hydro-powered turbine

3 Posts
Jan 28, 2007 09:21 pm
hydro-powered turbine

I saw this pic and thought if I could built a small scale hydro-power turbine to experiment with.

I basically want to buy a PMA (permanent magnet alternator), connect a pelton turbine (pic below) and use a pump to drive it in a closed looped system.

The power this will make depends upon what kind of pump I have on this, right? Has anyone does something like this bfore. Having this run all day, everyday will generate a good amount of power with the right parts (that's where I need some help). Can you guys recommend some good parts to build something like. I would eventually like for this to generate enough power to run my computer and offset the pump power.

By the way, this is my first time with things like this.
351 Posts
Jan 29, 2007 02:03 am
Re: hydro-powered turbine

Running a pump to power a small hydro in a closed loop, is a terrible waste of money. You could generate more power less expensively by just buying a gas driven generator.

I would take a look around at streams in your area and see if you can't get some property owner to allow you to experiment on their property.

By the way, the pic you posted is a Turgo, not a Pelton.

3 Posts
Jan 29, 2007 02:17 am
Re: hydro-powered turbine

I don't see how it'll be a terrible waste of money. I mean a PMA is going to cost around $200, the impleller is $100, I already have a pump (20FT head/120 GPH). The pump uses 18w of power so anything generated after that is free power.

I could easily build one of these things (that retails close to 2 grand by the way) from home depot:

351 Posts
Jan 29, 2007 01:26 pm
Re: hydro-powered turbine

120 GPH or 2 gpm at 20 ft of head is good for about 5 watts, theoretically.
Since you are burning 18 watts, you would be operating at about a 27% system efficiency. (And in reality, I don't think you would get the 5 watts, your head/flow is way undersized for most turbine wheels) 

With a more appropriate sized pump and good system design, you might get the efficiency up to about 66%, but even there, you would be burning 3kWh to get back 2kWh.

Closed loop systems will always be a net loss operation.
3 Posts
Jan 29, 2007 02:27 pm
Re: hydro-powered turbine

I see what you mean, can you show me how you calculated that to get those numbers?
351 Posts
Jan 29, 2007 06:59 pm
Re: hydro-powered turbine


I actually use a large spread sheet which allows me to look at pressure losses in the system, play with the wheel diameter, rpm, pipe sizes, nozzle sizes, etc.

However, you can approximate it by:
Liters/sec X head in meters X 9.81 constant X system efficiency = watts.
Or, for larger systems
cu meters/sec X head in meters X 9.81 constant X system efficiency = kilowatts.

2 gpm equals  0.12618 liters/sec.    20 feet equals 6.096 meters

0.12618  X 6.096 x 9.81 x .60  =  4.527472 watts

The 60 percent system efficiency number is the turbine efficiency times the generator efficiency times miscellaneous efficiencies for a well designed system.

Feb 23, 2007 07:59 pm
Re: hydro-powered turbine

Ken:  I am coming into this concept of hydro power totally green.  I live in a remote part of Alaska with boat and air access.  The property has a little stream and depending on the rain fall or time of year it either flows at about 10 gpm to 150 gpm.  The slope is good, so I'm sure with a little work I could get a good drop over about 200 ft.  Currently I have a 200 gal holding tank apx 300 ft up the lot going into a water line (2 inch) to the property.  We get great water pressure that feeds a 2 story house we built with all the showers, toilets and laundry needs one could want.  For example, if you turn on the water hose, you can get a great shot of water about 30 ft into the air.  Do you think this scenario sounds like a good candidate for a small hydro plant and could it supply enough elec to run the house?
351 Posts
Feb 24, 2007 03:14 pm
Re: hydro-powered turbine


I am viewing this as a separate system from the water tank you mentioned. If you are not, and the two system interact somehow (same source?), let me know.

