At SolWest I saw a demo of a small hydro generator made from an electric weedeater motor fitted with a water wheel. A chute directs the water onto the wheel. The unit was small enough that I imagine quite a number of them could be placed along the bottom of a dam.
I have a seasonal stream on my land, so I'm considering installing one of these just to get what I can. Every little bit helps, eh?
99.5 Jetta TDI, Elsbett single-tank (incl. modified injectors & glow plugs, FPHE, heated filters), running on WVO/Diesel blend
And once you see how they are made you get ideas of making your own home made setup.
I have a sesonal stream here too but I haven't done a lot to develop it since I need to transmit the power about 400 ft.
21 years off the grid and counting
I am a water wheel builder. I get this question so often that I put a new webpage up today to help people who are trying to make electricity or pump water with a water wheel. Go to http://www.ironhorse.citymax.com/hydroelectric.html I don't have all the answers but you'll find a lot of useful links. Hope this helps. Spencer
Wow, this topic finally took off.
Here is what I have now....a spring with very little drop...maybe a couple of feet. I bet it runs a couple of gallons an hour. Will this be enough to power my house?
ROFL! OK, would it be enough to power a small light bulb..60 watt or one of those CFL things? Just to prove a point?
Future....Same property. I am working on the dam for a 15 acre lake. Much water running on the property. Since I do not have the dam now, I cannot predict gpm. I can, however tell you the dam will be 20' to 30' high, so this will be the drop. How many gpm will I need to power my hose?
What about an intermittant wheel. Meaning I could put in a stand pipe with a shut off valve...open the valve, water flow, wheel turns. If someone could give me gpm needed, I could figure standpipe diameter. Even if it only turned 2 or 3 days a week in the spring (probably more), it is saving me money. It would take a while to drop the level of a 15 acre lake say 5' or so...even if no water is running into the lake.
If you're interested in waterwheels and wants to live in an environmentally friendly way I recommend you our project There are some information about high-efficient water turbines, automation for Small Hydropower Stations and trash-rack cleaning machines
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