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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / wheel/lowhead hydro?
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ruralboy
Member
# Posted: 12 Nov 2021 11:33
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I've been a little quiet due to many other things going on (and that its close to winter too)

even then I kept thinking about this there and there for a while by now but anyway..

if the spot I decide to scout out for post-winter was to have a river thats still of good depth all year long and easily had 20+ meters of height difference between both legally accessible ends..then I presume that wanting to expect at least 600W if not more [with minimal or no damming] maybe doesn't sound too unreasonable on paper?

it'll be an all-dc setup as a footnote, and I still have to think about this but it would had been one of these sort of cabin which has positive charge rate through the night (the only 'parasite' to that would be the diesel air heater but otherwise night load would be close to zero) then otherwise operate close to neutral rate if not sometimes slightly negative through usual days.

and yes I did think about the hydro being offline or the charger misbehaving as there would be a genset for in emergencies too

thanks for any other opinions on this to jot down

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 12 Nov 2021 11:48 - Edited by: gcrank1
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Note that low voltage dc requires high amperage to work and if you have long wiring runs to the cabin it will require heavy/expensive wiring.
The higher the voltage the smaller the wire gauge can be.
This is why I invert at the 12v bat-bank, which is near to the solar array, to 120vac to run the 100ish feet to the cabin.

ruralboy
Member
# Posted: 12 Nov 2021 17:45
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amend to that of course gcrank1, I was going to use a higher voltage for the outdoor run or do ac/dc exchange whichever could work out for me to order here etc

in that instance one example of for-hydro motor I found could provide 180vdc for a pure-dc setup, and theres a dc-dc (for the cabin end) at fair price that can handle that kind of input voltage

gcrank1
Member
# Posted: 12 Nov 2021 18:20
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Note also that high voltage dc will be less 'forgiving' of human contact than 120vac and can do welding.

Fanman
Member
# Posted: 12 Nov 2021 21:07
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Do the math.

To get 600W with a 20m (65.6') head, assuming 100% efficiency, would require a flow of 3,038 gallons per hour. Probably need to at least double that to account for the real world efficiency of a homemade setup.

ruralboy
Member
# Posted: 13 Nov 2021 09:10
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Fanman hm that sure does bring a slightly sore point of how to tell when a formula is honest or not, etc. one calculator even says that a 12m head from a creek on 40% efficiency is about 9kw of hydro power but I sure as much have to doubt that

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 13 Nov 2021 18:21
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When I looked at making a hydro setup the most I ever saw was 60% efficient. Much lower is prety typical. I planned on useing a front load washer motor as they are prety big around and can spin a low speed. They are 3phase and I ran it through a rectifier to make DC. Line loss can be a big thing on a system like this.

65' of head is quite alot, I was dealing with alot less, like 6'. With 65' of head I would just use one of those off the shelf turbines setup for 4in or 6in PVC pipe. But at the price of 4in sch40 PVC pipe today you could buy a few nice solar pannels and a charge controller.

SE Ohio
Member
# Posted: 13 Nov 2021 19:59
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Here’s a website of a guy that set up his own hydro in South America. He also has nice view of active volcano!


https://ludens.cl/paradise/turbine/turbine.html

Fanman
Member
# Posted: 13 Nov 2021 20:39
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Quoting: ruralboy
Fanman hm that sure does bring a slightly sore point of how to tell when a formula is honest or not, etc. one calculator even says that a 12m head from a creek on 40% efficiency is about 9kw of hydro power but I sure as much have to doubt that


I calculated it using basic physics, the mass of the water falling that height. Want more power from less head, no problem, just need more water.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 14 Nov 2021 16:54
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Quoting: gcrank1
Note that low voltage dc requires high amperage to work and if you have long wiring runs to the cabin it will require heavy/expensive wiring.
The higher the voltage the smaller the wire gauge can be.
This is why I invert at the 12v bat-bank, which is near to the solar array, to 120vac to run the 100ish feet to the cabin.


If a guy can figure on AC right from the generator, then highest reasonable voltages to keep wire size smaller and with AC, you have the luxury of using a step up transformer to go long distances. Then step down at battery house with full wave rectifier to get your DC for battery storage.

ruralboy
Member
# Posted: 15 Nov 2021 07:25
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brettny I was not planning to have a long penstock but you do bring up a good point on the recent cost of most things (nevermind parcel rates) tho

regarding solar I'm still keeping it in mind but with limited space I just wasn't sure yet if it could work out. we will see next year nevertheless

shingobeek
Member
# Posted: 15 Nov 2021 21:03
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That link to the guy in Chile, his work was great reading for me! Thanks....

DaveBell
Moderator
# Posted: 15 Nov 2021 22:06
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Check out Marty T on youtube. New Zealand hydro power from washing machine motor. Several vids amongst his other stuff.

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