The good news is the 200 feet of head. The less encouraging news is the low and variable flow. Hydro systems work best on fairly consistent flow rates. 
At the low end, 10 gpm is very little water, about what two garden hoses would produce. And you generally do not want to take it all. We need to leave some water in the creek for whatever lives there.

So, I think the questions are going to be how many days of a year do you have flows that are larger ? And, how much electricity are you currently using and what is its’ value ?

Assuming that you have expensive electricity (Diesel Generator?) it might be economically viable. As an example, with 30gpm flow, you could take 20 and leave 10 in the creek. With a Stream Engine, 20 gpm and 200 feet of head would produce about 400 watts or 9.6 kilowatt hours (kWh) a day.  Many off-griders live on less than that, but the important question is how significant is that for you ? 

At 12 cents a kWh (CA Grid rate), 9.6kWh is about $1.15 a day or $420 a year. If you only have the 30gpm flow about 180 days a year that would decrease to about $200 a year.   However, if your electricity is about 24 cents a kwh, you would be looking at about $ 400 a year. Again that is a halftime figure, if the 30gpm creek flows were 9 months, that would jump to about $600 a year.

Naturally, the higher that figure is, the more economically viable a system would become. 

If you would like to pursue this a little further, I would like to see how many days a year you would not be comfortable with taking 10 gpm. How many days would you take 10 gpm, how many days could you take 20 gpm, and just in case, how many days would 30 gpm be available, per year.
Quantifying how much electricity you are using and how much it is costing, to the best of your ability. If you were grid connected, it would be looking at your monthly bills to determine what is your average kWh a month is, and the cost per kWh.  Off grid it becomes more of a discussion.  Are you on a generator and what size is it?  Genset with batteries and an inverter ?  How big are they ? How many hours a day is it running and approximate loads.  How many gallons of fuel and its cost per day or week or month ?

The other question that comes to mind is how far north are you ?  Assuming that some of the low flow periods are during the long days of summer, a combination hydro/solar system might replace a larger total amount of your energy needs.

Feb 26, 2007 12:28 pm
Re: hydro-powered turbine

Hi Ken.  Thank you so much for your very informative response.  Here are a few answers.   We aren't that far north; we are about 60 miles west of Juneau (top of the panhandle).  The two times a year where we would have low flow would be in the event of a summer drought; the low end I mentioned earlier, and the winter freeze, same low end amount.  High end would be during the rainy season which is tons of water.  There is nothing living in the creek, so taking virtually all the water is not an issue.  Its a fast running down hill stream.

The two systems (house and hydro) would be the same source.  We currently run a gas 6 kw onan genset and that runs everything in the house, plus power tools etc.  The dryer, stove, fridge & hot-water tank are all propane.  We use about 6-7 gal a day, running about 10 hours.  We do have a diesel genset coming, but diesel is the same cost as gas around these parts ($3.56/gal)plus shipping cost to get it to the property.  Right now we only run the house maybe 4 weeks total a year, but I'm building a house I plan on retiring in and will live there year round.

We've considered solar, but we just don't get enough sun or clear skies to invest in that.  We live in a rain forest, so water is plentiful.

If the water flow I mentioned isn't enough, we (my son & I) can ditch and culvert a few other small sources into our little creek and we could get year round water at between 20-30 gpm for the low end.  This will take a back hoe and some serious excavation, but everything is doable; just takes time.

The property is on the waterfront, so the fresh water just runs into the salt-water.

So my goal is to run one 2500 sq ft house with lights, washer, and small appliances, ie., hair dryers, toasters, coffee makers etc, year round.  I really want to get away from gas and diesel, but I can manage propane shipments once a year.  Of course we have wood stoves and the entire Tongass National Forest at the back door for heat.  The village I live in right now charges 36 cents per kwh.  But that's moot because there is no available power to this property other than what we create.

