thomas rubino wrote:
Your water has potential to make all the power you could ever want.
Piping it to a permanent magnet alternator or even better an A/C turbine and then letting the waste water spill over your wheel could be an option. The wheel would spin but your power would not be reliant on gearing.
To utilize the wheel itself, would require chains and or gearing. It would be hazardous to be standing near.
Jeremy Baker wrote:Interesting design challenge you have. I’ll be blunt and to the point but I have good news. But first forget generating electricity from the waterwheel!. It looks good the way it is. Ive gone over and over the subject with a expert and it’s not worth doing power from waterwheels! Minuscule amount of power are generated. Big disappointment, you've been misled though likely not intentionally. Lots of people wishfully think lots of power can be generated from a waterwheel. I did lol.
If you need or want electricity to live there I think you have great low head pick hydro potential!!. The lower waterfall is 13.28 feet. That enough head. This type of hydro is a small investment and might not need permits at all. The water is falling over the waterfall anyway. Combined with a few solar panels you can run a small homestead. For about $1000 a small low head picohydro can be installed. Maybe have one on the upper and lower waterfall??
Thomas is spot on that the system costs can add up. But if the picohydro works then you’re battery can be much smaller than if using solar panels alone. That’s a big savings. I would try some cheap inverters and charge controllers and have about $3000 in everything including batteries. Then if the government says to remove it I would get more solar panels and put the low head hydro back as soon as they leave lol.
Have fun playing in the water. If I was nearer I’d help. It’s a great site.
tel jetson wrote:this looks like a lot of fun. I agree with the others: water wheels are beautiful and have a lovely nostalgic effect. they aren't the best for maximizing your power, though.
55 feet is a lot of head. a bigger pipe will have smaller head loss, though it will also be more expensive and difficult to work with. avoiding sharp bends will also help. if you want to calculate this stuff exactly, you can do it with the Darcy-Weisbach equation and a Moody Diagram. the Hazen-Williams equation is quite a bit easier and probably more than accurate enough for your purposes.
in case you don't have enough dreams already, consider direct power, too: https://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2013/08/direct-hydropower.html
Jeremy Baker wrote:There’s a Italian hydro seller on eBay for years. They are selling a interesting low head unit currently that looks interesting. I’d need to do further study to see if it’s a good unit for the site
This one takes a lot of flow. Have you done a flow measurement yet?:
S. Bard wrote:Any chance you could help me crack the numbers on that calculation? Could you perhaps explain what variables I’d need to measure in this situation, so I can take them as exactly as possible next time I go out to the site.
S. Bard wrote:As for your link to the direct hydro power: I did consider that option if hydro-electricity turned out to be a dud. In fact I was considering powering a pottery wheel with it if nothing else was possible. I throw a decent pot!
The shaft of the wheel comes out into an area that needs to be used as a living space, so we can use a small area to dedicate to some sort of use for the wheel, but we can’t install a sawmill for example.
thomas rubino wrote:
The waterfall. In a rule free world we would place a large container (55 gal barrel) to catch as much of the main flow, then pipe it to the house. A 100 gal a minute with 25' of head will give us 300 watts of power. That is enough to work with.
Here is another chart showing apx flow rates with different size pipes. https://www.hy-techroofdrains.com/water-flow-through-a-pipe
If we can fill a 4" pipe and keep it filled ... from the Bottom of the big water fall to your house it should flow over 240 gpm that is a water volume we can work with AND plenty to dump over the wheel.
Getting a 4" hard pipe from the waterfall to the yard is the problem. 4" flex pipe would be cost prohibitive. You might make two 2" flex pipes come down and join into a 4" or 6" hard line.
You would need to experiment to see if we can get that much water down to the house.
Oh and no use hoping to use the total fall at the foot of your property ... without an A/C producing turbine. We could not get enough 12 volt power back up to the house. Line loss of low voltage D/C is very high..
S Bengi wrote:
There is already a aqueduct from the waterfall/river to the mill. So that means you already have permission to use it. I would just run the pipe thru/alongside that to the house and then to the lowest point on the property. If they ever ask you question you just have to say it has always been this way where I took 2/3rd 0f the river water for the mill, it has just been spruced-up.
I recommend getting a 4inch pipe, it is the recommended size for a 4 nozzle hydro-eletric setup and it perfect for your 100gpm to 300gpm flow rate. In the wet season with 3x the flow your produce 3x as much electric, you can sell it to the grid or use the excess energy to dehydrate produce with powerful fans for airflow.
Jeremy Baker wrote: a smaller poly pipe and a cheaper turbine such as Powerspout or a Chinese turbine might suffice?.
Is it relatively easy to get to the waterfall? Can you take a picture of at the top of the waterfall? If it was me I’d be looking for ways to spend time playing in that waterfall trying out various low head turbines. And not need to run pipe. But that could change. I would even consider doing both low head and high head micro hydro.
One nice thing about Springs is they usually don’t change flow quickly or drastically. But streams can be the opposite. Does that stream flood much or is it steady? Every stream has a character and upstream activities, topography, and weather events (such as ‘rain on snow event’) cause a ripple effect on stream flow. This can lead to problems with the intake. Very carefully study and thought goes into intake designs. Many microhydro systems have been abandoned because the intake gets compromised repeatedly. There are special stainless steel screens available now that have all but eliminated the intake clogging problem. But flood damage is another story. A simple wooden temporary intake or barrel intake might get taken out by high flow. Concrete and rocks hold up better. A lot of people place a settling barrel in penstock line a few feet below the intake to settle out silt and sand. This greatly reduces sediment build up in the penstock and abrasive wear on the turbine.
Does the Italian government have a water guage on that stream somewhere. Is the stream named?
thomas rubino wrote:Hi S;
Line loss on A/C is minimal. That much I do know.
With your flow and the added drop to the foot of the property you can certainly spin a turbine.
The ebay seller in Italia, with the actual metal wheel and the pretty representation of a turbine, could be a good fit in that location.
Did you ever attempt to contact him? Maybe your interpreter friend could make the call for you?
Unfortunately , I know next to nothing about the proper way to wire/use that power once it is at the house.
Good news is no battery's or inverter needed.