Archive for Downsizer For an ethical approach to consumption

       Downsizer Forum Index -> Energy Efficiency and Construction/Major Projects

Micro Hydro Installation

So, do we have any hydro power experts in the house? Laughing

We have a reasonably fast flowing stream which runs past the house (some preliminary calculations show that we have a minimum of 15 litres per second flow and an available head of up to 30 metres ish.

We've read all the C.A.T. Hydro stuff and have a little bit of knowledge about how it all works. We also have our own digger, a lot of 6 metre lengths of 8" plastic pipe but very little cash!

Can anyone recommend a suitable turbine? We'd be happy with a second hand one to start with. Anyone here any experience of D.I.Y. hydro installation?

I know there are grants to be had, but if I've read it correctly, in order to qualify for one you have to use "approved" suppliers, "approved" materials and "approved installers" so I think we will be going it alone.

The hydro expert is a chap called Gwilym, he lectures at CAT on the MSc course. What he doesn't know about hydro...

I get the US based Home Power magazine and it has an awful lot about practical micro hydro systems it might be worth your while signing up to their website.

I've calculate your maximum potential is 4.5kW of energy assuming zero losses. If you can maintain that flow rate your should be able to realise 2-3 kW of usable continuous power. More than enough for an average home. You may need some battery storage for heavy loads but to be honest a grid connected system maybe worth your while.

Edit: As with all renewable schemes it going to cost money and you need to think of it not as a financial investment but as one that will give you independence and the good feeling your energy is produced from renewable resource.

You will need to properly budget for it and by all means do as much DIY as you can. If you can do the physics and maths yourself so much the better. Just be aware the project capital cost may well be higher than you imagine. The UK is well behind most developed countries in the tax breaks for renewable self-generation projects.

You have the benefit with hydro that you have a reliable resource and you can recoup some costs by selling it back to the grid. You won't get much but you may be eligible to receive ROC's for the energy you produce which you can sell on.

I can specify microhydro; it's not so hard really Smile but monitoring over a year or more is best and would be useful to see an OS map too. You will need to deal with licensing and restrictions, such as winter use only, are possible.
       Downsizer Forum Index -> Energy Efficiency and Construction/Major Projects
Page 1 of 1
Home Home Home Home Home