net/images/ Trouthouse% 20Topo%20Map. JPG
                <http://www.chriscur rie.net/images/ Trouthouse% 20Topo%20Map. JPG> )

                I have another question based on Nando's reply. I've been assuming that
                I would need to do the battery bank, and I have a little experience with
                that from helping a friend set up one at a remote camp in Michigan's
                Upper Peninsula, which is charged by a propane-fueled generator. So I'm
                familiar with the high cost of having to replace batteries every several
                years, and the occasional unreliability of the connection with the
                inverter.

                But it occurred to me today that since I have utility service to the
                house already, it seems possible that I could sell power back to the
                utility when I'm not using it, and then draw utility power when I need
                it during heavier use periods or for when the fridge comes on, etc. Is
                that so? Would that essentially obviate the need for the batteries?
                Also, I seem to recall I read that working out the link with the utility
                company involves more red tape that might make it more difficult to get
                the necessary approvals to construct the systm. Does anyone have any
                experience with this?

                I probably also need to talk to someone at the relevant Pennsylvania
                state and/or county agency. The Fish and Game Commission stocks both
                streams with trout right at the property line and I suspect that the
                authorities will cast a wary eye on any plans to draw water from the
                stream at that location. I would be interested in anyone's experience
                navigating the bureaucracy in a similar situation ...

                Thanks again and have a great week!

                Chris

                --- In microhydro@yahoogro ups.com, "Nando" <nando37@... > wrote:
                >
                > Chris:
                >
                > You may forget about the Ampair.
                > first you need to measure the water volume during the dry season and
                wet season to determine the volume, also careful measurements of the
                head along the length of your stream.
                >
                > since the stream carries fish, then you may be able to use not more
                than 25 % of the volume during the dry season, wet season of course
                higher volume.
                >
                > With a battery bank most probably you could attain your electric needs
                if the head is like you say, the photos seems to indicate a bit higher,
                though water is quite deceiving and I may be mistaken .
                >
                > You need to define both streams carefully and as well inform in detail
                the topography of both to determine if both do connect later or what --
                great detail will give you real and practical suggestions to your needed
                hydro solutions.
                >
                > one CFS = 28 liter/sec may produce around 250 watts or about 6 KWH/day
                that can supply practically all your energy needs if properly managed.
                >
                > Though if higher head indeed improves this power harvesting.
                >
                > I have known people that have gotten signed authorization to place a
                pipe up the stream to improve the head and reduce the water volume --
                with proper environment concerns resolved ( pipe under ground or under
                the stream) etc.
                >
                > Nando
                >
                >
                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: crcurrie
                > To: microhydro@yahoogro ups.com
                > Sent: Saturday, August 02, 2008 10:24 AM
                > Subject: [microhydro] Low/No Head Microhydro Solutions
                >
                >
                > (Warning: Newbie questions follow) I recently acquired a small
                > (2-acre) property bordered by two fast-moving streams, but not much
                fall
                > (see photo links below). I am exploring the feasibility of a
                microhydro
                > solution to furnish the electrical power for the house on my property
                > (lights, well pump, refrigerator, clothes washer, small appliances).
                > I am not an engineer and have no experience whatsoever with hydro
                power.
                > What I have done is search the Web and found information on microhydro
                > technologies such as low-head turbines, river current turbines, and
                > waterwheels. The information gathered so far has left me with many
                > questions. I have not yet calculated the potential head on my streams,
                > though it is safe to estimate that it is less than six feet. Neither
                > have I measured the stream flow. Since the property is compact and the
                > house located very close to the fastest moving stream, the
                transmission
                > distance would be small. In the estimation of the bright and
                > experienced minds on this listserv, is it even remotely possible that
                I
                > might achieve the goal of providing for all of my electric power needs
                > from my stream in a cost-effective fashion, or is it a pipe dream? (I
                > should say that I'm willing to spend a little more per kwh than I do
                > with my local utility in order to achieve some degree of energy
                > independence, but we are not a wealthy family.) One option I've begun
                > looking at is the Aquair generator, which seems attractive because it
                > requires no head nor diversion of the stream (advantageous from the
                > point of view of obtaining permits as well as environmental
                > stewardship) . However, several potential limitations present
                > themselves: low capacity for power generation; question of durability,
                > particularly mounted in a stream with its passing debris and floods;
                > potentially higher maintenance (we will not be resident at the
                property
                > continuously) ; question of winter hardiness; and susceptibility to
                theft
                > or vandalism (the streams are popular with trout anglers so they would
                > be encountered by many people). Waterwheels seem expensive and even
                > with a permanent magnet generator I'm not sure whether they can meet
                my
                > power needs. They also present potential civil engineering and
                > permitting challenges. If anyone has any recommendations on how I
                > might proceed on this quest, I'd be very grateful to hear them.
                > Strategies, feasibility research suggestions, vendor recommendations,
                > etc., all welcome. Thanks! Chris
                > http://flickr. com/photos/ crcurrie/ 2694275727/ sizes/l/
                > <http://flickr. com/photos/ crcurrie/ 2694275727/ sizes/l/>
                >
                http://flickr. com/photos/ crcurrie/ 2695090688/ sizes/l/in/ set-721576063271 \
                \
                > 19353/
                >
                <http://flickr. com/photos/ crcurrie/ 2695090688/ sizes/l/in/ set-72157606327\
                \
                > 119353/>
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



