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Costs of hydro (and others...): personal or common devices?  RSS feed

 
Xisca Nicolas
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Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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I put it all down at once, and then I promise I let room for others!
(joking, there is room for everyone...)

I used "cheap", then I read "low cost"...
It is all about costs and benefits.
What is worthwhile?
First, I thought about personal investments...

Then, I thought about my neighbors... I am in a VERY quiet place, but at the moment a diesel motor is on somewhere up hill...

At the moment I rely on grid totally. Some neighbors are STILL off-grid (waiting for it) and have photovoltaic and wind ...and batteries.
They hated the cost when they had to change them... and also hated the environment impact.

They also hate the cost of fuel when some extra power is needed. Their need of power actually cost them more than being on-grid!
Is a personal energy production a luxury?
Can it cost less?
(I mean now, and obviously we also need solutions for the future)

If I go deep into what I wanted to know when I started to think about cost, I think this is my real concern:
Pros and cons about having personal or common devices?

My neighbors are mostly alternative persons, that is why they settled in a place away from the village, and they think that energy cost them more off-grid than on-grid, and that the need of batteries makes it all costly for the environment...
Of course, we are in an island and all our electricity comes from one place, and is made from petrol... All coming with boats... So the real cost is difficult to estimate.

Be it with a renewable source of energy, what is worthwhile?
Big hydro, big wind mills?
Or many small personal ones?
 
Cj Sloane
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Permaculture tends to favor small, decentralized solutions.

I'm off grid with solar. I have hydro potential for 8 months of the year. 20 years later we still haven't done anything with it. It's on the "honey-do" list and in the mean time the honey has become a master plumber! I think the hitch is that I'm the researcher and it's just not quite as plug n play as solar.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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I have found some informations...

"a 400-watt system would typically cost $4,000 to $6,000, broken out like this: turbine, $700-1,000; batteries, $800-1,600; solidstate inverter and load controller, $1,200-2,000; transmission line and other electrical equipment, $500- 1,000. To this, add the price of penstock pipe (in some systems, the largest single cost) and of the intake, powerhouse, and labor.

Once you've bought a system, "fuel" is free. Since hydro systems are very reliable, annual maintenance costs should be $100 or less. But plan on replacing the batteries every decade or so.

Smaller systems are less expensive. A weekend cabin setup might run $800 to $1,500. And if you already own a wind power or PV system, adding a hydro turbine to help charge your batteries can cost as little as $400."

Can the "free" of freedom be included into "costless"?
The price of the El hierro project I have made a topic upon is so huge....

Yes cj, in theory we want small, but just because we feel quite powerless about big.
Which does not mean that big is bad of course.
When you add all the little individual "machines", it might cost more to the environment than the big one for more people!!

Of course we need both, of course some people are just far away from the grid...
I just wonder what costs less....
 
Cj Sloane
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Xisca Nicolas wrote:And if you already own a wind power or PV system, adding a hydro turbine to help charge your batteries can cost as little as $400."


Do you have a link for that? The least expensive turbine I've seen is more like $1200 not counting DIY. Even then a pelton wheel is like $500.
 
Xisca Nicolas
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Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Well, I was reading http://www.motherearthnews.com

You can also put links with prices, that can be useful.
 
Scott L. Davis
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I do not think that batteries should be shunned because of their environmental impact. Actually, the battery recycling process is well established and is a model for other s.

I lived in a remote area for decades and it was all the driving around we had to do that was our main environmental impact for sure...

Where available, microhydro can be the best choice of alternative energy sources because it can be powerful, reliable and very very clean.

Here's an interesting company that makes low head turbines:

powerpal.com

cheers,

Scotty
 
Xisca Nicolas
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The El Hierro island project is about 6000€/person for a common project (all the island's grid)
It will also desalt water for drinking.

So we can say that a personal project can be cheaper.

BUT as not all people in a definite place live exactly where it is suitable for installing it personally, I think this is good.
Especially because the place is really really dry!

The Canaries have no river, no creek, except some running water during rain storms.
 
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