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Topic Title: Domestic hydro-electric set-up
Topic Summary: Feasibilty?
Created On: 26 June 2008 09:13 AM
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 26 June 2008 09:13 AM
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SpaElectrical

Posts: 1479
Joined: 16 December 2003

Mind wandering at a tangent!

Domestic hydro-electric set-up.
Been thinking - if you have an unmetered water supply, what would be the feasibility of hooking up some kind of hydro-electric generating kit to supply electricity to your own domestic dwelling just by using mains water pressure?

Has anyone else thought about this?
Are there any small generating devices on the market which might make this idea work?
I have absolutely no idea as to what kind water pressure/volume per hour/minute/whatever is needed to make something like this work efficiently, but thought it might merit further investigation in the wake of rising energy prices.

Thoughts anyone?

-------------------------
"Let the evidence guide the research. Do not have a preconceived agenda which will only distort the result."
 26 June 2008 09:43 AM
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deejackson

Posts: 358
Joined: 13 May 2005

It's a scheme I've come across before - in an old, late 19th century american book as a way of automating hand-cranked washing machines - direct drive from turbine to machine. But of course all it really is... is a rather in-efficent way of transfering energy from the local pumping station to your house by means of wasting huge quantities of drinking-quality water. Don't think your water company would be pleased!

Dee
 26 June 2008 10:04 AM
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matthill

Posts: 62
Joined: 07 July 2005

I am glad someone else has a crafty mind. I looked into it briefly last year. The closest thing I could find was a mini turbine (http://energistar.com/hydroturbines.htm) that claims 500W output (approx 2 bar pressure @ 5 litres / second).

That's around 432,000 litres over 24 hours at full rate. The system is aimed at houses that have a river running past, or if you can contain your water run off (roof, drains, grey water) and pass it through the turbine at a controlled rate.

As Dee says - your water company won't be happy IF they found out.
 26 June 2008 10:33 AM
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northernlights

Posts: 95
Joined: 18 January 2008

>>The system is aimed at houses that have a river running past, or if you can contain your water run off (roof, drains, grey water) and pass it through the turbine at a controlled rate.<<
I went down this road a few years ago when I lived in a converted water mill. The river authority were quite happy for me to put a small generator system in the river provided I paid for the use of THEIR water running over MY land.
 26 June 2008 11:48 AM
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pnorton

Posts: 402
Joined: 16 September 2005

I heard many years ago of a small engineering company in Watchet, Somerset that produced a small water turbine for use on the public water supply - that was in the 19th century. I was told a local firm ran a small printing press with one.

By the way, did anyone see Planet Mechanics. They lashed one up i it was only about 5" in diameter but because of the head of water they had available - fire hoses taking water down a mountainside from a steam - they were getting 1 kW out of it continuously!

Regards

Paul

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The body is now decrepit but the mind is still active - just!
 26 June 2008 12:19 PM
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walden

Posts: 102
Joined: 03 October 2006

I looked at a domestic hydro scheme in North Wales last month.

The user has a stream next to his house.The head of water is about 5 metres: the water is brought down using plastic pipes with decreasing diameters. The first pipes are large, about 12" diameter and the last ones looked to be about the size a house gutter-down pipe.

The water goes into a Pelton wheel (from Ebay!) and on the output shaft is a standard 3 phase induction motor connected with capacitors and driven at a slight super-synchronous speed. The output is about 2.5kW at 230V single phase.

There are other simple devices: over current and over voltage but nothing sophisticated.

The user connects this supply to his immersion heater.

Works very well. When used on lighting circuits, the flicker is annoying.

I don't know what it cost. The Pelton wheel was £900. The induction motor would be £50(?).

Edited: 26 June 2008 at 12:26 PM by walden
 26 June 2008 01:08 PM
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deleted_2_tony30

Posts: 1680
Joined: 16 August 2005

have a look at the navitron website

regards

tony
 26 June 2008 02:56 PM
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perspicacious

Posts: 8055
Joined: 18 April 2006

"Has anyone else thought about this?"

If you're a fan of Fat Freddy's cat and the Freak Brothers cartoons of 20+ years ago you'll remember the strip where on having their electric cut off for non payment, they rigged up a generator to their cold tap and then passed out (as they often did on illegal substances) when they had the water bill

Regards

BOD
 26 June 2008 04:07 PM
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davezawadi

Posts: 4259
Joined: 26 June 2002

It needs an awful lot of water!
You might get as much as 1 cu m / hr from a domestic supply. Thats 1000 litres. It would generate about 50-100 Watts if you were very lucky.

If you have a dammed river, a big head of water, and a lot of volume then its pretty good.
The Severn barrage is suggested to be able to generate 2GW, (2000MW) with a 7 metre fall and several cubic kilometres per day of flow (a cubic km weighs 1000 million tonnes!).
Old style water mills were usually 10 - 30kW electrical equivalent. So you need a decent size stream to be any good at all.

Regards
David

-------------------------
David
BSc CEng MIET


Edited: 26 June 2008 at 04:08 PM by davezawadi
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