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Author Topic: solar,wind,hybrid,hydro what about a snow turbine?  (Read 3199 times)

Offline nicephotog

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No snow turbine, but something alike it!
pre-requisite information: http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/roofs-collapsing-under-heavy-s/45019

Raw Video: Snow Causes Metrodome Roof Collapse

But what if it rains or snows??? It's not how Hollywoods audio specialists would have you believe, In strong heavy rain there is not much wind, neither in snowing!

Recently i did some research about solar power because my relatives complained about the rising cost of electricity and the fact they don't like to service remote properties on the edge of town because they do too much to get too little remuneration as an electricity company.
Recently also the government has been offering rebates for people supplementing their electricity with special solar hook-up packages.

I found the packages are not particularly useful until they are 5Kw production (overnight-1day battery bank, fridge , freezer and either the washer or stove top). I also began investigating the alternatives to solar, such as the hybrid generator systems of combination solar - wind with battery banks.

Then i thought of Hydro! Then i thought of snow too!

No, no dam in the backyard, simply a large machinery shed roof with a rain down-pipe and no trees near it. Maybe, but it will need to be a large roof.
That would take care of energy production in heavy rain and no light and a swamped wind generator in a hybrid system.

Snow Turbine
But snow is the real problem.
Remembering i'm the type of 5 year old that takes heirloom 12 jewel gold watches and pulls them apart to see how they operate, it appears there could be a chance in using the initial spring power transmission drive system clocks have as gearing and applying that gradual process to snow on a roof because in some places of the world not only does it rain heavily, it also always snows heavily.

This system would be to set a giant rectangular pan over a roof on a frame and pivot.
While the snow is filling the pan it is becoming heavier and the pan starts to tilt on the pivot. Using the gearing process that harnesses clockwork power to spin the gears in a clock, this will be used to spin the generator while it snows and there is no light or wind.
When the pan tilts enough it will lose the snow and reload into position with a spring and/or counter weight on a pulley.
While there is snow weight there will be generation of electricity.
To start one of these safely because of the gearing ration requires a flywheel for centrifugal force storage and a slip/grab friction clutch(or a wet clutch system) engaged by governor weights.
to keep the speed of the generator constant an impeller brake alike an automatic vehicle transmission can be used as a braking device with a static set of blades on one side in it.
« Last Edit: 29/06/2012 14:58:30 by nicephotog »


 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: solar,wind,hybrid,hydro what about a snow turbine?
« Reply #1 on: 29/06/2012 21:41:34 »
Keep in mind that:

SNOW ≈ WATER

But, at a lower density.

The big problem is that snow tends to accumulate while water runs off.

However, if you only collected snow from say a 2 meter x 2 meter square, your power generation would be abysmal.  Even if you could collect all the snow from the roof of an A-Frame house, it would be little different than collecting the water runoff from the gutter system in a heavy rainstorm which wouldn't get you too far.

We naturally collect snow energy with dams and hydroelectric, albeit at a lower altitude.

An interesting question would be whether you could actually collect energy from a glacier slowly moving down a mountain.  Potentially the amount of energy it carries would be tremendous, but collecting it would be quite an engineering challenge.
 

Offline nicephotog

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Re: solar,wind,hybrid,hydro what about a snow turbine?
« Reply #2 on: 30/06/2012 06:52:12 »
Quote
would be whether you could actually collect energy from a glacier slowly moving down a mountain

Both have about the same problem with distance of movement, but i thought i mentioned clockwork gearing ratios, secondly, for transmission of the kinetic energy, in the case of a glacier, look at chains and industrial drive belts , as much again conveyor belts are engineered to solve the problem of extensive length of transmission of energy.

You may have misread me, its not to collect water from snow, its to "use its weight" to apply as energy on "a/the" lever that acts like a cog in a clockworks system of gears. In clockwork the spring pushes a lever not a cog to turn another cog at a massively high ratio and does not exceed 180 degrees movement(clever ones do get near 360 degrees movement). The springs lever moves e.g. 160 degrees the connected cog turns 360,000 times.
 

Offline Geezer

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Re: solar,wind,hybrid,hydro what about a snow turbine?
« Reply #3 on: 01/07/2012 17:53:29 »
Unfortunately, long gear trains tend to be horribly inefficient. You don't notice this much when gearing down because you are more interested in increasing the mechanical advantage, but it's a serious problem when gearing up because friction can easily overwhelm any speed gain.
 

Offline nicephotog

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Re: solar,wind,hybrid,hydro what about a snow turbine?
« Reply #4 on: 02/07/2012 01:05:50 »
Have considered that, but most clockwork watches or toys operate long enough, but maybe a few degrees of the first tilting could be used to push a flywheel up to speed and engage a centrifugal clutch from governor weights.
 

Offline crimsonknight3

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Re: solar,wind,hybrid,hydro what about a snow turbine?
« Reply #5 on: 14/07/2012 13:47:11 »
I read this and found it quite interesting and it sparked a little idea. You guys seem to have a pretty good mechanical knowledge, would it be possible to create a gravity loaded water wheel to produce a little electricty, if you have a way of using water mechanics to raise the water from bottom to top with no external output, you would have a continuously running water wheel requiring zero power to run
 

Offline imatfaal

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Re: solar,wind,hybrid,hydro what about a snow turbine?
« Reply #6 on: 14/07/2012 17:02:29 »
CK3 - nope.  Many people have wasted lives trying to build a zero power perpetual motion machine - they do not and cannot exist.  Search Wikipedia on the Laws of Thermodynamics.  The best use for perpetual motion machines is as an exercise in mechanical analysis - working out where you have missed something!  Friction is the main killer- you will have energy losses in form of heat and sound and vibrations; and each of these rob your device of energy which needs replacing. 

You can easily make a water wheel that you yourself don't need to power - stick it in a stream or river; it was one of mankind's first industrialisations.  Waterwheels provided power for milling, iron smelting, the fabric industries etc - but they all got their power from the potential energy of water which as it fell through gravity, and as the water fell down the river some of its energy was used to turn the wheels.  The water got up hill in the first place due to the heat energy of the sun's rays.  Everything comes back to an energy source - there is no such thing as a perpetual motion machine, especially not one you can extract excess energy from (thats a double no no)
 

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Re: solar,wind,hybrid,hydro what about a snow turbine?
« Reply #6 on: 14/07/2012 17:02:29 »

 

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