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Waterwheel to drive a generator??
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I guess I have to much time on my hands this month. I am trying to figure out why, or why not I may use a water wheel to drive a generator head. I would have a very hard time controlling rpm, so I guess I'd have to charge batteries and use an inverter to get back to ac?
If a water wheel can grind grain into flour, why not drive a gen head? This would be not much different that using a wind powered setup except water?
Mad scientist
Wags
 
Location: waterloo, il | Registered: July 24, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ive seen some info on just that. Use a regular car alternator, preferrably GM with the internal regulator, to charge batteries. If you have a pond you can use a small pipe from the pond to somewhere downstream to a small water wheel driving the alternator. Using a small pipe and a large water supply will yield a steady stream on electricity. Using a small dam in a creek will suffer from flow differences.


You'll never go wrong by doing right.

Who do you call when the lawmakers ignore the law?
 
Location: Belle Plaine Iowa | Registered: November 06, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I read a newspaper article back during the Cosovo war, it showed about 20 undershot type water wheel/car alternator generator units floating across a shallow local river (too shallow for navigation), these were all tethered to a steel cable that ran across the river. This same steel cable also carried the electrical cables from each generator, each one had a very long drop cord running from it to an individual building along the river. Each generator was on it's own floats, the wheel looked to be about 4 ft in diameter and was belted to the normal 3 inch pully on a car type alternator. These were built out of very light material, maybe 1 X 1 inch light angle iron, the wheel was as wide as it was in diameter, the paddles looked like maybe 1 X 4 inch lumber, and were spaced maybe 5-6 inches apart around the circumference of the wheel. the lower 1 ft or so of the wheel was in the water so quite a few of the paddles were pushing, 6-8 at least .

Article said one local enterprising fellow was building these and renting them to individuals, sorta explains why the units looked to be exactly the same.
 
Location: fisher,illinois,usa | Registered: June 03, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You should search the net about hydro generation. But from what I know is, you can buy generators that would be hooked to the side of a pipe carrying water. This water will be picked up stream from a grate at the bottom of the river or stream and will be piped to a farther, lower location where it will be expelled back into the stream. The factor which control how much power you get is the distance which pipe and mainly the drop of the water. If there isn’t much drop you won’t get much power unless you make a contraption like the one Tim described. There are great benefits of hydro power. 1. You do not need a battery bank because the power is consistent. 2. You don’t have to build major expensive system with high maintenance generators like windmills and solar panels. 3. You don’t have to work on a tower or a roof.

When I build a house some day, this is going to influence where I am going to build major.
 
Location: Windsor, ON | Registered: February 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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http://www.angelfire.com/journal/pondlilymill/fitz.html

This is a site for a water wheel. I've been looking into using our irrigation pumps for a grid tied battery based micro hydro system. Harris makes a good turbine/generator if your usage is 10,000 watts or less and you have a good source of running water and have "head" or a drop. Our usage is around 40kW so I am researching using a water wheel to turn the shaft on a induction motor generator. don't know how far I will get as a water wheel is hard to find in metal. Good luck and blessing to you. m
 
Location: SE Ga. Near the Okefenokee | Registered: September 24, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sure it will work and if your handy enough you can salvage parts to make it. The nice thing about water power is that it will run 24/7 in most cases,quite reliable.

quote:
You don’t have to build major expensive system with high maintenance generators like windmills and solar panels.


solar is high maintenance? in what way?


12 years off the grid and counting

 
Location: Muskoka, Ont, Can | Registered: March 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If a creek runs through your property are there laws against this? Affecting the flow of the water and such? I would love to do this.


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Location: roscoe, il | Registered: September 08, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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There are not any laws where we are, but I'm sure there are in other parts of the country. It always pays to check first. We would be recirculating and not divirting the flow. If this get popular to do I'm sure it will come under permits, licensing and taxation later. Plus the "big boys" will start objecting.
 
Location: SE Ga. Near the Okefenokee | Registered: September 24, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Location: West Michigan | Registered: April 26, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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12VoltDan;
What kind of system do you have and how much are you generating? We would like to be able to feed into the grid our excess....lol, wouldn't it be nice to get a check instead of mailing one?
 
Location: SE Ga. Near the Okefenokee | Registered: September 24, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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cookgraygoose,

I suspect you may have to wait a while for that cheque unless you have a lot of water going over a big wheel.

regards
dva
 
Location: Yorks,England | Registered: June 30, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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cookgraygoose

Just how much water are you talking about? I mean the actual numbers for the flow and volume of water? and I also mean for the irrigation system as well as the wheel.

