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Sustainable Alternatives: Micro-hydro

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darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

February 24, 2007
2:07 PM

Post #3220013

I have a spring with a pretty strong flow although not much fall. I'm thinking of putting in a submersible water turbine just before the overflow pipe (18" diameter) empties into the creek. The spring is seldom muddy except when there's a heavy rainfall and it gets surface run-off.

I haven't measured the GPM flow yet... there is a willow tree growing just at the pipe exit. The willow has to come down because it has split up the trunk for about 8 feet and is leaning close to my bridge.

I'm thinking that I would NOT need a bank of deep cycle storage batteries for excess electricity since the spring runs 24/7... although I'm sure in late summer the flow is less. I wouldn't take my house off the grid but it would sure be nice not to pay so much for electricity.

Anyone else contemplating micro-hydro... or doing some?

frostweed

frostweed
Josephine, Arlington, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 24, 2007
3:37 PM

Post #3220232

Interesting idea Darius, I hope you can get it to work, that would be great.
I am sorry I can't help with your project, I know nothing about it, but I will be watching and hopefully learning.
Josephine.
pepper23
KC Metro area, MO
(Zone 6a)

February 24, 2007
6:45 PM

Post #3220710

Hi Darius!! it sounds interesting. I hope someone who knows something about it can come along and help you.
renwings
Sultan, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 24, 2007
9:15 PM

Post #3221103

It's a good idea. I live on a fast river and we have often considered dropping a small turbine in the river (in shallow water near the shore).

Too bad conservation is such a double edged sword. By finding my own renewable source for power, I've just seriously P.O.ed the salmon people. Lawsuits ensue.

But I'm not bitter.

You don't have to share your water with anyone? No one to get upset?
RuTemple
San Jose, CA
(Zone 9b)

February 25, 2007
12:31 AM

Post #3221642

Darius, it sounds like a great idea; depending on where you live, you might want to touch base with your county planning folks who can tell you whether there's anyone downstream, or regulations on the water that passes through your land, and whether and what kinds of permits you may need, going in.
(Sorry to hear your woes, Renwings! May it all work out to something good for everyone.)


darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

February 25, 2007
1:47 AM

Post #3221958

Renwings, this would be spring water on my own land. before it hits the creek although the creek also custv also across my own land. I haven't really investigated riparian rights although they would only apply to the creek and not my spring.
BjsBloomers
Lewiston, CA
(Zone 7b)

February 28, 2007
2:28 PM

Post #3234078

I do have reparian rights to a year round stream, I move parts in the summer to irrigate & the run-off goes back into a pond that returns to the stream. I have thought about maybe doing some sort of turbine with that stream, but I know nothing about it & have limited funds. My son said you can make one out of a auto generator. I have looked at pelton wheels but they are a bit pricey to "play" with.
The stream could be piped right by my GH & it would be nice to be able to run fans 24/7 without grid power.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

February 28, 2007
4:16 PM

Post #3234378

BJ... Do you have any photos you can post?

The thing about Pelton wheels is they get loaded up with silt/sand from a stream. Same for hydraulic rams. I just don't have enough head/fall for either one. Whatever I do will be on a shoestring budget. Somehow the Founders of the social security system didn't allow for things like turbines!
Dyson
Rocky Mount, VA
(Zone 7a)

February 28, 2007
10:00 PM

Post #3235516

However, the state & federal dept. of energy authorize generous tax deductions on monies spent for equipment to provide sustainable power. It will not cover the entire costs, but will help with proper research and applications.
BjsBloomers
Lewiston, CA
(Zone 7b)

March 1, 2007
1:09 AM

Post #3236054

Darius, pics of what?
I looked into going solar here where I live & the power co. does not pay for surplus elect. They don't even give rebates for energy star appliances. I thought all of CA. did but apparently not.

darius

darius
So.App.Mtns.
United States
(Zone 5b)

March 1, 2007
1:28 PM

Post #3236982

BJ, pics of how you divert some of the creek...
Quoting:I move parts in the summer to irrigate & the run-off goes back into a pond that returns to the stream.


Dyson, I haven't even looked into tax credits in VA. Any credits wouldn't help pay for anything anyway as I pay no income tax on my paltry social security income.
Dyson
Rocky Mount, VA
(Zone 7a)

March 1, 2007
4:34 PM

Post #3237597

I really need to check into it, but there may be personal property tax breaks also, will let you know. Personal property taxes in this area are ridiculous because the real estate costs are of no importance to many retiring on the lake. The whole thing is getting way out of hand.
BjsBloomers
Lewiston, CA
(Zone 7b)

March 1, 2007
11:37 PM

Post #3238906

Oh yeah, the diversion dam. Actually I don't have a dam per say, & I haven't taken any pics of what I do.
But I can tell you it's nothing more than about 300 ft. of 3" water pipe laid on the ground with the end of it put into the stream. I go up there in the Spring with the shovel & dam up (& undam it in Fall) about 1/3 of the main channel, so it goes down the pipe instead of the stream bed. It is mostly DG so there is a lot of sand type slit pulled down the pipe. I try to dig out the gathering pool often, where it goes into the pipe, but if we get much rain or if a bear messes with it it fills up. I don't irrigate directly with the water that comes out of the pipe, I use a 5 gal bucket as a seperator so my smaller pipes do not get plugged.
This all runs on gravity. The first few years here the stream was way down in a trench like ravine so I could only get it so high onto my lower yard, Since then we had a few huge storms & the channel up the creek changed & came up on higherground so now I can get gravity feed to 1/3rd of the property. The part that runs through the 3" pipe, runs from Spring till the rains start. It runs into an old ditch that was here. The ditch goes through our lower yard through pools & small water falls then along the bottom of our property & emptys into a large holding pond which in turn goes back to the main stream. The irrigating part is just a 3/4" pvc pipe hooked to the 5gal bucket & a hose hooked to that & runs out on a large grassy area, veggie garden & on my fruit trees when needed. I just take a small amount from the 3" pipe (via a spicot on a low elbow) to the 5 gal bucket (I got the design from a Dr Seuss book! LOL)
I mainly run the 3" to keep the dry ditch looking like a small stream in the nicer months. It is this water that I could move farther still, like down to my GH which is probably 15' lower that where it empties out to the dry stream. I could take more of the main stream too, because it all or most returns within say 75 yards of where I pick it up from. At the GH is where I'd like to put the pelton wheel. The holding pond is about 1/2 acre & the far end sits right below my GH, so the return water would still be going the same place, just farther in a pipe than it does normally. Actually it would be better for the pond because it would be emptying out at the fartherest end, where now it comes into the end closest to where the pond run off is. Not to good at floating debris off the pond. It's not my pond, but I was given permission to "play" with it. It used to be our towns water 50 years ago, but han't been used for anything since they put in new wells. It used to dry up by 1/2 in the summer because the stream had changed paths over the years so it only got run off in winter. Now it stays full all year round. None of this system is rocket sicence, most is not even glued together. But I managed to get water to my fruit trees, meadow & veggie garden for 5 yeras now without to much sweat. I don't know anything about the generation of energy thing so I'm sort of stuck on how to move forward.

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