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Raintorm runoff powering turbines?  RSS feed

 
Jeremy Stocks
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Is this a crazy idea or has someone tried it?

When it rains here in Bavaria the rain rund off my roof, along the gutter then off the end into a barrel. Sometimes the stroms are so ferocious that there is a powerful jet of water falling down into the barrel, sometimes even missing it, but that's another issue I need to think about.

Is it possible to make small amounts of electricity from this source?
 
paul wheaton
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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It is possible. 

The trick is ....  micro hydro pays off because the power goes on and on and on and on - never stopping.  Generally there isn't a lot of power, but what there is can be collected 24x365.  Therefore, your rain catchment where you have enough to turn a generator might be less than 2% of the time. 

 
Jeremy Stocks
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What I reckon is that homes of the future need not just one solution like wind or solar but need to be fitted with several microVolt generators coupled with reduced energy demand to meet the supply.
 
Neal McSpadden
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This is true in all things permaculture.  Accomplish a task in several different ways to build in redundancy.  It isn't less efficient because each thing is also doing several tasks.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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Location: Oakland, CA
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It may be tricky to produce enough back-pressure to power your turbine (water wheel?) but not so much that your gutters overflow.  An electronic system might allow for easier adjustments and more intricate feedback.

I guess what you want is a robotic gargoyle.  But not one of these...

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