Then you can calculate how much power you could make from there.

I don't think you can expect too much back from the local electricity provider,they seem to own that game. What the best part about making your own power is though is being free from sudden interuptions,large bills and all the rest that goes with being on the grid. Don't expect to have the same level of toys if you were to go it on your own though, tosters, hair driers and other high watt burners are too hard to justify with the drain on your system so unless your generating some serious hydro expect to get efficient that is,if you want to live off grid The good part is that you can live quite close to the same level of comfort with a more efficient approach to the same tasks that need to be done.




As for me I live with a modest solar array of 750 watts total and a rather large bank of lead acid batteries that gives me somewhere around 36 kwh of reserve . Right now I'm living quite fine on less than 2kwh of power a day.I don't need more to be honest and I don't believe I lack any comforts either. Definetly not the lifestyle some wives are used to but rewarding none the less Smile .


12 years off the grid and counting

 
Location: Muskoka, Ont, Can | Registered: March 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We are looking at 120 gpm of water min. and a 200amp box. Yikes! I think with a water wheel and gears we can turn about any size shaft we want tho. Straight axel to shaft ratio won't cut it without extra gears. http://www.waterwheelfactory.com/HP%20Table.htm has blueprints for a wheel if we have to go that route. Our topography is flat, but we do have an 18+ acre pond and can draw from a 20' pool. I had looked into using a motor for a generator but am now trying to locate a min. of a 50kZ generator and an old water wheel with some gears. I can't take off enough to get cool come summer...with our 100*heat and high humidity air is a must.
 
Location: SE Ga. Near the Okefenokee | Registered: September 24, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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cookgraygoose,

Sorry to disappoint, but most of the wheels I've seen would use that much per second. Can you be more specific about what you have in mind.
What head do you have available ? If it is an undershot wheel then it will need to be quite wide to be able to utilise the weight of the water behind it. Volume and head are everything.
I'd hate for you to spend a lot of time and money if it won't produce usable power. A slow steady wheel could save you money as a lift pump for irrigation though.

regards
dva
 
Location: Yorks,England | Registered: June 30, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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cookgraygoose

As per your link to the tables you will have to add in the head or height
the water will fall from to find out how much power you will make

It's not as much as you may think but can still be put to use


12 years off the grid and counting

 
Location: Muskoka, Ont, Can | Registered: March 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I have a site which is part of an old mill dam,the previous owner had no interest in waterpower,so I had a deal with him and I now own the full water rights.Since I am more or less starting from scratch should I aim for an overshot or a backshot,I wouldn't have any trouble with floodwater backing up with the latter and also I would have a larger diameter wheel with more torque albeit less revs.
I would be planning to heat the house,I don't think that would create any big problems,although the site is 100 yards from the house.
I have an average of .9cu meters per second through the winter,and I have a fall of 17foot 9 inches.
 
Location: Northern Ireland | Registered: October 29, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Oh my,you have some real power,I'm jealous.

How were you planning to heat your house with the water power?by converting to electricity?


12 years off the grid and counting

 
Location: Muskoka, Ont, Can | Registered: March 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Go buy a copy of HomePower magazine, it is full of articles and adds for hydrol last month they took an extensive look at hydro.
http://www.homepower.com/home/
 
Location: West Michigan | Registered: April 26, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Hi Guys thanks for your interest in my project.
I plan on heating a large insulated water tank by means of immersion heaters,we use 240 volts over here,I'm not sure what power they use,probably around 3kw.each.The water from the tank would be plumbed into the central heating circuit,so my lpg central heating system would not be using much if any gas.
My main concern is to instal a wheel which will use all the water I can put it's way,I can always sell surplus to the grid or maybe the new owner of the disused mill who is renovating it at the moment would be interested in heating at wholesale rates!This is my reason on considering a backshot wheel,more power?Is it worthwhile?Also the water would not be altered in it's flow direction,and a rise in the level during a flood would be irrelevant.
I think there is equipment which will make generated electric suitable for computers etc.,but for all I consume on that front it wouldn't be feasable.
 
Location: Northern Ireland | Registered: October 29, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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You need to do the math to see how much generation is possable. Off the top of my head your going to be able to feed the grid but that will need specalised equipment to syncronise the waveform. There will be plenty for yourself as well

all in all there is a lot of potential available there,I would be utilizing it if I had that available to me.


12 years off the grid and counting

 
Location: Muskoka, Ont, Can | Registered: March 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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