PDA

View Full Version : Water Wheel Generator



madman
05-01-2006, 01:23 PM
Friend asked me to make up a water wheel system for his new property. Im wondering about the bearings electrogalvanic corrossion and what to use to make it a durable long lasting affair. Hint i dont want to come back and fix things every month for him in the future. I was thinking of a pair of rollers to set the water wheel axle on so it would be easy to remove for winter storage ect. Any ideas guys. Thanx Mike

topct
05-01-2006, 01:42 PM
Is it legal on the particular stream/river to divert enough water to drive one? In some situations any diversion, of any kind is not permited.

Just wondering. Iv'e seen and heard of manditory immediate removal and or fines involved.

If not, Iv'e seen them made from stainless for a water wheel. And Stainless or monel shafting running on bronze? bearings.

Or another approach is low head hydro. Basically a long hose run upstream connected to a turbine. Their may or may not be restrictions on it's use also.

Mike Burdick
05-01-2006, 02:15 PM
Mike,

Here's an interesting link I found a while back. It doesn't answer your particular question but it does address some of the points Gene brought up...

http://www.montanagreenpower.com/renewables/hydropower/index.html

Evan
05-01-2006, 02:28 PM
Mike, last I recall you are in Ontario. The regulations that apply to diverting water from any stream are obscenely complex and getting a permit can take years. It doesn't matter if all the water goes back in the stream or not or whether you build a dam or weir or not.

I wouldn't help with such a project unless your friend has the required permits. You could end up in a mess right along with him. I would advise him to do a little checking with the fish and wildlife people and the water rights branch first.

Leigh
05-01-2006, 02:37 PM
As far as the technology is concerned, they've been making water wheels for 300 years... out of wood. Don't mess with success. There's a ton of literature available on water wheel design.

Or if you want something more modern, check into water turbines from the 19th century. Also very reliable designs.

But in either case you'll need a significant head to get any amount of power, at least 10 feet, preferrably 15+.

PTSideshow
05-01-2006, 03:25 PM
here is the site that has all the latest and greatest for home power they should point you in the correct legal morass:D
http://www.homepower.com/

Al Messer
05-01-2006, 05:58 PM
I would use Lignum Vinate (SP?) wood for the bearings. It was once used as propeller shaft bearings in steamships so it ought to hold up O.K. in a wet environment.

Timleech
05-01-2006, 06:07 PM
I would use Lignum Vinate (SP?) wood for the bearings. It was once used as propeller shaft bearings in steamships so it ought to hold up O.K. in a wet environment.

Lignum Vitae. Good stuff, good for caulking mallet heads, too.

Vesconite

http://www.vesconite.com/

is probably easier to get hold of.

Tim

Evan
05-01-2006, 06:24 PM
Glen,

Unless that magazine has information specific to Canada it won't be of much use. The regulations here are much different than in the US. British Columbia has perhaps the strictest riparian protection regulations in North America. Ontario is a close second. Also, with a very few grandfathered exceptions you cannot own lakes or streams, even on your own property. If the lake or stream is fish bearing then you must also deal with Fish and Wildlife. Any project that has the potential to disrupt a stream in any way must go through a public notification and review process. Any objection from any potentially affected person can kill your chances if the department doesn't do so first.

QSIMDO
05-01-2006, 07:19 PM
If their stream is fast enough design an undershot wheel.

No diversion of flow, nothing in the water but 2-3 buckets at a time so everything's high & relatively dry.

gunsmith
05-01-2006, 07:55 PM
There is a material that I use all the time in a fish plant here. It is a material called UHMW or another alternative is Delrin. Both of these materials work as bushings and can stand severe abrasion from sand and debrise especialy UHMW. They can be lubricated but it is only to protect the steel shaft from wear, not the bushing. Water in the plant acts as the lube. The nice thing is that they are normaly lubricated with a vegitable based lube which of course works well to satisfy the environmentalists. I am just designing a unit for my landscape and wood shed that will incorperate a fuctioning eight foot water wheel as part of the design. Mine will work but only for show and as a water feature. It will have UHMW bearing on all rotating surfaces. Good luck with yours.

Leigh
05-02-2006, 12:34 AM
If their stream is fast enough design an undershot wheel.
That's true... but undershots are extremely inefficient. You'll pay h*ll getting any power out of one of reasonable size. Works great if you make it 20 feet wide :eek:

And buckets won't work. You have to use flat paddles. With buckets you have to lift the weight of the water up to the point where the bucket is empty, which takes more power than is generated by the flow. So it won't move at all.

