Hydro power

Help Support Homesteading Forum:

Biggkidd

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
Joined
May 13, 2021
Messages
324
This is something I have been interested in for years. I am addicted to electricity and uninterrupted service. We have solar but I'd still like to add some hydro and maybe even wind power to the mix. I have creeks for 2 of my property lines and water rights to use them. So I always keep an eye out for possible ways to use them. Even though one is very large and only on my property line for about 180 feet. The other is spring fed and more or less dies off before it goes off my property. Neither one has much fall the big creek has less than a foot in 180 feet. The smaller one drops 35 feet in 1600 feet. But after finding this calculator for hydro I can see it may be possible to make power from either one. I thought I'd share here in case anyone else is interested.

Hydroelectric Information - output estimator, pipeline, nozzles, head, flow and more

If anyone here has any experience with hydropower please share!
 

viking

I know a lot of things, but master very few
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
1,272
Location
S.W. Oregon
There is a business in Grants Pass, OR that makes hydroelectric systems called Alternative Power & Machine. www.apmhydro.com that might give you the info you need, I check them out many years ago when we were considering our solar system, I was also thinking about tapping a small seasonal stream for a backup hydroelectric system, that didn't pan out due to the county saying I couldn't get water rights to that stream. What I figured was that when the winter sunlight wouldn't supply charging from the solar array, the stream would help keep the batteries charged. If nothing else, I hope they could help answer some of your questions.
 

Biggkidd

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
Joined
May 13, 2021
Messages
324
I am truly surprised more people are not interested in hydropower. It's the only source of nearly continuous power I know of and can be done on almost any scale. A very small system can produce large amounts of power over a 24 hour period. I'm waiting to see someone put an inverter type generator head on small scale hydro I bet the results will be awesome. If I ever manage to get cleared space along my south property line where the "dry" branch is I will be trying something. Heck a tiny little 100 watt system that runs nonstop is still 2400 watts a day...
 

Tirediron

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Dec 11, 2017
Messages
176
Location
Rural western Canada,
If your big creek is fairly debris free an anchored paddle wheel will generate a lot of rotational torque, which can be converted to electricity, the ``modern`` consumer world prefers off the shelf kits, with high speed turbines, because they aren`t as elegant
 

Biggkidd

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
Joined
May 13, 2021
Messages
324
Good video Backlash Wish he would have stated how much fall he has.

Tirediron My big creek gets MASSIVE storm surge. It goes from 24 feet wide and a foot deep barely moving to a 5-6 foot deep raging torrent with every storm.
 

Biggkidd

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
Joined
May 13, 2021
Messages
324
Okay here's what I'm thinking for possible Hydropower here for some future possible need. Ordering a Pelton wheel something like one of these.



and hooking it to the electrical generation parts from a Honda EU2000i . That would give us a wide range of RPM (3000-5500) while maintaining clean power. Which with the efficiency of the EU2000 parts should make some good clean power with little loss. The EU2000 parts can maintain a continuous output of up to 1600 watts or as little as none. If it makes 100 watts continuous or above I'd think it would be worthwhile as that's 2400 watts everyday. If it could make 1000 watts continuous that would be 24,000 watts a day. Which is one hell of a lot of power.

What I'd like from you guys is all the reasons it will not or could not work.
 

Neb

Jack of all trades master of some
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Sep 4, 2020
Messages
3,442
Kilowatt hours

The spoons will be worn by the silt in the water.

Be prepared to replace them.

Ben
 

Neb

Jack of all trades master of some
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Sep 4, 2020
Messages
3,442
This guy did his system mostly himself.

See this playlist


Ben
 
Last edited:

Biggkidd

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
Joined
May 13, 2021
Messages
324
Did a little figuring today.
My maximum head without any dam work is 35 feet. Which isn't much until you figure I can fill and keep full a 4 inch pipe. So a fair amount of volume. IIRC a 4 inch pipe gravity flows better than 200 GPM. With such a low head a different turbine or possibly a wheel may be better.

I usually under estimate when doing things like this so I used the following numbers. 20 feet of head with 100 GPM through 600 feet of pen stock and came up with 180 watts. We already have batteries and 6,000 watts of solar panels so that's a given. This would make up some for sunless days and long winter nights. Ah speaking of winter the flow probably triples or better during the winter / wet months. If I can make 100 watts continuous I'd be one happy camper!

As of this minute we only have 2400 watts of panels hooked up and they carry all loads fine during sunny days. Our biggest problem is batteries my current battery bank is only 600 or 650 AH @ 48 volts. 99% of our generator use comes from times when AC is needed after the sun goes down. My other big use of generator power is when I'm working in the shop. It's to far from the house so it's always generator. I just put up a solar panel mount for the shop and have the inverter and charge controller for up there. I'm still working on batteries though. My battery guy left the place I've always gotten the killer deals on slightly used batteries. It's taken a lot of years to get to this point but I keep inching along.
 

Neb

Jack of all trades master of some
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Sep 4, 2020
Messages
3,442
Did a little figuring today.
My maximum head without any dam work is 35 feet. Which isn't much until you figure I can fill and keep full a 4 inch pipe. So a fair amount of volume. IIRC a 4 inch pipe gravity flows better than 200 GPM. With such a low head a different turbine or possibly a wheel may be better.

I usually under estimate when doing things like this so I used the following numbers. 20 feet of head with 100 GPM through 600 feet of pen stock and came up with 180 watts. We already have batteries and 6,000 watts of solar panels so that's a given. This would make up some for sunless days and long winter nights. Ah speaking of winter the flow probably triples or better during the winter / wet months. If I can make 100 watts continuous I'd be one happy camper!

As of this minute we only have 2400 watts of panels hooked up and they carry all loads fine during sunny days. Our biggest problem is batteries my current battery bank is only 600 or 650 AH @ 48 volts. 99% of our generator use comes from times when AC is needed after the sun goes down. My other big use of generator power is when I'm working in the shop. It's to far from the house so it's always generator. I just put up a solar panel mount for the shop and have the inverter and charge controller for up there. I'm still working on batteries though. My battery guy left the place I've always gotten the killer deals on slightly used batteries. It's taken a lot of years to get to this point but I keep inching along.
I like your thinkin.

Ben
 

Spikedriver

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
4,700
Location
Midwest
I'd be really concerned about flooding. My great grandfather tried to build a hydro powered mill on his homestead back in the 1870s or 1880s. During the first year, the creek went dry in the summer, then came up the next spring and wiped out his wheel. He gave up and turned to farming. If what you're saying about the 6 foot variations in water level is true, I'm not sure how you'd deal with that...
 

Tirediron

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Dec 11, 2017
Messages
176
Location
Rural western Canada,
Good video Backlash Wish he would have stated how much fall he has.

Tirediron My big creek gets MASSIVE storm surge. It goes from 24 feet wide and a foot deep barely moving to a 5-6 foot deep raging torrent with every storm.
that might not be an ideal paddle wheel location:ghostly:
 

Latest posts

Top