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Planning a water wheel generator.  RSS feed

 
Seth Veith
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Hello everyone I'm new here anyway. I have a large 5 acre pond that is spring fed. I would like to build a water wheel generator in the spillway. I need to generate enough power to run my home. Nothing crazy just the basics. I have a 40-1 ratio gearbox with an 18" sheave from a oil well pump jack I would like to use. If I put a 5" pulley on the Gen head I will have 200-1 ratio approximately. The spillway is 6' deep. So I hope I'm on the right track anyone have suggestions on. Wheel size or Gen size. any ideas? I have also thought that if it was just too small I could build a dam down the spillway and build a second one.
 
Glenn Herbert
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Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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Some basic info on microhydro power: Microhydropower Systems
 
Seth Veith
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Thanks for the info. I would like to build my own system I don't think I can build a turbine. But since I will be using a pond I would like to use the least amount of water possible. With what I have I figure I need about 15 rpm with a water wheel to run a Gen at 3600rpm if it is possible to build a turbine at relatively no cost I would try it.
 
Glenn Herbert
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Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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You're not going to build a turbine without significant skills and machine tools. A waterwheel would need some construction skill, but should be doable with basic tools. The big thing is assessing how much water flow you need for the available drop to generate power. Have you determined the typical flow over the pond spillway in gallons per minute? If you don't have enough constant flow, you might need to have a cutoff gate that allows the pond to rise a bit and store water for faster intermittent flow.
 
Seth Veith
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I'm not sure how many gpm but it runs constantly. I've also wondered about using a second wheel downstream just to run a pump to recycle the water.
 
Troy Rhodes
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There are three numbers that will pretty much determine how much useful electricity your site can provide:

1. How many gallons per minute does your water source provide?

2. How far does the water drop, if at all, in your pond/system?

3. What is the overall efficiency of your water wheel, transmission and generator, as a system?


If the water leaves your pond as a stream, I can tell you how to measure the flow rate.

If the water drops, that distance means a lot in terms of how much energy you can get. That's called head, and it's just how far the water falls from point A, to point B. Not too hard to measure. Does it fall 6" or 20'?

If you tell us what kind of water wheel, and generator, we can make a good guess as the the overall efficiency.

Bonus points for pictures...
 
Seth Veith
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The spillway has washed out and it has Stone dumped in it I plan to build a dam where I can regulate the amount of water flow right now the water just runs through the rocks but I have about 1500 feet of stream and from the spillway to the edge of my property there is a 20'elevation difference. I don't know what size generator I need I just want enough to run a small house I also plan to have a couple wind Mills and some solar panels I would like to not use someone else's electricity at all. I'm not sure what kind of wheel I will build that's why I'm here asking for suggestions I think I can easily get a 10 foot drop by building a dam and moving some dirt I have a dozer
 
Seth Veith
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I'm still going to build it whether or not it is efficient or it runs all the time I plan to build the house on the other side of the spillway so you will have to drive across the dam who else can say they have a water wheel generator in their yard even if it's just going to run some landscape lights I'm going to build it I think I'm going to use Eastern red cedar I have tons of it and a sawmill
 
Seth Veith
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The dike is 15' high in the center
Screenshot_2016-06-06-13-13-13.png
[Thumbnail for Screenshot_2016-06-06-13-13-13.png]
Here is a satellite picture of the pond
 
Troy Rhodes
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Excellent, we're getting somewhere.

Usually, the first step in an off grid renewable energy design, is to make a list of every single electrical thing you are going to run on the system.

A spreadsheet makes this easy. You know...


fridge
lights
computer
cell phone chargers
washer
dryer (can't be electric, gas or propane is fine)
water heater (can't be electric, gas or propane is fine)


etc etc etc.

Once you make an exhaustive list, we can put total wattages and hours used and come up with your energy budget.

 
Glenn Herbert
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Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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On the resource end, we've at least established that you have about 15' of head easily accessible. The remaining 5' to the lowest point on your property looks like it would be very difficult and expensive to develop. As to flow, I realize you can't easily measure it as is, but does it look like it would fill a bucket in a minute if you could collect it, or a teacup? How much does it vary seasonally?
 
Ty Morrison
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Location: Boise, Idaho (a balmy 7a)
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chicken goat solar trees urban wofati
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Well, here is an area that at least deals with the water issue that many face: Head.

Micro hydro turns out to be a lot of the same discussion as water powered pumps.

The discussion still comes down to this water to electricity to pump water thing and storage. Being blessed with an existing five acre pond will surely help in design of your on-site water distribution plan, but...

I am really surprised at the dearth of info on pumps on Permies. Aside from getting water with your property, how to move it seems to be the next big thing that we deal with in design. Not everyone will be so fortunate as to have a site on a slope from top to bottom with enough 'head' to make a RAM pump work. So what's left? Grid driven electric? Fuel driven electric? Solar driven electric? Hand power? Gravity?

What I have discovered is that a RAM pump is pretty cool, but takes at least 18 inches of head pressure to run, And then, very slowly. This means that a storage tank or basin will be required in addition to 'head' Or you will need to use a water wheel of some sort. In Boise there is a lifting wheel design on display that was used years ago before electricity. Nothing else?

Windmills, manual or electric? This means storage too.

Screws, Siphon, Sprials...the Rife River Pump (no successful copies by DIY yet. No testimony by Permies on these either! Still storage issue.

I guess this is one of those places where electricity driven pumps is the most AT?

Thoughts?
 
Seth Veith
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I'm no stranger to all kinds of pumps working in the oilfield. But the problem with pumps is if you want to move a lot of fluid you need a lot of power.
 
jeremaya modo
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I've been on a mission with this stuff for a couple of months ,with the intention of getting my parents off the grid for their retirement.
Micro hydro @ low head is an untapped resource especially when its run of the river the less damming and channeling the better.

This guy is awesome for the water wheel potential he's got calculators on the page.
http://www.waterwheelplace.com/main.html

This is an expensive unit at nearly ten grand but its a good example of what is hard to find on the net as far as functioning run of the river generators.
https://www.altestore.com/store/wind-turbines-river-turbines/river-turbines/idenergie-river-turbine-p40461/



 
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