Evan
05-02-2006, 01:26 AM
There is more than one way to skin a cat. These units are available and require no disturbance of the stream. It requires fast moving water at least a foot deep and they are expensive. However, it is one way to get around the regs. If they object to it you just pull it out of the stream, same in winter.

http://vts.bc.ca/pics/aqua.jpg

It makes up to 2kwh per day.

http://www.nooutage.com/aquair-uw.htm

Leigh
05-02-2006, 01:57 AM
It makes up to 2kwh per day
That's enough to power a 60-watt lightbulb plus a 15-watt night light.

Evan
05-02-2006, 02:17 AM
That's enough to power a 60-watt lightbulb plus a 15-watt night light.

Or a refrigerator all day, or a microwave for an hour or more. Or 20 compact fluorescents for ten hours.

Duct Taper
05-02-2006, 12:03 PM
Madman, thanks for asking this question. I have been thinking of the same thing for pumping water from the river for my garden. The water would have to be pumped about 200 feet up a 15 foot high riverbank. It is a big, slow river so the high speed generator for an electric pump wouldn’t work too well and I don’t want to run a power line down there either. But a waterwheel just might work.

The waterwheel would be the undercut type and would be mounted to a floating dock, under the deck between the pontoons. It would be on a trailing arm like a motorcycle back wheel so it would deflect upwards if a log came floating downstream. The wheel shaft would be directly linked to a low gpm piston-type water pump. It may take all day to fill the 300 gallon tank up in the shed on top of the bank, but then I could use my ¾ hp centrifugal pump to distribute the water from the tank to the sprinklers.

I wouldn’t need to run any electricity down to the river for a pump, and being mounted on a floating dock the waterwheel would not be covered by the shoreland regulations at all. And I could tie a boat up there too!

Scishopguy
05-02-2006, 12:07 PM
Sounds like any water power is impossible to get through the permitting process. You may want to go to wind. Here is a link to a simple wind generator you can build for less than $100 out of surplus parts and PVC pipe. With some clever machinist modifications (like slip rings on the pole so it will rotate) this could provide emergency power through a battery bank and inverter.

http://www.velacreations.com/chispito.html

I am going to build one when I get settled in and have access to my shop again.

Jim (KB4IVH)

madman
05-02-2006, 12:31 PM
HM some good ideas UHmWor Vesconite for bearings sounds good. I thought of having two sets of wheels a pair each side so axle or shaft of water wheel sits on top and spins. Then if a beaver or log hits it it would pop out of the bearing so to speak and do no damage. As far as the enviromental concerns well hmm how do i put it too late already backhoe and dumptrucks have done the dirty deed. Now its time to pour footings and concrete for the supports. Well its his property anyhow and its not a major waterway for critters or ships of any size. The only thing that floats down the stream is scantily clad females holding usually a can of beer on there slender bellys. (Or even not so slender). Thanx for the great ideas i like that windmill idea also built one years ago but when it was mounted in the back of the pickup for testing the blade blew apart. Took a year to carve it so another project on the back burner. Thanx again, Madman

topct
05-02-2006, 02:37 PM
It may be his property, but it is not his water.

And the back hoe and dump truck thing sounds real friendly.

Just go out and do whatever? Bah!

Do that around here and his ass would be in deep doodoo.

Alistair Hosie
05-02-2006, 05:11 PM
Modern nylon should last and last.Alistair

IOWOLF
05-02-2006, 05:21 PM
Well, I am sure he will find out soon enough.

It is really no ones business here what he does, and threats and the like don't help.
I say good for him if he gets away with growing your own electricity.

HTRN
05-02-2006, 06:34 PM
Madman, thanks for asking this question. I have been thinking of the same thing for pumping water from the river for my garden. The water would have to be pumped about 200 feet up a 15 foot high riverbank. It is a big, slow river so the high speed generator for an electric pump wouldn’t work too well and I don’t want to run a power line down there either. But a waterwheel just might work.

The waterwheel would be the undercut type and would be mounted to a floating dock, under the deck between the pontoons. It would be on a trailing arm like a motorcycle back wheel so it would deflect upwards if a log came floating downstream. The wheel shaft would be directly linked to a low gpm piston-type water pump. It may take all day to fill the 300 gallon tank up in the shed on top of the bank, but then I could use my ¾ hp centrifugal pump to distribute the water from the tank to the sprinklers.

I wouldn’t need to run any electricity down to the river for a pump, and being mounted on a floating dock the waterwheel would not be covered by the shoreland regulations at all. And I could tie a boat up there too!

What about a hydraulic ram pump (http://http://www.countrysidemag.com/issues/4_2004.htm#article1)? They're self powered, and not permanent. You use the energy of fast moving water to pump some of it up hill.


HTRN

Duct Taper
05-02-2006, 06:35 PM
"Modern nylon should last and last.Alistair"

Yup. Nylons, chocolate bars and Camel cigarettes always worked.

topct
05-02-2006, 06:38 PM
"It is really no ones business here what he does, and threats and the like don't help."

