HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Feature
Automation & Control

Case Study: Building Your Own 20kW Hydroelectric Power Plant

NO RATINGS
5 saves
Page 1 / 4 Next >
View Comments: Oldest First|Newest First|Threaded View
<<  <  Page 5/6  >  >>
dougspair
User Rank
Gold
Re: Details, please!!
dougspair   12/7/2011 8:21:57 PM
NO RATINGS
...try again with the watts to horsies...as one horse is 746 watts...so a 15 horse motor would be around 10 KW....

  Article says 3 of the 15 horse motors...so yes...about 20KW...if all goes well.

  Then, to get the buy-back...I'm assuming the generator must be exactly 60 Hz...?

I've worked at a couple small (30-40) Mega-watt Bio-Mass plants...the on-line syncro is extremely important...and...I'd assume this set-up here in the article has at least a transfer switch of some kind...? That is one of the first things any hydro or PV set-up requires. Otherwise I would think you could end up with utility power running your motors and pumping the water backwards...but then, I could be wrong....

renuengineer
User Rank
Iron
Re: Building your own power plant
renuengineer   12/7/2011 10:01:14 PM
NO RATINGS
My admiration for all the hard work and ingenuity! 

Here in Michigan (and in most states I would think) the DNR would be all over this.  Also FERC (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission) claims jurisdiction and requires that a hydro have a license even with the tiniest stream generated electricity if it is grid interconnected.  These two entities would easily double the cost of the project even at this small scale.  I would like to know how you avoided these burdens.

A lot of people have trouble conceptualizing the induction aspect of a motor/generator.  An induction machine delivers the nameplate rated hp as a motor at the nameplate rated amount of slip below synchronous rpm and, in turn, will generate the rated equivalent electricity as a generator at the same amount of slip above synchronous rpm.  An electric motor is not "synchronized" at start up - that is just the condition under which it delivers maximum torque because it is at maximum slip.  The line sets the voltage, frequency and phase relation.  The induction machine simply uses those properties to operate without need for complex controls, regulation and phasing.

Froese
User Rank
Iron
Re: Building your own power plant
Froese   12/10/2011 9:56:10 PM
NO RATINGS
Thank you, renuengineer for that explanation of how induction generation works; I couldn't have done it better!


Re: FERC, they don't involve themselves with individual installations this small. In South Carolina, our department of Health and Environmental Control does regulate dams & reservoirs, but our lake had already been in existence for over 100 years. The utility company was satisfied with some cursory drawings and assurance that we were entirely induction-based. The only official inspection was that of the county building department.

N. Christopher Perry
User Rank
Gold
Re: lets check the math
N. Christopher Perry   2/6/2012 7:02:23 PM
NO RATINGS
You're numbers look spot on.  At that scale, standard induction motors might achieve 70%-80% efficiency, and the turbine/penstock losses are in that range as well.

Honders
User Rank
Iron
Another self designed and built 20kW Micro Hydro
Honders   2/10/2012 7:55:41 PM
NO RATINGS
1 saves
Wow! great job!

I have yet to connect our Micro Hydro to the grid. Except for a few hours of testing, when I discovered what 'absolute value' metering meant, we have been running autonomously since commissioning 2006. I used pumps as turbines and 3 phase motors as single phase generators to cut costs. I don't think I gave up any efficiency at all since I'm getting a bit more than my initial calculations indicated. NY just passed the net-metering law for under 25kW hydro, so we'll be hooking up soon.

Syncing induction generators of a few tens of KW to each other or the power-line is not a problem as long as they are within a few RPM or Hz of each other. 

Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRl0ztxn094

HTTP://EnergyIndependence-Rob.blogspot.com

Happy Hydro

Rob

Aldo Agraz
User Rank
Iron
Congratulations!
Aldo Agraz   3/22/2012 3:13:21 AM
NO RATINGS
This is a very good work! I wonder if this is affordable for developing countries like Mexico or Latin America where there is good potential for micro hydroelectric generation, how expensive is the system and where can I purchase one? Thanks

garyg1
User Rank
Iron
Re: so there is such thing as a free lunch!
garyg1   4/4/2012 9:49:49 AM
NO RATINGS
You are absolutely correct. There's little more than .001 hp available from water @ 2 GPM dropping 2 feet. If this was able to produce 20 Kw we'd have ourselves a nice perpetual motion machine! I think that the heading of the article is  misleading. The article itself is worthy.

ChrisP
User Rank
Silver
Re: 80/20 Rule
ChrisP   4/5/2012 12:55:34 AM
NO RATINGS
Design News asked for people to moderate and presumably add comments to their web site.  You had to make a certain number of posts to remain in the system and to receive a stipend or whatever it was called.  I get the feeling that this thread is more about maintaining a posting record than making real comments about an idea that is impractical in almost every state.

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: 80/20 Rule
Rob Spiegel   4/5/2012 4:19:16 PM
NO RATINGS
The idea may or may not be impractical, but the comments are entusiastic. Those who comment on the Design News site are passionate about their views. I think that's very clear in this thread as well as the other comment threads.

nyeng
User Rank
Gold
Re: Building your own power plant
nyeng   4/11/2012 10:55:29 AM
NO RATINGS
I applaud this project from a technical and ingenuity standpoint. 

However,  I tend to agree with the pessimism on the regulatory stuff.  Here in NY, the environmental hurdles as well as the federal & state energy commisions/authorities and utilities would make it nearly impossible.  The thousands you would have to spend on attorneys, permits, fees, and political contributions to make it happen legally could buy you electric power from the utility for a hundred years or better.  I think in this state the only thing attempting such a project would get you is legal trouble and the related fines and attorney fees.

<<  <  Page 5/6  >  >>
Partner Zone
Latest Analysis
Take a look at the top 20 US undergraduate engineering programs. Then tell us -- did your school make the cut?
Producing high-quality end-production metal parts with additive manufacturing for applications like aerospace and medical requires very tightly controlled processes and materials. New standards and guidelines for machines and processes, materials, and printed parts are underway from bodies such as ASTM International.
Engineers at the University of San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering have designed biobatteries on commercial tattoo paper, with an anode and cathode screen-printed on and modified to harvest energy from lactate in a person’s sweat.
A Silicon Valley company has made the biggest splash yet in the high-performance end of the electric car market, announcing an EV that zips from 0 to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and costs $529,000.
The biggest robot swarm to date is made of 1,000 Kilobots, which can follow simple rules to autonomously assemble into predetermined shapes. Hardware and software are open-source.
More:Blogs|News
Design News Webinar Series
7/23/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
7/17/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
6/25/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
5/13/2014 10:00 a.m. California / 1:00 p.m. New York / 6:00 p.m. London
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Sep 8 - 12, Get Ready for the New Internet: IPv6
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Next Class: September 30 - October 2
Sponsored by Altera
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2014 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service