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Pumps, Noria, and the Water Battery  RSS feed

 
Ryan Hobbs
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I've been pumping out some crazy notes on this subject lately, and I figure it is time to share my current version of the waterworks on my future land (working on the land still, it's a sticky wicket). I have a number of hypothetical drawings which I will post if anyone would like to see them. Just let me know in the comments below and I'll get on it.

First is my concept of using wind or solar powered pumps to raise water to a high point such as a tower or high pond in order to store their energy. Recently I decided that it would be better to use a hydraulic ram pump. But this would only work with a creek or small river. I do not claim this idea for the oft spoken of reasons of irrigation or typical household usefulness, but rather using the stored water as a battery to power equipment (PTO hitch types can be powered if you have enough water stored and enough leverage in an large and efficient backshot wheel plus a gearbox to convert strong but slow into really really fast, alternatively, you can skip the conversion to fast from slow for the most part with some modifications to the machine's PTO gearbox, wood chipper or other non-ground-engaged machines would work).

second, aqueducts made with steel or wood towers and welded pipe to act as conduits for the stored energy.

Third is of course the end use of the stored energy via wheels as described in the above verbose paragraph. I have a crude drawing of a threshing and milling machine for turning shocks of grain into flour and straw just as an example. But as above, PTO powered machines may be used as well. I've also seen a sawmill in the Netherlands that could be run on water (it is a windmill).

In addition to being used for powering equipment, It would also be used to irrigate crops, refine clay, operate aquaponics, and used to passively moderate greenhouse temps.
 
Ryan Hobbs
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part 2

Noria 1


Noria 2


Noria 3
 
Peter VanDerWal
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Have you done the calculations to determine how much water you need to store in your "Water Battery" to equal say 1kwh? 

Since you mentioned a tower, I'm assuming you haven't done the calculations.

just some rough calculations, but if your lake is 50 feet above the turbine, you'd need about 12,000 gallons of water to generate about 1kwh worth of mechanical energy.  If your lake is only 20 feet above the turbine, you'd need about 30,000 gallons, if it's 100 feet above the turbine, you'd only need about 6,000 gallons.  You'd have to put about 2kwh worth of work into raising the water up to the lake, perhaps more, it depends on pipe length, pump efficiency, etc.

FWIW 1 golf cart battery stores 1.2-1.5 kwh worth of energy, depending on how fast you take it out, and a GC battery is portable.

Just something to consider.
 
Alder Burns
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I've seen a design somewhat like this, only a heavy weight on a railroad car is used as the energy storage, sitting on a length of railroad track going up a hill.  In sunlight for solar power, for example, the power is used to run a pulley system to pull the car up the hill.  In the dark, or whenever power is needed in a burst, the car is let to roll downhill, working the pulley and gears in reverse and producing power.
 
Travis Johnson
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This is used a lot on large scale projects, but I see no reason why it could not be scaled down.

In CT they have a Nuclear Power Plant that produces oddles of electricity for the grid, BUT it pumps out power 24/7. That is a problem as at night that power is not needed on the grid, so they built a reservoir up on top of a mountain. At night the nuclear power plant uses its electricity to pump water up to the reservoir. During the day, or when they need additional power, the water is let out, the water runs through turbines and the power is made.

Since hydro is a 24/7/365 operation, there are times when it will be producing more power than a person uses. I see no reason why it could not be diverted to a pump and sent upstream to a seperate resvoir to be used in a second turbine for those times when one turbine is not enough...a battery if you will.
 
Ryan Hobbs
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Peter VanDerWal wrote:Have you done the calculations to determine how much water you need to store in your "Water Battery" to equal say 1kwh? 

Since you mentioned a tower, I'm assuming you haven't done the calculations.

just some rough calculations, but if your lake is 50 feet above the turbine, you'd need about 12,000 gallons of water to generate about 1kwh worth of mechanical energy.  If your lake is only 20 feet above the turbine, you'd need about 30,000 gallons, if it's 100 feet above the turbine, you'd only need about 6,000 gallons.  You'd have to put about 2kwh worth of work into raising the water up to the lake, perhaps more, it depends on pipe length, pump efficiency, etc.

FWIW 1 Golf Cart battery stores 1.2-1.5 kwh worth of energy, depending on how fast you take it out, and a GC battery is portable.

Just something to consider.


Don't need to know the kwh. I'm using it only for mechanical energy and only sporadically. Even a small ram pump or noria pumping at 60% efficiency will accumulate thousands of gallons of water in a relatively short time, and probably an over abundance considering the fact that they pump constantly and I'd only use a mill or wood chipper or other machine once in a long while, not every day. I can't do specific calculations at the moment, but that is because the variables have not been established by owning land and a creek that I can measure. Rest assured that I will calculate everything precisely before turning even one spadeful of dirt on this project.

 
Travis Johnson
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Ryan Hobbs wrote:Don't need to know the kwh. I'm using it only for mechanical energy and only sporadically.


To figure out mechanical energy, most of the time KW's are utilized for the equations. This is especially true with hydro power because kw's for a given reservoir are given in online calculators readily. For instance there is 750 kws to produce 1 horsepower, so once you use the calculators to figure out how much kws you can produce, you can figure out how many hp's it is going to take to drive a machine. I have a small 5 hp wood chipper, so you would need a stream and reservoir to at least produce 3750 kws. Since energy can neither be created, nor destroyed, just converted; it does not matter if this water energy is falling into a turbine or falling over a overshot wheel, it is still the same amount of energy because the source of that energy has not changed.