We really wanted to stay away from the batteries if at all possible because again, getting parts, new batteries, supplies etc is not an option.  About 6 months of the year there is little to no access by air and storms prohibit boating, so you're on your own.  Right now 2 people winter in the area and the don't see people for 6 months.  You have a 6 month window to get all your supplies, fuel, food, etc for the long winter.  This winter we've had 30 ft of snow fall at sea level, but that's a record year.
351 Posts
Feb 27, 2007 01:36 am
Re: hydro-powered turbine


Since you are building a new house, I would recommend that you work with an architect that is experienced with energy conservation (or willing to work with an expert) to minimize the power needs of the new house, regardless of the source. (wouldn’t it be nice to lower your propane bill, as well?) With good design, you can reduce the total power requirements without going Spartan.  Conservation of energy is always cheaper than generation.

Although you wish to avoid them, batteries will be the key to your electric power system. The 400 watts (or whatever comes off the hydro) will not run your hairdryer, which is probably 1200 watts. But hydro runs 24 hours a day, so you store an hours worth as 400 watthours, and that will run your hair dryer for 20 minutes.  Looking at it that way, it is 1/24 of  your daily energy generation(or 1/48th for 10 minutes). Is the hairdryer something you want/need ? You can run a 23 watt Compact florescent (giving about the same light as a 100 watt incandescent) for 8.7 HOURS, on the same power as 10 minutes of hair dryer.

The question is not about whether or not you have a hair dryer. It is learning about power equivalents and making informed choices. Making the informed decision on each and every light fixture/light bulb and every appliance, large and small. You need to eliminate “size”, and think large or small power consumption. A percolator on the propane stove is a better choice energy wise and price of energy wise than a coffee maker. So, convenience (maybe flavor) versus cost, is your trade off.  If you do go for a coffee maker, get one with a vacuum decanter or use a separate decanter or thermos. The warming plate used with the glass pot coffee maker is a non-essential power draw.

Just by adding batteries (and an inverter) to your generator system would cut down on your fuel bill. Gensets are most efficient when loaded above 50 percent.  There is a portion of the 10 hours a day, where your generator is running to supply small amounts of power. By charging batteries while the generator is already running, you could then run small loads for a number of hours, saving that number of hours of fuel burn. I would consider them, even if for some unknown reason, you decide not to do the hydro.

Moderately priced batteries (well cared for) should last 5 years or so. Top of the line batteries often go 10-15 years, and I know of some pushing 20. 
The cost of the batteries will depend on quality and sizing. A bank is typically sized at about 5 times your daily electric use. So the smaller that daily use number is, the smaller the bank and the less it will cost.

I would guess-timate that you are using 15-20kWh a day in your current setup and it is costing something near $30-35 a day. So, you are currently paying somewhere between $1.50 and 2.33 per kWh. Regardless of the unit price, $30 a day 365, is about 11,000 a year. So even if the hydro only provided half of your energy needs, that’s about $5,500 a year in savings. You will have a fairly short payback period.

I would recommend that you work towards a hydro system and diesel genset combination with batteries and an inverter. I am not sure that eliminating “diesel” is a good idea. Minimizing it to as low as reasonably achievable, yes. There are propane gensets available, but propane is generally 2.5 times more expensive than diesel, on a per kWh basis. (By the way, diesels run great on #2 stove oil.)

I am fairly certain that the electric loads can be easily dropped down below 9.6 kWh a day. If you achieve that, you could avoid gathering the additional flow.  During the 20gpm or greater flows, you could get all of your electric power off of hydro. The genset could make up the difference during low flow periods, as well as providing all of your power in an emergency. Even a cheap part that fails in the hydro system or the inverter might cause you to be without power for a number of days or possibly months. Being able to bypass them and run directly from a genset, would make a world of difference.

Here is a energy cost chart that was done by a Juneau firm. It is out of date (98), but it could be easily updated to current prices. And you might want to add a line for #2 diesel, at 140,000 BTU/gallon. And possibly Gasoline at 115,000 BTUs/gallon. (That BTU difference is major reason diesels are more efficient than gasoline generators.)