No one's business? It would be if they were to screw up your creek/stream.

And there were no threats made.

What I should have said, was, his problems would be a promise.

And I find the possible disruption of beer drinking, bikini clad girls, floating by on the inner tubes to be an absolute no no. :D

Evan
05-02-2006, 07:05 PM
Watch out Mike. You don't want to get caught up in something that could be very costly.



3.5.5.2 Ontario ‑ Great‑Lakes Area

2003-2004

An offender pled guilty to a charge of harmful alteration of fish habitat, under subsection 35(1) (http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/canwaters-eauxcan/infocentre/publications/reports-rapports/ann03/part8_e.asp#sect35) of the Fisheries Act, along Evans Creek, Ontario, and was fined $13,000.



An offender pled guilty to a charge of harmful alteration of fish habitat under subsection 35(1) (http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/canwaters-eauxcan/infocentre/publications/reports-rapports/ann03/part8_e.asp#sect35) of the Fisheries Act, along an unnamed creek to Lake Huron in Gore Bay, Ontario. The offender was fined $2,500.



An offender was convicted of a charge of harmful alteration of fish habitat, under subsection 35(1) (http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/canwaters-eauxcan/infocentre/publications/reports-rapports/ann03/part8_e.asp#sect35) of the Fisheries Act, and one charge of deposit of a deleterious substance, under subsection 36(3) (http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/canwaters-eauxcan/infocentre/publications/reports-rapports/ann03/part8_e.asp#sect36) of the Fisheries Act, along Junction Creek, Ontario. The offender was fined $5,000 for each charge for a total of $10,000 of which $9,800 went toward Creative Sentencing.



3.5.6 Pacific Region

Six convictions were reported in Pacific Region in 2003‑2004 for Fisheries Act infractions related to fish habitat protection.
An offender was charged under subsection 35(1) (http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/canwaters-eauxcan/infocentre/publications/reports-rapports/ann03/part8_e.asp#sect35) of the Fisheries Act. The offence occurred in Upper Pitt Lake and has been ongoing since 1999. In 2003 a guilty plea was handed down, with fines totalling $15,000 and a court ordered restoration plan.




http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/canwaters-eauxcan/infocentre/publications/reports-rapports/ann03/part3_e.asp



There are many more cases.

IOWOLF
05-02-2006, 07:13 PM
"No one's business? It would be if they were to screw up your creek/stream."

was/is it YOUR stream? I think not.

This is the problem with all this crap. What you bought and paid for isn't yours to keep and do with what you please,even if you do no harm to others, they Have to stick there nose in to your business.

Evan
05-02-2006, 07:19 PM
Here the stream and rivers belong to everyone. No one person "owns" the water, it's just passing through and it is your responsibility to not screw it up for everybody downstream.

madman
05-03-2006, 01:47 AM
All i was asked to do was design a waterwheel system for a fellow i met drinking beer at a friends house one night. I didnt dig any dirt i didnt even drive the dump truck. I did however politely inform him that what he was planning could get him in a lot of trouble. I did my duty. He didnt honestly have any idea at all what he was doing could be illegal. We shall see how far this goes. I was asked to engineer something for him because i do a lot of stuff for this group of people who he is aquainted with. From homebuilt aircraft to machinery rebuilds tooling design and other crap also. Thanx to everyone for the great input it is very much appreciated. Have a good day Signing off BUURp Mike

madman
05-03-2006, 01:51 AM
Yeah one off my favorite things. Even without the bikini its alright by me.

SJorgensen
05-03-2006, 03:49 AM
Is there anything wrong with someone generating power with water rights that they may own for irrigation?

It seems to me that some of the legislation preventing these home-generation efforts are written to benefit the owners of utilities. There are powerful interests that don't want individuals to sustain themselves "off the grid."

In my opinion we are all better off with smaller diverse power sources. I favor the environment, so environmentally friendly is good. Still, any water flowing in pipes or irrigation ditches or sewer and other drainage systems should be fair game for power generation.

Energy is everywhere.

topct
05-03-2006, 09:33 AM
"Is there anything wrong with someone generating power with water rights that they may own for irrigation?"

That may be a different situation. The laws/regulations very from state to state and I would check with whatever authority that issues permits for that.

The power companys around here don't care, and will even buy back any excess.

Evan
05-03-2006, 09:44 AM
The power companys around here don't care, and will even buy back any excess

They care a lot. It is possible to spin the meter backward if you supply power to the grid and that is not acceptable to them as they would be buying power at retail prices. They will insist on a setup that sells them the power at wholesale rates.

topct
05-03-2006, 10:23 AM
I know it requires a special setup, but didn't know about the rate thing. Hmmm.