DC asked if I'd post some pics of my Micro Hydro-Electric system.
It's a Pelton Wheel type generator, which works by firing a high pressure jet of water onto a turbine wheel. The pipe that feeds it is 250 meters / 820 feet long, the pipe starts 40 meters / 130 feet higher up the mountain, which is what creates the pressure in the pipe.
It's been running for 11 years. Provides power for me and a friend who lives in another cabin on my property.
Generates between a quarter and a half kilowatt continuous, depending on how much water there is in the stream.
It generates at 26 volts which charges a battery bank. A 2.3 KW inverter (transformer) converts the power to 240 volt, (which is the grid voltage here). Only thing I am unable to run on the system is my electric welder.
All power not used anywhere else goes to an old oil filled radiator with a 24v 900 watt heating element in it.
Wow, I've often dreamed of owning a piece of property that would make such a setup feasible! Has it paid for itself yet (granted, I understand that strict cash payback often isn't the primary reason for such an installation)? How much maintenance is involved beyond keeping the pipe clear of debris?
When I first bought the property 15 years ago I was going to get a grid connection, but the power company wanted €7,000 to connect up to the site. Also the poles and cable had to go right in the middle of a stunning view, so I looked into setting up the hydro-electric generator instead. It cost about 2,500 for the initial basic setup. I've probably spent another 3,000 over the years on upgrades and maintenance. It doesn't take much looking after, a quality set of bearings lasts 3 to 4 years. I have a complete set of spare parts for it now so hopefully I'll get another 11 years out of it.
Yeah, it was one of the first ones made, he didn't use that name till later. I helped him work out a few of the early design faults. He's gone all commercial now, wont even sell me spares for it any more - says it's 'end of life' - How green of him.
Trev, I saw the info about the break down of your pelton runner in the vortex stove thread but I didn't know you are on offgrid homesteader and it is your only source of energy.
I must have missed this thread... subscribed.
My respect! will you drop a line in here once you manage to repair it, please? I just hope the ying yang rule has already started working...
as to the quoted words of yours: I was in Sahara for a month and while we faced some adventures harsh situations one of our nomadic friends used to spell some words in a berber lng. I asked him about the meaning. I speak akin french so the closest meaning I figured out was :
"If you want to make God smile tell him about your projections and plans for the future"
I just hope you can count for the other cabin's friends helpful hand.
The hydro-electric generator is repaired and running for about a month now. I was only without it for a day, as I knew the problem was coming, so I had plenty of time to prepare.
This part below was the problem, it's called the Pelton runner - it's the bit the water jet hits to turn the generator - the plastic 'cups' that are mounted around the edges are no longer available, and I was running out of spares. I had managed to find some quite close in size but the mounting was completely different, so I had to make a new stainless steel center disk and set out and drill all those 50 holes in exactly the right places.
New cups on the right. The generator used to be quite noisy but with the new cups it's almost silent.
I live in a really remote area. The nearest 'engineer' (there are no blacksmiths) is 2 hours drive away, and he can't even cut a piece of steel square. I found the new ones by searching through thousands of pictures on google. The guy was in Italy and didn't speak English and wasn't very helpful, but I got them out of him eventually.
The cups are all plastic, old ones and new ones. There's 24 of them, so thick enough metal would be too heavy and put too much stress on the bearings. Traditionally they were cast from bronze but no one does that anymore, even the massive ones are all plastic now.
The center disk in the old one was 6mm aluminium, but the gap between the mounts on the new cups was 4mm thick and the mounts were bigger so I could only get 21 cups on the new disk.
ahansen: photos under 1 mb not possible?
Jun 4, 2020 0:09:21 GMT -8
belgiangulch: Photo's are possible. They must be downloaded elsewhere and the image url (adress) is copyied.
Sept 14, 2020 7:26:15 GMT -8
belgiangulch: While creating a thread click on the small picture in the banner above the reply. A box pops up, paste the image url in the box. Pay no attention to the huge list of numbers and such.When you finish and hit reply your post with pictures will come up.
Sept 14, 2020 7:29:27 GMT -8
deadstarsstillburn: Hi there. I was directed this way by folks on the Permies.com website and am hoping I can get some information on how a total newbie can get started designing, siting, building, and not-dying-in-a-horrible-house-fire with a new RMH in a 160-year old home
Oct 21, 2020 6:52:10 GMT -8
deadstarsstillburn: The people over there recommended either a 6" batchbox or an 8" J-tube. I don't know what those are but am going to try to figure that out. What I need is a blueprint that I can scale to fit the need for my house. I have something likne 5000 square feet
Oct 21, 2020 6:53:00 GMT -8
deadstarsstillburn: but I do not need to heat all of it by any means. probably only need to heat half of that, maybe less.
Oct 21, 2020 6:53:15 GMT -8
deadstarsstillburn: moreover, the house has 3 storeys (large attic) so I assume if I get very efficient heating on the ground floor, that will go a long way toward heating the upstairs as well, no?
Oct 21, 2020 6:53:59 GMT -8
BenAlexanderT: Happy new year everybody. I wish you the best
Dec 31, 2020 15:06:14 GMT -8
Solomon: Anybody in Southern Oregon, in Jackson or Josephine counties?
Jan 16, 2021 21:54:43 GMT -8
gnomedome: i realsie this is from 2009
Apr 14, 2021 8:30:44 GMT -8
gnomedome: i realize this is from 2009 id love to see the photos from this ..as im looking to build a sauna soon similar to this .... if anyody sees this post firstname.lastname@example.org..... the photos in this post did not show up
Apr 14, 2021 8:32:00 GMT -8
dcoyte: I am planning to use a cast iron heat exchanger out of a hydronic boiler set on top of my rocket stove, flue out the top. There will be a pump moving the water through the heat exchanger into an unpressurized 2000 gal tank. Any thoughts?
Dec 31, 2021 6:45:55 GMT -8
syekoms: Yes just found this forum am in Josephine county.
Jun 17, 2022 12:53:32 GMT -8
ecoenergyman: Hi new to forum I was wondering where to buy a masonry stove kit I could install myself ? Fran in ireland
Aug 1, 2022 17:39:58 GMT -8
natureman: I have been following this site for years
Aug 28, 2022 10:58:59 GMT -8
nendo: Can anyone on this forum point me in the direction of detailed plans for a rocket water heater please?
Oct 22, 2022 15:15:43 GMT -8