Even as is, it raises of the question of why are you heating water with propane instead of fuel oil or diesel. (There are 4.24 lbs of propane per gallon, if you are getting price per lb.) Based on the 98 prices, one would be getting 2.63 times the BTU’s per dollar with fuel oil, as compared to propane.  It may not make a big difference for 4 weeks a year, but over 52 weeks, it really does.  Propane would make sense for tankless on demand heating, but for tank type heating, no.

The statement “I really want to get away from gas and diesel, but I can manage propane shipments once a year.” does not make any sense (to me anyway). Unless you have a propane tank of gigantic proportions, you will need more than one delivery a year. Remember you will need 13 times (52/4) the quantity that you have been using. More than that if you shift more demand onto it. So with more than one delivery, does it make any difference whether it’s a “propane boat” or a “fuel oil boat” ? .

You need 1.53 gallons of propane storage for every gallon of diesel/stove oil storage to break even on BTU’s, and you are/were paying 2.63 times the price per BTU.  You may still want propane (I don’t like fuel oil flavored eggs), but I would look at having an oil system. You might also look into bulk delivery of fuel oil as compared to drums.   

By re-assessing all of your energy needs, minimizing where possible, and selecting the right source for the task at hand, you have a wonderful chance to lower all of your energy costs.

A question, if your water tank is about 300 feet and it’s the same water source, why are you talking 200 for the hydro. Are you pumping up to the tank, extra length of new piping to gain the last 100 feet, or just being conservative ?

Feb 27, 2007 01:26 pm
Re: hydro-powered turbine

Hi Ken:  Your post had a lot of good information.  Some of which I've already considered, but very helpful thanks.  Lets take the issues you covered:

Energy conservation:  Rest assured this has been considered thoroughly.  I am having a lot of windows, but they will be triple pane.  All our walls will be 8 inches of insulation, as will under the house.  I am seriously considering an in-floor heating system to be heated by a central boiler wood furnace system.  You may be familiar with them. http://www.centralboiler.com/home.html   This may fulfill some other energy needs as well.  I agree about the on-demand propane hot-water system, but a boiler may remove that need.  The propane tank system in the house that is currently there was ordered by my parents who only built the place for a summer house; it has never been designed for long-term living.  Whereas, my house will be.

You asked about shipping propane vs fuel.  The logistics of getting fuel is the issue.  Shipping is prohibitively expensive and only available 5 months a year, especially considering the weight of 50 gal drums.  There are no options for bulk fuel delivery, as there is no way to get that to the property.  The barge is 3 miles from the property with a rough road just one step up from a 4-wheeler capacity.

It might be helpful for you to understand that I was born and raised near this land.  I am a pre-statehood Alaskan who grew up on wood stoves, outhouses and hunting/fishing for food, so this living isn't something that I would be dealing with as a newbee out of the cities, to wilderness living.  But the hydro-electricity is totally new to me.  We already make coffee the old fashioned way, so the coffee maker isn't imperative.  However, I would really like a hair dryer.  Some luxuries are important! ha.

There is a large salmon cannery a few miles from the land and they can fill propane tanks, but they won't fill 20 50/gal drums of stove oil or gasoline.  We can fill our vehicles and some jerry jugs, but not enough to run a house generator for month on end.  So, bringing 100 gal propane tanks to the property is pretty easy towing a little trailer, but bulk fuel is another issue.  Storing a bunch of propane tanks is easier than hauling all the drums.  Interesting concept though because just last month I checked into a bulk fuel delivery by a landing craft to the beach and I got a big, no way for a bunch of reasons I won't go into.

