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DIY Water Wheel solar for battery back up  RSS feed

 
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I am new to the site but have an idea to see if it makes sense for renewable energy to power my fridge and some lights.
I have no running water through our yard but a pool and a slop. I was think what if we use a pump powered by solar to run through a water wheel that is connected to an alternator that would connect to a battery bank?

Or a man made pond with pump run on solar to help generate enough flow to run through a water wheel that would be connected to a battery bank that would then help power the pump and help run our fridge and household?

We are currently consuming 23KW per month for our house. Pool filter, fidge and other utilites that we have become accustomed to.

I am concerned about continued power from our utilities and wanting to create a cost effective way to be off the grid for food and renewable energy.

Does this make any sense? Would love some feedback or direction how to make this work if possible.

dj
 
pollinator
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Location: Southern Arizona. Zone 8b
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I'm assuming your intention is to have power even when the sun is down?

Not that it matters, your idea is not likely to work, or at least not well. 

It might work if you had two large ponds, and one was about 100 feet higher than the other.  Or if you had two small lakes with one that was 10-20 feet higher.

It takes roughly 30,000 gallons per day to power a fridge and some lights if you have 100 feet of head, or about 300,000 gallons a day with only 10 feet of head.

And of course your storage efficiency will suck.  A couple golf cart batteries will be cheaper than the pumps, turbines, generators, etc. and will have at least twice the efficiency so you'd only need 1/2 as many solar panels.
 
David Jumani
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Peter VanDerWal wrote:I'm assuming your intention is to have power even when the sun is down?

Not that it matters, your idea is not likely to work, or at least not well. 

It might work if you had two large ponds, and one was about 100 feet higher than the other.  Or if you had two small lakes with one that was 10-20 feet higher.

It takes roughly 30,000 gallons per day to power a fridge and some lights if you have 100 feet of head, or about 300,000 gallons a day with only 10 feet of head.

And of course your storage efficiency will suck.  A couple golf cart batteries will be cheaper than the pumps, turbines, generators, etc. and will have at least twice the efficiency so you'd only need 1/2 as many solar panels.



Thank you for this helpful post. again I am new and want to help create some sustainable energy to power my fridge and if possible get off the grid. Just in case it is needed.
Any tips or solutions Peter?
 
Mother Tree
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Can you not use solar to charge the batteries directly, without involving the pump?
 
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I agree that your hydro idea is a no go.  I would say solar and wind would be your best bet.  The question is, grid inter tie or a stand alone system?  If your concern is the power infrastructure failing then you want a stand alone system with battery's .  Until that fails you want a grid inter tie...   Battery's are not cheap and have a limited life,  oh and you'll need a lot of them. Grid inter tie is neat as your bill gets smaller and smaller when the sun shines or the wind blows. 
 
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A $250 solar panel will produce all the energy that you setup need, about 30KWHr (250W *4hr/days *30day/month).

if you store this 30kW in a battery you will only have a loss of less than 10% (5% from batter and another 5% from charge controller)
If you convert from solar to (1)motor to (2) kinetic moving water to (3)motor to (4) alternator to battery, lets not forget friction and also water loss due to wind/spills/seepage/etc.
I am sure that you will have lost 75% of the energy from the solar panel.

I dont see why you would rather store the electrical energy as kinetic/potential energy vs directly in a regular battery where you can recovery 4times more energy.

Let go with the idea that you got a free $250/250W solar panel, and you already have free piping (1) and a free pond/pool(2) and a free "alternator" (3).
And you just dont have the fund to buy more batteries to add to your existing system. It would only cost about $140 to buy a battery to store all 1kWHr that the solar panel is producing per day.

I have this feeling that the battery system is a bit cheaper.

Now if you just have free time and you want to do something for fun or if you plan on getting a site in 5yrs that does have hydroelectric potential and you want to get your hand "wet".
Then by all means please do it and learn something cool and valuable, I almost always support doing something cool for learning purposes.


 
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