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Would a DIY wind generator work as a micro hydro generator? Answered

I own land in the mountains and i have a spring fed stream.  Total drop across my property is about 25 feet.  The creek has at least 30 gpm flowing in it.  I know what 10 gpm looks like and it is way more, maybe as much as 50 gpm.  I will measure it soon.  I have been fascinated by the idea of building my own generator and using the water as a power source.

That leads me to my questions:
how to make it produce power at lower RPM?
How to reduce cogging by design?
What size wire for my coils?
One strand in the coil or several strands? (i have seen them wound with 4 strands)
How many coils and magnets? (size too)
I figure 3 phase a/c.  Any reason to do something else?


I have seen many great Youtube vidoes on wind turbine generators but that is such a variable power source. Would those generator designs be appropriate for a hydro system?  Hydro is a much more reliable power source, so i want to do this right from the start.  At this point in time its just an idea but I want to run with it.  It will power a small off the grid cabin and work shop.  A solar system will be part of this total system as well but i want to develop this water source first.
 
Its at about 400 feet from the stream to the cabin location.


Discussions

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Pilot90442

3 years ago

Josehf

No I don't want to build a 25 ft dam! Lol Assuming my estimated gpm is correct. What is the best plan for a diy generator. My original post listed questions that I am trying to get some direction on. Any help with those questions?

I am going to take gpm measurements this year. My stream is fed from 6 to 8 springs in the immediate area. I have 2 on my property as well. It has been raining so much that I don't want to measure while run off is significant. I want to know my worst case scenario. That number will be determined at some point.

My idea is to have electricity coming from multiple sources. The stream, solar panels and eventually a wind turbine.

D

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Josehf MurchisonPilot90442

Answer 3 years ago

When you measure the flow you want gallons or pounds, feet and time. so move it at least 1 foot

Imperil gallon 10 lb

US gallon 8.345 lb

1 horse is 550 foot pounds a second, that is 550 pounds moved 1 foot in 1 second.

1 horse is 746 watts.

Working at 100% efficiency to generate 746 watts you need at least 550 pounds of water moving a paddle wheel 1 foot in one second.

However most generators work as low as 50% efficiency, and good generators go as high as 80%.

This will tell you how much you can generate.

I would go with channeling the stream, a strait smooth clean channel moves faster. Then a paddle wheel design like on a steam boat. I would gear up the paddle wheels output for higher rpms for generating.

Of course you can't do this to the whole stream but you should have a couple strait spots you can take advantage of.

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Josehf Murchison

3 years ago

Assuming you don't want to build a 25 foot dam, I would go with channeling the stream and a paddle wheel design, then gear up the paddle wheels output for a better rpms for generating.

You won't get a lot of power unless you put a number of them along the stream.

30 Ip. gallons a minute is about 300 pounds a minute or 5 pounds a second assuming 30 gallons moves 1 foot. (US gallons 250 pounds)

1 horsepower is 550 foot pounds a second and 746 watts.

So you might be able to generate 7 watts at 30 gallons a minute.

At 50 gallons a minute it would be about 12 watts.

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steveastrouk

3 years ago

At 30GPM, and 100% efficiency, you can get around 110W from the stream.

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Downunder35m

3 years ago

Do yourself a favour and decide what output voltage you require.
24V, 48V and 60V are standard voltages for solar setups.

A very nice and easy start with generators is to use the motor froma washing machine.
Several models have a massive ring as a direct drive system instead of a small motor and pulley.
Those rings are essentially 3 phase AC motors but as they are fixed in their position and spin a ring of magnets instead they are perfect for home made generators.
Power output is not bad and most of the time you don't even need a reduction gearbox.
Only thing you will need is a three phase bridge rectifier and maybe a regulator to limit the output voltage.
You can mount them in a frame and use a pulley system for the connection to the drive shaft.
Smaller system do fine with the pipe and flexible drive shaft froma lawn trimmer.
Just needs some elbow grease and time to get it together.

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steveastroukDownunder35m

Answer 3 years ago

Several models have a massive ring as a direct drive system ......Those
rings are essentially 3 phase AC motors but as they are fixed in their
position and spin a ring of magnets instead they are perfect for home
made generators.

Got any suggestions for easy to get models ?

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steveastrouk

3 years ago

Unless you use a Pelton wheel, you can't make a water generator spin as fast as a wind generator. The speed of rotation affects the output voltage directly, so you really need a machine with many poles, to generate a rapid change in flux at low speeds.

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Pilot90442

3 years ago

I have seen the washing machine motor videos. It's a consideration. I know about the issues with power transmission over long distance. I figured I would deliver the power from creek to top of hill on relatively small guage wire while it's still a\c. Use the rectifier to convert to d/c at the cabin. Planning on a 12 volt system inside the cabin.

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Downunder35m

3 years ago

Forgot to mention the long distance problem.
You should use quite thick wiring from the generator to the rest of the system or make a little shed for the batteries, regulator and inverter right where the generator is.
Low voltage and long distance never make a good mix as the voltage drop is quite bad.
As an alternative you can make sure the generator provides enough voltage so when it arrves at the batteries there will be enough juice left.