So, it sounds like batteries are going to be part of my life by the way you describe things.  I am quite interested in the top of the line batteries, but the well of money doesn't go too terribly deep, which is why I'm so interested in the hydro.  I think I'm agreeing with you that working towards a hydro system and diesel genset combination with batteries and an inverter may be the way to go, because I think I can reduce my diesel need enough to get from summer to summer without too much trouble. The house will be heated by wood, there will be a wood cook stove as well as propane range, the fridge needs to be on 24/7, so that will be propane, but a chest freezer only needs about 3 hrs a day to keep frozen.  During the daylight hours, I will be using virtually no power, but unfortunately in the winter daylight is only about 4 hrs a day and I hate fuel lamps for lighting, but battery system lights would be fine.  I would like to have a satellite compute system and television, but again, that will be turned on a nominal amount of time.

On your question about the 300 ft vs the 200 ft.  We have the water tank at about 200 ft, but the water source CAN be accessed at apx 300 ft uphill.  We could move the tank further up, but its just more pipe.

If you would be interested, I can give you my email address and I could send photos of the property and water source.


351 Posts
Mar 1, 2007 02:05 am
Re: hydro-powered turbine


Sorry it took a while to get back to you. I’ve been otherwise occupied.

I have assuming separate systems (completely new pipe for the hydro) since I read your first post. My reading of your “we can move the tank…”  indicates to me, that you still have some connection between them.

The two systems need to be separate. The flow/pressure changes that a domestic water system puts on a hydro system are not beneficial for the turbine, and can be catastrophic to the piping. 400 feet of 2 inch pipe, would contain almost 2200lbs of moving water. If you change the volume rapidly, pressures really spike.

It is not even a good idea to hook the new pipe to the same tank. You have approximately 1-2 days storage for household use. It would also be the only “limited” fire protection that you have mentioned so far. If the inlet pipe to the tank gets blocked or make-up water fails for any other reason, the hydro would empty it in 10 minutes.

I would recommend installing the hydro inlet in the stream below your tanks inlet. If forced to develop more head (not very likely), I would relocate the tanks inlet to a point above the hydro inlet, to give priority to the domestic water. 
If a settling tank or basin is needed for the hydro, it would have to be much larger than the current tank.
6 Posts
Mar 7, 2007 05:27 pm
Re: hydro-powered turbine

Ken, Maureen,

I happened upon your discussion, and am intrigued by the great questions and discussions. I had a few thoughts I didn't see addressed, although they may already be obvious.

The conservation mentioned, ie insulation, is great, but it has little effect on your hydro system since the heating system is wood fired. For the hydro system, the lighting and appliances are more important. Presumably you are using high efficiency flourscent lights and ultra-high efficiency appliances?

Also, since batteries are an issue, I wonder if water storage at the higher elevations is possible. This would have to be significant size, but if the terrain and soils allow, a bulldozer can make a pretty nice pond pretty cheaply. This could eliminate a significant battery need.

Also, you mention using propane for hot water heating. This could fairly easily be integrated into the wood heat or waste heat from the generator, saving a lot of propane.


6 Posts
Mar 7, 2007 05:36 pm
Re: hydro-powered turbine

One other point...presumably your refrigerator and freezer will use a significant amount of propane, or electricity (I'm a bit confused about whether you are using propane or electricity for this purpose). Either way, at your lattitude, a refrigerator/freezer built into the cold ground should be able to supply all your refrigeration needs with no use of power.

22 Posts
Mar 10, 2007 04:38 pm
Re: hydro-powered turbine

Very, Very interesting reading on the hydo power. I need to find a few suppliers for either Pelton or Turgo water wheels for some tinkering when the ice leaves the stream near my home. Any input would be appreciated.
351 Posts
Mar 10, 2007 08:00 pm
Re: hydro-powered turbine


If you are interested in generating electricity, I recommend that you buy a complete turbine and generator. With a unit that the MFG has matched, there are very few problems.  If you are piecing together this wheel, with that set of nozzles, with that generator, there are 1000 headaches that you can run into.

If you go to the Alt-E store section, take a look at the stream engine and download the manual. It has a lot of general hydro info for measuring flow and head, along with the specific unit instructions. Good reference material, no matter what you end up buying.