                Send instant messages to your online friends http://au.messenger.yahoo.com

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Nando
                Chris: topo map needs to really be checked well and the stream measured well to determine the head . Since the streams meet at the end of the property, it
                Message 7 of 8 , Aug 5 2:55 PM
                • 0 Attachment
                  Chris:

                  topo map needs to really be checked well and the stream measured well to determine the head .

                  Since the streams meet at the end of the property, it seems clear that the turbine needs to be there to have one turbine fed by two pipes, one from each stream.

                  You need to measure the head carefully to determine the upper head placement for the two pipe intakes to have a common level placement.

                  measurements of the stream volume to determine the necessary level taking in consideration that there are fishes in the streams.

                  6 feet = 1.8 meters and at least 120 liters total from both streams may produce around 1 to 1.2 KW of energy that if fed to the GRID you may have excess energy available, also using an induction motor as a generator ( cheapest cost) may be the answer for your aims.

                  Nando


                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: crcurrie
                  To: microhydro@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Sunday, August 03, 2008 10:07 PM
                  Subject: [microhydro] Re: Low/No Head Microhydro Solutions - more qq.



                  First of all, thanks to those of you who responded to my naive questions
                  on and off list. The responses were very enlightening and I appreciate
                  your having the patience and taking the time to share your insights with
                  me.

                  Second, I'm amazed at how much you guys can glean from a couple of
                  photos. While I don't understand all the calculations completely, I'm
                  getting the impression I might be selling my stream a little short --
                  and that's encouraging. I'm inspired now to do the careful measurements
                  that will let me know for sure whether the numbers work.

                  (Nando, regarding your point about stream configuration: yes, the
                  streams do connect at the edge of my property to form a wider, deeper
                  stream. My property is a 2-acre triangle with the three sides
                  consisting of one road and two streams. Here is a topo map of it, which
                  seems to indicate the head on either stream to be less than 10 feet --
                  the distance between contour lines:
                  http://www.chriscurrie.net/images/Trouthouse%20Topo%20Map.JPG
                  <http://www.chriscurrie.net/images/Trouthouse%20Topo%20Map.JPG> )

                  I have another question based on Nando's reply. I've been assuming that
                  I would need to do the battery bank, and I have a little experience with
                  that from helping a friend set up one at a remote camp in Michigan's
                  Upper Peninsula, which is charged by a propane-fueled generator. So I'm
                  familiar with the high cost of having to replace batteries every several
                  years, and the occasional unreliability of the connection with the
                  inverter.

                  But it occurred to me today that since I have utility service to the
                  house already, it seems possible that I could sell power back to the
                  utility when I'm not using it, and then draw utility power when I need
                  it during heavier use periods or for when the fridge comes on, etc. Is
                  that so? Would that essentially obviate the need for the batteries?
                  Also, I seem to recall I read that working out the link with the utility
                  company involves more red tape that might make it more difficult to get
                  the necessary approvals to construct the systm. Does anyone have any
                  experience with this?

                  I probably also need to talk to someone at the relevant Pennsylvania
                  state and/or county agency. The Fish and Game Commission stocks both
                  streams with trout right at the property line and I suspect that the
                  authorities will cast a wary eye on any plans to draw water from the
                  stream at that location. I would be interested in anyone's experience
                  navigating the bureaucracy in a similar situation ...

                  Thanks again and have a great week!

