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Re: "Green" uses for hydro-electricity? Suggestions?

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  • DaveHempstead
    Hi Bob, Where can I learn more about using a turbine to drive a compressor. I live on a river in Maine USA, and spend more on heating than on electricity
    Message 1 of 48 , Oct 31, 2006
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      Hi Bob,
      Where can I learn more about using a turbine to drive a
      compressor. I live on a river in Maine USA, and spend more on
      heating than on electricity (I've been trying to figure out how to
      generate electricity from the river to generate electric heat). The
      river is tidal, and has relatively slow flow (0.3 to 0.6 M/sec) but
      I can get large volumes. Do compressors require certain speeds to
      turn? Can they provide loads based upon the force the turbine
      provides?
      My river gets as low as 40F in the winter (5C) and if I could
      generate 45C bathwater I would be very happy. I would have to pipe
      it about 100 meters to my home, that that could be done.
      So where can I learn more about driving a compressor?

      Thanks,
      Dave



      --- In microhydro@yahoogroups.com, bobmagi@... wrote:
      >
      > Peter,
      >
      > It might be worth the bureaucratic hassle to sell it to the power
      grid, but another possibility is to couple the turbine to an open
      drive refrigeration compressor at the dam site, use the creek water
      as a heat sink or heat source, and multiply the 40 kW by a
      coefficient of performance (COP) of 3 to 5 to get up to 200 kW of
      hot water for a large hot springs bathhouse next to the greenhouse,
      or make 20+ tons of ice per day in the summertime.
      >
      > One advantage of a hydro turbine driven compressor is that it
      doesn't require closely regulated speed, and doesn't have the cost
      or efficiency losses of a generator and motor combination.
      >
      > Bob Maginnis
      >
    • Barclay Labs
      Hi Nando, The fiberglass cloth sounds like a good substitute for asbestos cloth that was originally called for. I have not built the full cell yet, just a
      Message 48 of 48 , Nov 9, 2006
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        Hi Nando,

        The fiberglass cloth sounds like a good substitute for asbestos cloth that
        was originally called for. I have not built the full cell yet, just a test
        cell with two tall jugs, a tube connecting them on the bottom and Stainless
        Steel Mesh anode and cathode. Same voltages.

        The needle torch sounds very interesting. I use Hydrogen/Oxygen for glass
        blowing and my present torch is quite small, the usage rate does not require
        spending the money on tank rental charges.

        David

        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "Nando" <nando37@...>
        To: <microhydro@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2006 8:55 PM
        Subject: Re: [microhydro] Re: GREEN (non-nuclear) HYDROGEN?