If you are after something other than electricity, give us an idea of what it is, or power requirement. If you have some estimates of flow and head, that would help. Hate to send you off towards a $1,500 wheel when a less expensive one would work, or recommend the inexpensive one when the job requires something significantly more substantial.


22 Posts
Mar 10, 2007 09:10 pm
Re: hydro-powered turbine

HI Ken,
 Thanks for the info. I have been running a homemade microhydro for a few years now and have built no less than a dozen turbine wheels...my first one was a torque converter from a GMC pickup that I sawed in half, to half of a Mack turbocharger then a Nissan 300 ZX turbo to my latest build which has copied a Pelton ...fabricated it in about an hour from a skilsaw blade and some garage junk, the best one so far. I don't mind purchasing a plastic Pelton or Turgo just to see what the results are compared to a $11.00 homemade turbine wheel.
 PS...like I said, I am a tinkerer !!!
351 Posts
Mar 11, 2007 01:48 am
Re: hydro-powered turbine


The Alt-E store used to carry a plastic Pelton, but apparently doesn’t any more.
The sustainable village still advertises it at $140.

For plastic Turgo wheels or spoons, try Hartvigsen-Hydro

« Last Edit: Mar 11, 2007 01:54 am by ken hall »
22 Posts
Mar 11, 2007 07:48 am
Re: hydro-powered turbine

Thanks Ken, just spent a few hours of time flipping through a dozen or so sites tied to the 2 links you sent me. Hartvigsen has a very good selection of spoons and components on their website. Will contact them Monday.
 From looking closely at many different sites, most spoons seem to be of the same basic design for angled jetting, I guess I am about 100 years late with my homemade wheels!
          Thanks again Ken
578 Posts
Mar 11, 2007 07:50 pm
Re: hydro-powered turbine

we still carry turbine parts.  we received sooooo many calls from folks thinking that the plastic pelton wheel was the whole hydor setup that we took them off the site and replaced them with this blurb on the turbines page.

We carry a wide variety of replacement parts such as new generators, pelton or turgo wheels, nozzles, bearing kits, etc... Basically, if you need it, we've got it! Please call our technical sales staff at 877-878-4060 for more information.

although I dont really feel confident with the "if you need it, we've got it" part, we do still carry parts and pelton and turgo wheels for sale.  If you know what you are after, and its from ES&D we can probably get it.

sorry about the confusion, good luck with the project

- james Alt-E staff

"Making Renewable Do-able"

Tel: 877.878.4060 x107  or +1.978.562.5858 x107
Fax: 877.242.6718  or +1.978.562.5854
1 Posts
Mar 21, 2007 07:21 pm
Re: hydro-powered turbine

I am new to this site but arrived here in search of people who like myself just don't want to pay those wild prices out there for alt energy equipment. I am currently running a windmill at my camp in Canada and it is supplying most of my electric needs there contrary to the advise of the neighsayers. I am now going to build a hydro system to add on to the existing setup. I have designed several systems now on paper and theory opting toward the pelton style turbine when your comments about the Nissan turbo caught my eye. Would you be willing to share any of your experience on how you used that? Pictures ,chat emails, phone ,..or whatever. Very interested. I build my stuff from junk. Hope to hear back,..L. Bruce
22 Posts
Mar 22, 2007 07:09 am
Re: hydro-powered turbine

Oh boy have you ever opened a can of worms!! I have to leave soon for my real job..at least a paid position, but will give you a brief bit and will give you some more info tonite. I had first started tinkering a few years ago with, of all things an air hose and a cage blower from a truck heater, then graduated to a garden hose with the blower and its 12 volt motor...generated a whopping amp and a half at 12 volts...all the time my well pump was drawing 12 amps. That was a loosing start! Duh...I didn't realize at the time! Will post more tonite.
22 Posts
Mar 22, 2007 08:19 pm
Re: hydro-powered turbine

