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Where to start with multi modal gridded power set ups  RSS feed

 
william lane
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Hi! first post! love the site and have lurked around greatly to my benefit. RMH's are in the pipe line on the farm. The farm being the point of this post. I have moved back to the family farm, which is blessed with a natural spring. It flowed 250 gal an hour in the worst drought in 20 years and tops out over 500. It never freezes and has an approximated 9 horse power with ~10 foot of drop. There are definite plans to chase the spring up the base of the hill it flows out of to increase that drop, at which point we will begin to capture that power.

Any advice on hydro power set ups?

The intention is to use direct drive mechanical power to run various goodies in a shop. When there are no drills to be pressed or bans to be sawed it is our intent to use the same mechanical drive to turn a power generator. It is further our intention to include solar and wind into the mix. There is power at the spring, so the possibility to feed power back into the grid is tempting as well. I am seeking advice on a wide range of topics with this endeavor.

Any one set up better than another for gridded systems?
Any brands of power controllers better than others? Is there a capacity size to be considered?
Are these systems scale-able? If we are not prepared to invest in the whole wind solar additions would it be better to start small and use several separate units?

Univ of Illinois has a 15 foot deep greenhouse, which supports tropical plants. This is on the dream list as well. Any advice on battery banks and storage capacity to heat a 40'x200' 15' embanked tropical green house? I understand that "how much to heat xyz" is way to vague and involves many variables I have not supplied. We are starting at the spring and working out from there. The goal is to have a system we can add to 500$ at a time and scale out to friggn huge.

Any advice would be appreciated.

thanks

william
 
Marcos Buenijo
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william lane wrote:Hi! first post! love the site and have lurked around greatly to my benefit. RMH's are in the pipe line on the farm. The farm being the point of this post. I have moved back to the family farm, which is blessed with a natural spring. It flowed 250 gal an hour in the worst drought in 20 years and tops out over 500. It never freezes and has an approximated 9 horse power with ~10 foot of drop. There are definite plans to chase the spring up the base of the hill it flows out of to increase that drop, at which point we will begin to capture that power.


Respectfully, please check the figures you present here as 500 gph over a 10 foot drop represents a very small fraction of 9 hp. The last thing you need is unrealistic expectations.
 
william lane
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thanks. I figure all my numbers could be off. I'm just parroting what I was told by the engineer next door. It didn't really match what i have read else where on this and other sites, hence the open invite for advice . I have no expectations other than water will turn a wheel and i will build out from there. Maybe he meant if we get another 15 of drop chasing the exit up the hill? 25 foot of drop at 500 gal make 9 horse?

william
 
Marcos Buenijo
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william lane wrote:thanks. I figure all my numbers could be off. I'm just parroting what I was told by the engineer next door. It didn't really match what i have read else where on this and other sites, hence the open invite for advice . I have no expectations other than water will turn a wheel and i will build out from there. Maybe he meant if we get another 15 of drop chasing the exit up the hill? 25 foot of drop at 500 gal make 9 horse?

william


You can figure this yourself by knowing the underlying definitions.

One hp is 550 foot pounds per second. If you harness the energy of 550 pounds of water falling a vertical distance of one foot, then this is 550 foot pounds of work energy. If you can deliver this quantity of energy at continual rate of one second (i.e. 550 foot pounds per second), then you'll have one hp.

A gallon of water weighs 8.35 pounds. So, if you have 500 gallons per hour, then you have (500)(8.35) = about 4180 pounds of water per hour. If this water falls over 25 vertical feet, then you have (25)(4180) = about 105,000 foot pounds of work over a period of one hour. Since there are 3600 seconds in each hour, then this provides (105,000) / (3600) = about 29.1 foot pounds per second. Compared to one hp (which is 550 foot pounds per second), this system provides a theoretical maximum of (29.1) / (550) = about 0.053 hp (about 1/20 hp). Since a hp is also 746 watts, then this represents (0.053)(746) = about 40 watts. A real system would see many losses that would take the actual electricity generation down to half this figure at best. So, you can expect a good system to generate electricity from this source at a rate of about 20 watts. So, you see, assuming the numbers are correct with respect to water flow rate and the drop height, then developing this hydro resource is not worth the effort. Of course, as a reliable source of clean water it seems brilliant, and that's a great deal more important.

The fundamentals are both important and not difficult. Feel free to ask questions at any time. It's easier to learn than to unlearn, so it's better to have no knowledge on a topic than incorrect "knowledge".
 
Barry Fitzgerald
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Location: Welland, Ontario, Canada
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I hate to break it to you but electric heating from alternative sources for a greenhouse is never a practical option in a cold climate. The battery bank would cost you more than the greenhouse and occupy much of it's space. Winter days can be overcast with no wind, light snow and this can go on for several days so the storage batteries would need to be huge to cover the times that you do not have any power coming into the system.
I have wind and solar with battery storage to keep my chicken's waterer from freezing. It does not always keep up and the heater is only 30 watts.
 
Len Ovens
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Marcos Buenijo wrote:
A gallon of water weighs 8.35 pounds.


Just in case you are not in the US, a real gallon (AKA imperial gallon) is 10 pounds

It is quite accurate to use 8.35 pounds as most places that have in the past used imperial units now use metric units and so to confuse things a liter of water (10cm cube) weighs one kilogram or 2.2 pounds and a cubic meter weighs one ton (metric or long... 2200 pounds)

Converting the rest of the units to metric (our natural gas comes in metric units both volume and energy value while our electric comes in kwh) is beyond my off the top of my head stuff so if you really want that... google is your friend. But really the world still uses kwh for everything anyway so calculating in pounds will be fine.
 
william lane
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thanks for all the input. I really appreciate any and all input. Even "its not gonna work!" I am undaunted, as I also do not mid failing five ways from sunday and falling bass akwards into something that works. Making the best use of and squeezing the most out of the spring is the central goal. Hydro power is not feasible then thats ok (read gonna try anyway but quietly without expectations) Any re-directive advice would be appreciated as well assuming its a bit beyond "drink it and water plants with it." And i guess if that is all I get out of it I am already dearly blessed.


Thanks again

william
 
william lane
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OK!! I am also a bone head! I spoke to my uncle sorta bummed out that we may not be able to make it work and he corrected me on a major error. The flow rates are per min not per hour!!! I wondered how this produced what looked to be a LOT of water and had no power to do work... sooo with that in mind, does this sound right?

500/min = 30,000 per hour x 8.35 = 250,500 gal/hr
250,500 x 25' drop is 6262500 which divided by 3600 sec per hour = 1739
1739 divided by 550 = 3.16 hp at peak and 1.5 ish on the low end (250 gal per min).

Given that new math how does the prospect of a water wheel making power or turning a saw blade sound now?

And as far as the system not being enough to heat a whole green house, keep in mind this will be a gridded system. Its intent is to offset and augment not replace. Maybe one day replace, but I am a toe dipper into the permie pool not a headlong cannon baller.

Also this really all was about what brand or set up of hardware is the best for multi modal. Is any controller better than another? Any brand to trust or avoid? Good article to read about how to incorporate wind hydro and solar into one system?

sorry for my mistakes

thanks for the help

william
 
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