                  Chris

                  --- In microhydro@yahoogroups.com, "Nando" <nando37@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Chris:
                  >
                  > You may forget about the Ampair.
                  > first you need to measure the water volume during the dry season and
                  wet season to determine the volume, also careful measurements of the
                  head along the length of your stream.
                  >
                  > since the stream carries fish, then you may be able to use not more
                  than 25 % of the volume during the dry season, wet season of course
                  higher volume.
                  >
                  > With a battery bank most probably you could attain your electric needs
                  if the head is like you say, the photos seems to indicate a bit higher,
                  though water is quite deceiving and I may be mistaken .
                  >
                  > You need to define both streams carefully and as well inform in detail
                  the topography of both to determine if both do connect later or what --
                  great detail will give you real and practical suggestions to your needed
                  hydro solutions.
                  >
                  > one CFS = 28 liter/sec may produce around 250 watts or about 6 KWH/day
                  that can supply practically all your energy needs if properly managed.
                  >
                  > Though if higher head indeed improves this power harvesting.
                  >
                  > I have known people that have gotten signed authorization to place a
                  pipe up the stream to improve the head and reduce the water volume --
                  with proper environment concerns resolved ( pipe under ground or under
                  the stream) etc.
                  >
                  > Nando
                  >
                  >
                  > ----- Original Message -----
                  > From: crcurrie
                  > To: microhydro@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Saturday, August 02, 2008 10:24 AM
                  > Subject: [microhydro] Low/No Head Microhydro Solutions
                  >
                  >
                  > (Warning: Newbie questions follow) I recently acquired a small
                  > (2-acre) property bordered by two fast-moving streams, but not much
                  fall
                  > (see photo links below). I am exploring the feasibility of a
                  microhydro
                  > solution to furnish the electrical power for the house on my property
                  > (lights, well pump, refrigerator, clothes washer, small appliances).
                  > I am not an engineer and have no experience whatsoever with hydro
                  power.
                  > What I have done is search the Web and found information on microhydro
                  > technologies such as low-head turbines, river current turbines, and
                  > waterwheels. The information gathered so far has left me with many
                  > questions. I have not yet calculated the potential head on my streams,
                  > though it is safe to estimate that it is less than six feet. Neither
                  > have I measured the stream flow. Since the property is compact and the
                  > house located very close to the fastest moving stream, the
                  transmission
                  > distance would be small. In the estimation of the bright and
                  > experienced minds on this listserv, is it even remotely possible that
                  I
                  > might achieve the goal of providing for all of my electric power needs
                  > from my stream in a cost-effective fashion, or is it a pipe dream? (I
                  > should say that I'm willing to spend a little more per kwh than I do
                  > with my local utility in order to achieve some degree of energy
                  > independence, but we are not a wealthy family.) One option I've begun
                  > looking at is the Aquair generator, which seems attractive because it
                  > requires no head nor diversion of the stream (advantageous from the
                  > point of view of obtaining permits as well as environmental
                  > stewardship). However, several potential limitations present
                  > themselves: low capacity for power generation; question of durability,
                  > particularly mounted in a stream with its passing debris and floods;
                  > potentially higher maintenance (we will not be resident at the
                  property
                  > continuously); question of winter hardiness; and susceptibility to
                  theft
                  > or vandalism (the streams are popular with trout anglers so they would
                  > be encountered by many people). Waterwheels seem expensive and even
                  > with a permanent magnet generator I'm not sure whether they can meet
                  my
                  > power needs. They also present potential civil engineering and
                  > permitting challenges. If anyone has any recommendations on how I
                  > might proceed on this quest, I'd be very grateful to hear them.
                  > Strategies, feasibility research suggestions, vendor recommendations,
                  > etc., all welcome. Thanks! Chris
                  > http://flickr.com/photos/crcurrie/2694275727/sizes/l/
                  > <http://flickr.com/photos/crcurrie/2694275727/sizes/l/>
                  >
                  http://flickr.com/photos/crcurrie/2695090688/sizes/l/in/set-721576063271\
                  \
                  > 19353/
                  >
                  <http://flickr.com/photos/crcurrie/2695090688/sizes/l/in/set-72157606327\
                  \
                  > 119353/>
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]





                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • ferrand
                  Have a look at these: Barge mounted water wheels, for use on large rivers, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/riverats/ I have a comprehensive recent paper on this
                  Message 8 of 8 , Aug 5 4:22 PM
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Have a look at these:

                    Barge mounted water wheels, for use on large rivers,
                    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/riverats/
                    I have a comprehensive recent paper on this technoology if you want it.
                    [original inventor Gen Belisarius at Rome 550 AD. !!]

                    Low head vortex plant
                    http://www.zotloeterer.com/our_company/water_vortex_engineering/water_vortex_power_plant.php

                    Good research establishment in UK, has links with Germany
                    http://www.energy.soton.ac.uk/hydro/waterwheels.html

                    another low head device [Archimedian screw] www.RITZ-ATRO.de
                    regards
                    Ferrand


                    Re: Low/No Head Microhydro Solutions
                    Posted by: "Carlos Bonifetti D." cbonifetti@... cebondiet
                    Date: Mon Aug 4, 2008 11:26 pm ((PDT))

                    Chris,
                    As photos said, water depth is too low and you have very low head at the river (about 6 feet?), so it's very difficult and expensive to try harness hydraulic energy from that flow.
                    Local utility service will be the best way at your site.

                    Regards,
                    Carlos
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