Hi there permies!
We've come to realise that our feeble 50w
solar setup is no longer keeping up with our needs.
We are situated directly down hill from a spring fed
water tank, I've been told (but yet to confirm) that we can connect a pipe to the overflow on the tank.
Here's where it gets a little bit crazy....
I've paced it out to approx. 600m of pipe from the tank to the highest point of our property, say another 100m to get from there to a sensible place for a battery shed.
Google maps puts the head height at around, wait for it..... 400m, or 1300ft
If I put a holding tank at the top of our property we'd have about 30m of head, over 100m of pipe which is probably ample but a bit boring.
I have a background in engineering, and a pretty sound understanding of how stuff works, so I kinda want to go full "mad scientist" on this and see if i can harness the power of 400m of head.
But! I need some help getting my head around the maths of it all.
If I were to run a 700m length of 1" pipe, with a head of 400m, what sort of pressure and flow rate would I be looking at? I'm struggling to find any reasonably accurate figures. Most of the reference tables I've found stop at 200psi!
I'd also like to build this setup using an infinitely available resource, the humble car alternator! I know they get a bad rep for low efficiency and short lifespan but I have 4 sat in my
workshop already, and they're a damn site cheaper to replace than a "proper" unit. They also have the bonus of a built in voltage regulator and a 12v dc output to keep the wiring simple. I think with the head I have available it
should be quite easy to get it spinning fast enough to produce more power than it consumes without having to build up an overly complicated gearing system.
I know it's mad, crazy, unnecessary, insert derogatory term here, but that's just how I work. If anyone equally nuts wants to help me out regardless of how likely this is to blow up then I would very much appreciate your input!