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water wheel replacement ideas?  RSS feed

 
Elwin Key
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Hello all. New here. I hope to be able to learn (and possibly teach a few things) about hydro power for the small user.
I have a stream on my property with a measured volume of 3.1 cfs. during nominal flow. I have a usable head of 19'4" to the stream bed 17'4" to the bottom of the water wheel.
I am trying to decide whether to replace the (defunct) waterwheel with the same 14'x4' (wooden wheel) or to go with a 16'x3' wheel (steel of course).
Any thoughts?
 
Peter Mckinlay
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Elwin Key]

Undershot stall bladed is the next most efficient water wheel. Pelton wheel is 82% efficient.
 
Marcos Buenijo
pollinator
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Location: Southwest U.S.
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Elwin Key wrote:Hello all. New here. I hope to be able to learn (and possibly teach a few things) about hydro power for the small user.
I have a stream on my property with a measured volume of 3.1 cfs. during nominal flow. I have a usable head of 19'4" to the stream bed 17'4" to the bottom of the water wheel.
I am trying to decide whether to replace the (defunct) waterwheel with the same 14'x4' (wooden wheel) or to go with a 16'x3' wheel (steel of course).
Any thoughts?


Whatever gets the job done at the lowest long term cost. Question: have you put the (now defunct) water wheel to use in the past? If so, then please let us know some details on your set up. You've got enough power there for a home. You are very lucky.

Pics please!

If you're considering water wheels that are available for purchase, then please provide links if they're available.
 
Elwin Key
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The old wooden wheel was 14'x4'. It was built and used by my dad for about 10 yrs to generate electricity (32V DC) to light the house and power the phone between Dad's and my grandfathers house (About 1/2 mile on the other side of the farm). Dad also used the waterwheel to power a grist mill, and a sawmill for a few years.
I am in the process of restoring the mill. I have the iron works (pulleys, shafts, gears, etc),the grist mill, a corn sheller, and a cut-off saw he used when building the wheel.
I restored the mill pond in 1990, but am just now getting around to replacing the mill-house and water wheel.
I also plan to re-install an axial permenant magnet generator and inverter. I have calculated approx 4kw constantly assuming normal stream flow.
Yes I have some pictures. but not the old pics...sorry. Most of my pics are of the dismantling of the millhouse and the restoration of the wooden millpond dam.
Thanks for your response! Hope to talk a lot more!

the-old-mill.jpg
[Thumbnail for the-old-mill.jpg]
 
C. Letellier
Posts: 228
Location: Greybull WY north central WY zone 4 bordering on 3
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A straight water wheel is probably your best bet. You don't really have enough fall for a water turbine, pelton wheel or even and undershot wheel to work effectively.

Now I will suggest a possible different building material. Growing up a family friend had a rock tumbler made out of a car tire. It had plywood sides and was powered over a ditch by undershot paddles bolted to the outside of the tire. This leads to the 2nd piece. The neighbor buys mine truck tires to make stock water tanks. Those are probably not quite 12 feet in diameter nearly 4 feet wide. Those 2 things combined leads me to ask could you build a water wheel out of tires? Use a big mine truck tire as the wheel itself. Then use a fairly deep wide tire of about the right size cut in half on the radius line bolted to it as the buckets.(drag racing slicks maybe) With stainless bolts you could probably build a wheel that would still be in use in 100 years. In the middle of the big tire a steel frame work of spokes and axle for it to turn on. The steel would be fairly well sheltered by the tire so properly painted it should rust slowly. A couple baffles built inside the tire would make it so it pumped itself out of any water that did get in. Likely you would need an adjusting system in the spokes to get it centered and and if you could run spreader bars from inside bead to inside bead you could make the bead area wider than the tread to improve how the big tire shed water.
 
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