        >I built several units many years ago, since I could not afford acetylene
        >and oxygen tanks
        >
        > I made torches from about 0.010 diameter Using injection needles, to about
        > 1/4 - 3/8 inch flames for brazing.
        >
        > I had fine fiberglass cloth as a separator-- my electrodes were nickel
        > plates and the voltage was set to 2.4 to 2.7 volts/cell up to about 12
        > cells in series with self pressure set by the power source and the gas
        > drawn, quite effective.
        >
        > What type of membranes did you use ?. Please detail .
        >
        > Nando
        >
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: Barclay Labs
        > To: microhydro@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Wednesday, November 08, 2006 3:51 PM
        > Subject: Re: [microhydro] Re: GREEN (non-nuclear) HYDROGEN?
        >
        >
        > Sorry, misunderstood your question.
        > The gases from the cathode and anode are kept separate by water permeable
        > membranes, which lead the bubbles to a collection caps, to which the
        > membranes are sealed.
        >
        > A demonstration cell in glass is a very nice tool to work out amp
        > densities
        > and overvoltage. Two tall beakers with a tube running from one to the
        > other
        > at the bottom and two pieces of Stainless Steel Mesh connected to your DC
        > source with a variable transformer. Use some rubber gloves connected with
        > rubber bands to the beakers to collect the gases.
        >
        > David
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: "Nando" <nando37@...>
        > To: <microhydro@yahoogroups.com>
        > Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2006 8:21 PM
        > Subject: Re: [microhydro] Re: GREEN (non-nuclear) HYDROGEN?
        >
        > >I meant really how do You separate the Oxygen with the equipment you
        > made,
        > > detail
        > >
        > > Nando
        > >
        > > ----- Original Message -----
        > > From: "Barclay Labs" <barclay@...>
        > > To: <microhydro@yahoogroups.com>
        > > Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2006 2:15 PM
        > > Subject: Re: [microhydro] Re: GREEN (non-nuclear) HYDROGEN?
        > >
        > >
        > >> Nando,
        > >> Well, one use is when one is really hung over, suck on the oxygen till
        > >> the
        > >> headache is gone.
        > >>
        > >> One could also use to gases in a Hydrox torch. Much cleaner welds than
        > >> acetylene/ox.
        > >> David
        > >> ----- Original Message -----
        > >> From: "Nando" <nando37@...>
        > >> To: <microhydro@yahoogroups.com>
        > >> Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2006 7:12 AM
        > >> Subject: Re: [microhydro] Re: GREEN (non-nuclear) HYDROGEN?
        > >>
        > >>
        > >>> And what do you do with the Oxygen ?.
        > >>>
        > >>> Nando
        > >>>
        > >>> ----- Original Message -----
        > >>> From: "David" <barclay@...>
        > >>> To: <microhydro@yahoogroups.com>
        > >>> Sent: Monday, November 06, 2006 10:31 PM
        > >>> Subject: [microhydro] Re: GREEN (non-nuclear) HYDROGEN?
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>> The so-called unipolar cell consists essentially of alternate metal
        > >>>> cathodes and anodes, which possess not more than 20 square feet of
        > >>>> surface each, suspended close together in a rectangular tank
        > >>>> containing the electrolyte. The latter is a 25-30% solution of
        > >>>> sodium or potassium hydroxide.
        > >>>>
        > >>>> Usually each cell contains only a few electrodes, as few as three
        > >>>> and hence the cells are deep and narrow, limited to production
        > >>>> capacity of 20 to 200 cubic feet per hour each at the customary
        > >>>> current density of 75 amperes per square foot.
        > >>>>
        > >>>> Diaphragms of liquid permeable material placed between the
        > >>>> electrodes divert the gases without intermixing to collecting
        > >>>> chambers. The cell is not allowed to warm above 170*F.
        > >>>>
        > >>>> It is a preferred method because of the high purity of the hydrogen,
        > >>>> and when production needs are low and CHEAP HYDROELECTRIC POWER IS
        > >>>> AVAILABLE.
        > >>>>
        > >>>> David Green
        > >>>>
        > >>>> --- In microhydro@yahoogroups.com, john lee <mmm9_11_57@...> wrote:
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>> Dear Mr. Oso,
        > >>>>> Thank you for your time.
        > >>>>> You seem to know what you are talking about.
        > >>>>> If I understand, you are saying that 48 kwh per day ( .5 kw per
        > >>>> hour) would produce about a kilo of hydrogen a day. Is that right?
        > >>>>> How would it be possible to store the gas? Hydride? Some
        > >>>> compression? Would it be practical to store a day's production?
        > >>>>> It looks like microhydro produced hydrogen for home
        > >>>> consumption might be a good deal in some situations. (Perhaps this
        > >>>> would be a good "alternative energy" project at the university
        > >>>> level).
        > >>>>> Does the hydrogen/ox generating unit produce its own pressure?
        > >>>>> It would seem that the gas could be carried a relatively long
        > >>>> distance in a thin plastic tube.
        > >>>>> Would a kilo a day of hydrogen be sufficient to heat a regular
        > >>>> sized house in a cold winter? And cook and refrigerate as well?
        > >>>> Would it be practical to run excess gas, (if any), into fuel cells
