So I am going Saturday to view a piece of property. There is a brook on the property 3-4 ft wide that runs year round. Apperantly there is an elevation drop across 1.5 acres of somewhere around 700ft. These rough figures will become more exact next weekend...
....my question is, any advice on as to what I should keep in mind for a future home hydro set up?
This is also my first property, it’s back country land with no easy access and no electric on sight.
Well to start, your turbine and batterys will need to be at the lowest point of the stream. Your inverter and or your home will need to be nearby as well.
Placing your inverter with the batterys & switching to 120 vt you can transmit that power farther, so your home site can be better situated.
Or more commonly your house is sitting right next to the stream.
The numbers that you want for hydro potential are) flow (gpm) and vertical drop (Head) I'm pretty sure you won't find 700' vertical drop on this new property... BUT if you do then your power needs will be easily supplied!
Not all who wander are lost... J.R.R. Tolkien
posted 11 months ago
Hello and thank you Thomas!
I am excited to view the property and find out exactly what’s what. GPM and Head I did have in mind, although i’m not sure i’ll take GPM reading this time around, unless someone can suggest a very “easy” way of doing this, I may not have a lot of time to take these measurements, and we will be snowshoeing in to view the property. Timing the fill time on a known volume container i’m thinking will be difficult for just the first viewing. Thoughts?
From my understanding most of the property is on a very steep grade, with one ideal level spot for a camp/cabin. I am hopping that this dosent result in a situation where ideal build spot is a great distance from lowest point/hydro spot.
I’m for sure leaning towards a DC set up but I also like the ideal of selling power back to the grid which is only really possible with AC and federal permits (right?) which may be too big of a hoop to jump through, anyway i’m saying DC first then switching to AC and selling back anything extra would be the dream.
Yes I would say gpm will be hard to figure from snow shoes.
As far as d/c or a/c , other than a led light or two , forget about going DC . You want a pure sine wave inverter and switch to AC .
With AC everything is easily and cheaply available, with DC it is all specialized for marine or RV , they get extra money for that.
If your stream is really a good one with lots of water you may be able to use a short pipe run and flow lots of water resulting in the same power as lower down the hill. That would be called low head high flow. A permanent magnet turbine with 4 nozzle's can make plenty of power.
Forget about trying to sell power back to the ripoff company. They only are forced to buy solar and wind … and they pay peanuts for it, AS A CREDIT. With hydro they will not buy it at all without you being federally licensed. Your stream will not be large enough for that.
Good luck with your adventure, lets hope that building site is down near the bottom of the hill !
I adore hydro, but I would check to make sure that whatever project you have in mind the government will not see this as destruction of wildlife. Sepp Hotzer had such run ins with the law, but navigated around them, I would just be aware of this and perhaps look for other hydro projects in the area and see what hoops it takes to stay off the radar of the gov.
700 foot heat is amazing amount of head, I have seen some just run 4 inch pipe down from the top to the bottom and then used this water to be forced against a turbine.
I would look at this channel on youtube for awesome ideas on using water from ram pumps to gens ->
I am extremely curious to hear about your property find, so please respond back. With a 700 foot elevation decline, even a very small amount of water should be able to power your needs quite well. That is really an enormous drop in elevation and optimal for running a small amount of water through a turbine. I would think that even just a small diversion from your stream would give you all the power you need and still allow the near full flow of the stream itself.
Congratulations, good luck and please keep us updated.
Permaculture. It’s a journey, not an event.
posted 11 months ago
Thomas, Mart, Eric thank you guys for the input!
Thomas- Something similiar to a Harris 4 nosel system? I was looking at some of their specs and was really quite interested. AC power will I lose a lot during conversion? If so question, can I put a system in place that can say avoid that completely? I was thinking about all the DC appliances and that DC life, if you catch my drift, but again I need to see the property!
Mart-I adore hydro too and I too am more of a newbie! fun fact I’m a commercial diver! and have loved moving water from a young age!
Eric- thank you for the interest i will be sure to keep you guys posted! and i’ll remember to snap some pics!
Hey Oliver; Yes a Harris 4 nozzle PM alt. With my system (high head low flow) I use a Harris PMA with one nozzle!
The only 12 volt loss you will experience with an inverter is the small amount it takes to run. In the old days a trace inverter took 5 amps @12vt just to turn on mind you not to run anything! ... Now its mili amps with the pure sine wave stuff. Also if your home ends up 100' or more away from the hydro/solar array. You will have to invert the power to get it to your house. 12 volt requires LARGE copper cable to travel 100'+ 120 volt can use an extension cord …
1.5 acres is about 300 by 200 feet. To get 700 feet of drop,it would have to,be a cliff like Niagra falls. Somehow I think you have a much smaller drop. To get an approximation of hydro power you multiply the the gpm by the feet of fall and divide by 10 to,get the watts of continuous output with a 50% efficient hydro turbine. You can design the turbine to produce a high voltage and go long distances and use a mppt solar controller to drop to battery voltage. Ive installed a dozen systems that combine the solar panels and hydro into one controller to keep,the batteries charged. Chris
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