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Author Topic: Has anyone ever built a water turbine  (Read 3020 times)

Offline cheryl j

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Has anyone ever built a water turbine
« on: 01/06/2013 05:24:51 »
I live next to a fast flowing river, except perhaps for late summer, if there has been little rain. I've been wondering if I could build or buy a small water turbine and generate power.


 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Has anyone ever built a water turbine
« Reply #1 on: 01/06/2013 06:37:26 »
I've thought about it.
But, I don't live near a river

You might consider a basic paddle wheel.  Easy to make, and probably not to bad on the wildlife.  It should work with either water flowing under it, or over it. 

For many applications, your power generation would be greatest if you could build a canal and divert some of the water into the canal, then force a vertical drop. 

I thought this might be good for camping, if I actually needed a lot of power/recharging.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Portable-Hydro-Power-Generator-water-turbine-14V-DC-3kg-/171049560466?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27d3592992

This looks like a nice, personal sized generator, but it would need a lot of water, going through a bit of a drop.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hydro-generator-hydro-plant-hydro-power-1500W-off-grid-grid-tie-US-made-/290783902389?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43b4123ab5
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hydro-generator-Hydro-plant-Hydro-power-Complete-System-with-Magnum-MS4448PAE-/290784140097?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43b415db41

Check with your local government about permits.  It may be a problem with the permits to make a diversion or something similar.

Good Luck.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Has anyone ever built a water turbine
« Reply #2 on: 01/06/2013 16:53:41 »
Wow. They are not cheap, are they?

 

Offline Mazurka

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Re: Has anyone ever built a water turbine
« Reply #3 on: 03/06/2013 11:07:30 »
I built a small one mainly with bicycle parts (the gearing is really useful and chains can keep electrical gubbins out of the water) using a paddle wheel connected up to an alternator to charge a car battery for a friend who wanted to live "off grid".  Notwithstanding that I expected it to be hugely inefficient, it did generate a tiny but measureable current but signifcantly less than the windmill we also built or the solar panel they bought . 

As a consequence, I looked into small scale / run of river turbines more closely and came to the following conclusions:
a) it is difficult to get a useful amount of energy out (short of topping up batteries) without weirs / long pipes and commercial turbines.
b) commercial turbines are really expensive - which in part relates to the complications of having an electrical device in water and in part relates to the precision of the engineering to maximise the power generated.
c) (in the UK at least) getting the necessary permisison due to the impacts on wildlife of blocking rivers is basically imposible except on a commercial scale (and even then it is not easy)

 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Has anyone ever built a water turbine
« Reply #4 on: 03/06/2013 17:50:14 »
Here is an idea that someone suggested to me elsewhere.

http://www.clemson.edu/irrig/Equip/ram.htm

The idea is that one can build a very simple water wasting pump to pump water uphill.  So, about 90% of the water flows back to the source, but 10%, or so, gets pumped uphill for irrigation and whatever.

I just started pumping out a small spring that I have, but this method wasn't useful as I wanted to capture 100% of the spring water, so as soon as I have a chance, I'm getting some solar panels hooked to my pump.
 

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Re: Has anyone ever built a water turbine
« Reply #4 on: 03/06/2013 17:50:14 »

 

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