As for operating a mechanical device, this is a huge problem because the amount of energy in a gallon of gasoline is extremely high, and the cost comparatively for it, is very low. While the "green factor" and "Cool Factor" is incredibly high, overcoming this via money (return on investment) is almost impossible.

I have seen a water wheel driven sawmill in action, and it is amazing how much force it exerted and sawed the lumber. Why wouldn't it be though, it is all I can do to hold up a 5 gallon bucket of water at arms length; imagine a wheel 10 feet in diameter holding up 15 gallon buckets, several of them, at 5 feet in length! That is a lot of weight coming down, so it is a lot of torque. Slow speed (rpm's) but a lot of torque. That has to be sped up through a series of gears to reach the chipper so it can function. It is 100% doable, BUT at what cost? Building a pond, dam, spillway, wheel, and gearing all have to be done just to take the place of a $99 engine and $2.00 worth of gas to run it every 4 hours.

Again the "cool and green factors" are impressive, but how much time will all this take? In the amount of time it would take to set all this up, a person could plant an orchard and start getting fruit they could benefit from. Or building swales that could grow better food and more abundantly, or build a WOFATI. Most of the time, if a Permie or Homesteader chooses to take on this type of project, it is to produce electricity because the cost and time of building the system can benefit many other aspects of Permie/Homestead life...carpentry, living, communication, etc not just chipping brush or a few other mechanical operations that can tapped onto the mechanical driven system.
 
Ryan Hobbs
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I currently live about 5 miles from a water wheel powered mill, and the thing is hella cool. You only live once, may as well do what you want to. Naturally, the crops and earthworks come first, but after that, why not build a water power system? I almost died a few months ago, and am determined to live to the fullest now.
 
Travis Johnson
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Sorry to hear about your near death experience, and I fully understand.

I had one of those on March 27th 2017, but fortunately I am 43 and lived a pretty charmed life. I have tripped all over the country and the world, had really good jobs, made some money and retired when I was 42. Even if I was to die today I would be absolutely fine. There are a few things on my bucket list left to do, but I have lived a full enough life.
 
Peter VanDerWal
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Travis Johnson wrote:
Ryan Hobbs wrote:Don't need to know the kwh. I'm using it only for mechanical energy and only sporadically.


To figure out mechanical energy, most of the time KW's are utilized for the equations. This is especially true with hydro power because kw's for a given reservoir are given in online calculators readily. For instance there is 750 kws to produce 1 horsepower,


That makes it sound worse than it is.  1hp = 750 Watts, not kilowatts.  Or  to express it in kw, 1 hp = 0.75 kw.

However, that was essentially my point.  Running that wood chipper for 20 minutes could take anywhere from 6,000 gallons ( a medium size swimming pool sitting 10 stories up) to 60,000 gallons.  But, as Ryan said, the details aren't important to him at this point.

I guess I have a different philosophy, I like to figure out if an idea is feasible and cost effective before I waste a lot of time trying to come up with designs.
For some people these considerations are irrelevant.  That's cool too, not everything has to be practical and/or affordable.
 
Ryan Hobbs
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Peter VanDerWal wrote:

I guess I have a different philosophy, I like to figure out if an idea is feasible and cost effective before I waste a lot of time trying to come up with designs.
For some people these considerations are irrelevant.  That's cool too, not everything has to be practical and/or affordable.


Candles and lanterns are more practical than electric lights all inputs considered, doesn't make much difference to most people. I figure that while there is a huge time investment involved, it will not be a waste as long as it is something I can be proud of when it is done. I get horribly anxious when I don't have something to do with my hands or my mind, so I stack my days with various projects. Right now I've got a floor loom, regular bread baking, a coffee table, sorting and re-sorting seeds, working in the yard, pottery, and a wooden rice-planting machine, etc all going on just to keep me occupied. When it gets too cold for pottery, I switch to blacksmithing.
 
Travis Johnson
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Peter VanDerWal wrote:
Travis Johnson wrote:
Ryan Hobbs wrote:Don't need to know the kwh. I'm using it only for mechanical energy and only sporadically.


To figure out mechanical energy, most of the time KW's are utilized for the equations. This is especially true with hydro power because kw's for a given reservoir are given in online calculators readily. For instance there is 750 kws to produce 1 horsepower,


That makes it sound worse than it is.  1hp = 750 Watts, not kilowatts.  Or  to express it in kw, 1 hp = 0.75 kw.

However, that was essentially my point.  Running that wood chipper for 20 minutes could take anywhere from 6,000 gallons ( a medium size swimming pool sitting 10 stories up) to 60,000 gallons.  But, as Ryan said, the details aren't important to him at this point.

I guess I have a different philosophy, I like to figure out if an idea is feasible and cost effective before I waste a lot of time trying to come up with designs.
For some people these considerations are irrelevant.  That's cool too, not everything has to be practical and/or affordable.


Thank you for pointing out my mistake. You are very much correct of course...750 WATTS not KILLOWATTS!

I am the same as you, but I am a full-time farmer and have to get a return from investment. Biogas is like this for me. I found out a lot of biogas can be developed from silage, and I am putting in a new silage pad pretty soon, why not direct the silage affluent to a biogas digester? This is in addition to my sheep manure that my sheep produce. I even have a 3 KW gas/propane liquid cooled generator that I could power with the biogas and help produce electricity for my farm.

Cool factor is HUGE! Making power from sheep poo!!

But at what cost? How much electricity am I really going to produce? The reality is, I would be better off to find ways to REDUCE my electrical consumption then try to produce it in a novel way. SO UNCOOL, but realistic.

It is not out of the realm of doing granted, and I might, but priority wise, I got better things I can do with my time and money right now.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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