Back again Lorne..well anyway, of 2 days of running the squirell cage at mach-one just to run a few car headlights in the garage it dawned on me the well pump was running forever, so we looked for an alternative, I have a year round steam about 100 yards from the house and moved this contraption down there (still no heat in the truck) and proceded to dam up a sluice and rig up a battery and the two headlights from the garage and let it rip. Well so I thought..forget it. It took more energy to lug all that stuff and a full day of dickin' around than the undercut wheel would produce in a lifetime. Well, I kind of gave up for a while until I realized that I had 30 ft. of head further down the stream..so I retrieved all the stuff I lugged back to the garage in the days before and hauled it down over the ledge, where I re-assembled it all over again...another day shot to hell. The lights lasted two days now and the cage was-a-rippin'. Then the motor
crapped out. Almost 2 amps now!! I knew it would never last a good rain storm, so I hauled it all back out again...jeez, I hate hauling a battery with no handle. So, I read up a bit at the library and bought 200ft of 1 1/2 rolled black PVC tubing, thinking if I could channel water in the pipe...if only I knew..within a few hours I was a raving lunatic. You cannot unroll that tubing yourself, or with 2 people or even 3...you need a busload of people, lots of liquor, and you cannot tell them ahead of time what you need them for. Well, the tubing is still in a half-ass coil behind the garage, I can't wait to burn it.I then bought 2 1/2 inch black ABS pipe, 200 ft. of it, then went to the library. A week later I brought it back to the plumber, traded it for 4 inch... minus the 10% re-stock fee and 80 ft. on back order. Well, two weeks later I had a 200 ft. run of filtered hydro feeding a Nissan turbocharger connected to a 12 volt truck alternator, 3 days of lights running now! Not enough boost, but 5 amps to the battery! Then the inlet plugged...no vent, collapsed 3 sections of pipe..back to library, installed a vent and rigged a nozzle from a garden hose, 8 amps now!! Tried different nozzles and configurations but to no avail. Lights were on for a week 'till the half-ass wiring job came apart and shut off the lights...boiled the battery dry and easy baked it. I looked at an exploded torque converter, sliced it in half as well as my ring finger and rigged it to pulley drive another alternator. Forget that idea. Well, now I see manufactured wheels and permanent mag alternators are available at the local drug store, so thats next. Still no reliable RE power yet, but I am very close! Just remember that cigarettes kill, and so does spinach.
1 Posts
Aug 18, 2011 09:19 pm
Re: hydro-powered turbine

No but what a great idea. I just wrote a Booklet about alternate power and ways to save money. Everything from electric bills, fuel bills, and alternate energy ideas, research and diagrams.
I am very interested in your results because I'm trying to design a Hydro Turbine that uses the gutter system on the home to generate electricity.
I already have 8 solar arrays 6 of which are connected together and the other two panels are hooked up separately for other Appliances. I also have a 800amp wind turbine for additional power in black outs.
The solar runs the security lights shining down the drive, and 2 other arrays which have two lights each. The unit lights up the back yard and drive very nicely.
five0_five0 @ yahoo.com
462 Posts
Aug 19, 2011 12:45 pm
Re: hydro-powered turbine

Steve, if you are already rigged up to connect to a hose, you can try drilling different size holes into a hose cap to get the size nozzle you need for best operation. Using several nozzles, piped off the 2-1/2 pipe, may give you more power. then, if you put a pressure gage near the turbine, you can figure the head, and a 5 gallon bucket and a watch can give you the flow rate so you can compare your machine's output with one of those fancy store bought ones.
  And don't throw away that 1-1/2 black tubing yet, 200 ft of that gives you around 18 gallons of solar hot water that can get up to 120+ degrees. Just lay the coil out flat somewhere  in concentric circles, (you may need a friend for this too) and then cold water in ...hot water out...good for outside showers.....

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