        > >>>> to get electricity enough for lights and comunication?
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>> It would be nice to find some specific info on all this.
        > >>>>> Does the electricity going into the unit have to be governed
        > >>>> precisely? What is the ideal voltage? Will the gas producing unit be
        > >>>> ruined if not carefully used?
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>> I wonder if anybody knows of a situation where hydrogen is
        > >>>> being produced and used like this?
        > >>>>> Please let me show you another letter for your comments:
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>> Hello, John Lee:
        > >>>>> Generating hydrogen from a microhydro plant is something I'm
        > >>>>> particularly interested in, and although my hydro project is still
        > >>>>> under
        > >>>>> construction, I have done some research and come up with some
        > >>>> ideas you
        > >>>>> might want to consider:
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>> 1) Potassium hydroxide can be used as an electrolyte. It is
        > >>>> cheaper
        > >>>>> than such chemicals as sulfuric acid and works better with
        > >>>> electrodes
        > >>>>> and containment that aren't made of noble metals. Large scale
        > >>>>> industrial electrolysis of water often uses KOH cells and there is
        > >>>>> literature on the subject.
        > >>>>> 2) Electrolysis is more efficient at warmer temperatures and at
        > >>>> higher
        > >>>>> pressure. The higher pressure keeps the bubble size smaller and
        > >>>> gets
        > >>>>> more production from a given area of electrode.
        > >>>>> 3) At your powerhouse you have a free supply of pressurized water
        > >>>> in
        > >>>>> your penstock. With a little thought, you should be able to
        > >>>> design an
        > >>>>> electrolysis chamber that is connected (via check valve or
        > >>>> backflow
        > >>>>> preventer) to the penstock, and which pipes the produced H2 and O2
        > >>>> to
        > >>>>> respective collecting tanks. The produced gases will be at
        > >>>> penstock
        > >>>>> pressure, which may be all you need for storage. In my case I
        > >>>> will be
        > >>>>> producing gas at 225 psi which I think I can store (carefully, in
        > >>>> a
        > >>>>> safe
        > >>>>> place) in 100 lb propane tanks.
        > >>>>> 4) The dangers of hydrogen gas are generally exaggerated, but in
        > >>>> fact
        > >>>>> are low compared to natural gas and propane. It is an extremely
        > >>>> low
        > >>>>> viscosity gas which tends to escape (upward) from any enclosure
        > >>>> that is
        > >>>>> not tightly sealed. If it is to be used for cooking indoors, some
        > >>>> care
        > >>>>> should be given to detecting and eliminating leaks and possibly
        > >>>> venting
        > >>>>> outdoors if there is doubt about them. Hydrogen burns invisibly,
        > >>>> so if
        > >>>>> used in a modified range top (the jets must be made smaller) it is
        > >>>>> helpful to let the burning gas pass through steel wool so the
        > >>>> glowing
        > >>>>> steel will identify the flame. A little salt (NaCl) can be
        > >>>> sprinkled
        > >>>>> on
        > >>>>> the burner from time to time to create a yellow flame.
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>> Those are just a few thoughts. If you have questions or
        > >>>>> suggestions
        > >>>>> (such as, what to do with the oxygen), feel free to contact me.
        > >>>>> Regards,
        > >>>>> Don Scarlett
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>> [input] [input] [input] [input] [input] [input]
        > >>>> [input] [input]
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>> oso954 <oso954@...> wrote:
        > >>>>> --- In microhydro@yahoogroups.com, bobmagi@ wrote:
        > >>>>> >
        > >>>>> > "If we had 400 pounds of water in the barrel, and all the watyr
        > >>>> was
        > >>>>> consumed to rust the steel, and H2O is one hydrogen part to two
        > >>>> parts
        > >>>>> oxygen, and each oxygen weighs 16 to hydrogen at 1, then the
        > >>>> hydrogen
        > >>>>> is one out of 33. So one 33rd of 400 pounds of water is twelve
        > >>>>> pounds of hydrogen for all that effort."
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>> H2O is two parts hydrogen to one part oxygen and I have never seen
        > >>>>> all the water used to rust the steel. Water will evaporate far
        > >>>>> quicker than it will be consumed. Your calculation of 12 pounds of
        > >>>> H2
        > >>>>> is very excessive.
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>> The earlier estimate of 11-15 cubic meters of H2 from 48kwh also
        > >>>>> appears a little on the high side to me. I would expect something
        > >>>> in
        > >>>>> the range of 53-60kWh per kilo of hydrogen, depending on the
        > >>>>> efficiency of your electrolyzer and the pressure that you store it
        > >>>>> at.
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>> A kilo of H2 is 11.2 cubic meters, and it contains the equivalent
        > >>>> of
        > >>>>> 33.5 kWh. So, you would be getting a net storage in the range of
        > >>>> 55-
        > >>>>> 63 percent of your energy.
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>> Oso
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>> ---------------------------------
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        > >>
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