Advertisement
If you have a new account but can't post, please email Niamh on [email protected] for help to verify your email address. Thanks :)
New AMA with a US police officer (he's back!). You can ask your questions here

"Nano" hydroelectric?

  • 02-05-2017 5:35pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 576 ✭✭✭ mr chips


    I live beside a small river, maybe 4.5m across and my lane runs alongside it for around 100m.  In winter it would vary in depth between about 1-1.3m, and it can fall to as low as 75cm in summer during prolonged dry spells, albeit still with a steady flow. Sadly it doesn't have the sort of drop you would need to install a water wheel or similar, so I initially thought it wouldn't be much use for generating power.  With the way battery storage looks set to develop though, I thought I might revisit the idea as a way of supplementing the solar array, especially in winter.  I'm not thinking in terms of exporting power at all, just getting as close as I can to energy independence for a single dwelling.  Plus I've made a big (for me) investment in the panels so this would have to be a relatively low-budget set up, say under £2000.

    A while back, I saw this article about the "Dunk-E" made by an Irish outfit called Ar-nuatec and liked the idea, so I bookmarked it for future reference in case I ended up with a bit of spare cash (short video without sound here).  Annoyingly, the website for Arnuatec seems to be defunct - just leads to something filled with oriental script.  Anyone know anything about them, or of the existence of a similar outfit, preferably based in the EU?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 265 ✭✭ SemperFidelis


    I was looking into doing something similar myself. Have a look at powerspout, they have 3 different options depending on your water flow and usable head, there's also a calculator on the site which is handy for a rough guide to expected power output.

    The only problem is they are based in NewZealand

    http://www.powerspout.com/


  • Registered Users Posts: 576 ✭✭✭ mr chips


    Yeah, I found that one after doing a bit more searching.  Because the drop between the highest and lowest points along the river to which I have access is fairly shallow, I suspect I fall into the "non-viable zone" on their chart. :( Must get someone to help me measure it properly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,627 ✭✭✭ quentingargan


    You're really looking for a run of river system. I have emailed the man who was behind Ar nua Tec with a link to here. Lets see if he shows up.

    There are other people working on run-of-river type generators, but I don't know of any that have become commercial yet.


  • Registered Users Posts: 66 ✭✭ cillo2000


    Sorry for reopening an old thread - just wondering if you got anywhere with this Mr. Chips? I was looking at powersprouts recently, they do a low head model now. I reckon you might be able to do something like https://www.turbulent.be/ aleit on a smaller scale.


  • Registered Users Posts: 576 ✭✭✭ mr chips


    I'm afraid I haven't pursued it since - too many other projects keeping me busy! I'd still like to do something like this, especially as I'm setting up a new campsite project and it would mean that virtually all the power supplied to it would be renewable, but for now I've just got too much on my hands getting facilities installed, putting up safety fencing etc to take on anything else. Thanks for the link though, I'll keep it in mind for the future. The Arnuatec crowd seem to have pretty much disappeared, sadly.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 10,919 ✭✭✭✭ Calahonda52


    Do you own both sides of the stream?


  • Registered Users Posts: 576 ✭✭✭ mr chips


    No - the other side is a small copse of trees bounded by the water on one side and the road on the other. The owner is a neighbour and if I ever was going to do anything about this I'd be discussing it with him first alright, but we rub along fine - when a number of the 25+ year old trees in there had to be felled as they were encroaching on a power line that goes through them, he said I was welcome to the lot for firewood. There was that much that I still haven't finished burning it six years later!


  • Registered Users Posts: 66 ✭✭ cillo2000


    I was talking to the fella that set this up on his farm in Leitrim https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HwHBwrzwUs, he's getting 3KWH for most of the year and about 1KHW in the hight of the summer (when you wouldn't need as much energy). He has gone from paying the ESB 4k a year to getting a cheque (can't remember the amount) from them at the end of the year. I'm at the initial stages of investigating a similar system. I have about 70m of head and a 20 liters per sec flow. The pipe would need to be about 400m, this would cost approx 3k. The sprouts are about 2k each imported (looking at two) and about another 1k for the rest of the gear. All in all, if I could get 2-3KWH out of that setup, the payback would be very quick. The guy in Leitrim said the satisfaction of generating your own power never gets old!


  • Registered Users Posts: 412 ✭✭ Mr Q


    cillo2000 wrote: »
    I was talking to the fella that set this up on his farm in Leitrim https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HwHBwrzwUs, he's getting 3KWH for most of the year and about 1KHW in the hight of the summer (when you wouldn't need as much energy). He has gone from paying the ESB 4k a year to getting a cheque (can't remember the amount) from them at the end of the year. I'm at the initial stages of investigating a similar system. I have about 70m of head and a 20 liters per sec flow. The pipe would need to be about 400m, this would cost approx 3k. The sprouts are about 2k each imported (looking at two) and about another 1k for the rest of the gear. All in all, if I could get 2-3KWH out of that setup, the payback would be very quick. The guy in Leitrim said the satisfaction of generating your own power never gets old!

    Domestic users wont currently get paid for any excess they generate. Maybe farm users have something in place for this but do you fall into that category.

    Hydro is great if you have the site for it. More power when you need it in winter and 24 hours a day like that guy in Leitrim.


Advertisement