Help advice & assisatnce (power generation)

Help advice & assisatnce (power generation)

Postby holy vehm » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:03 am

Some of you will know that i am looking to acquire some land and go off grid, i hope this to be a reality later next year all being well.

While await that point i am trying to learn the things i will need to know about and one of those is water power and is the purpose of this note.

The land will have either a river running through it or alongside it, the river will be year round with a good flow and consistent level. The land will also be slightly slopping, or higher at one end than the other, perhaps by as much as 100 meters.

The idea is to create a series of lakes from the top of the land down to the bottom connected be a series of streams.

The top lake would be a header lake for the water turbine located at the bottom of the land.

As well as a water turbine there will be a waterwheel being fed by a different lake.

The water turbine is to solely generate electricity to sell onto the grid, it will have the ability to provide for the needs of the land but the water wheel is for that purpose, so except for specific requirements the water turbine is to generate to sell. This in turn provides a means of income that can be used to fund the various projects on the land.

Now here is the problem, i do not really have much technical knowledge on this subject and would like some input/advice/guidance.

Heres some figures i have pulled up, they are only for illustration purposes so you can see what im getting at.

The header needs to be 30/45 meters high and as far from the turbine as poss. Is there an optimum distance, like header/distance equals ?????

To generate 20kwh requires 60/80 litres per second.

Worked out on 70 litres p/s = 4200 ltrs p/m = 252'000 ltrs p/h x 6 hrs p/day = 1.5 million ltrs p/d

So 1.5 million ltrs per 6 hour day will create 120 kw and this sells for around 15p per kwh, so we are not talking mega money here but still its about 6 grand a year with the option of increasing the hours its working, 12 hrs a day and its 12 grand a year.

There is also something called ROC's which have a value but ive not got my head around them yet, seems like some kinda scam to me.

So anyway, the problem. I have no idea what 1.5 million ltrs looks like, how big or deep does a lake need to be.plus if i increase capacity from 6 hrs to 12 hrs per day then i require 3 million ltrs.

Is it better to be deep than large or does it not matter, the volume of water still weighs the same?

How much water flows along an average sized river?

How much electricity is lost in the cables. The meter will be at the roadside, so if i lose a fair bit then i should site the turbine as close to the roadside as is poss, once it passes through the meter its the buying companies power then and i care not after that, how much is lost per meter of cable?

I have not worked out the requirement on the waterwheel yet and if that requires more water to provide a decent amount of power. The water wheel is only providing energy for the land so i would not need to produce 20kwh, perhaps enough to power a modern family home.

Alongside these there will be solar and wind that feed into my grid on the land with any left over adding to that which is for sale.



Here is a few links that i have been going through.

This is a 20kwh water turbine.
http://www.navitron.org.uk/page.php?id=50&catId=70

Selling your electricity.
http://www.bettergeneration.co.uk/green-energy-factsheets/selling-your-electricity-to-the-grid.html

How to calculate hydro power.
http://www.reuk.co.uk/Calculation-of-Hydro-Power.htm

Introduction to water wheels
http://www.reuk.co.uk/Introduction-to-Water-Wheels.htm


I have merely painted a picture of how i would like it to be, i know things will chop and change, hence gaining knowledge. I dont want to get the land and then say" now what" only to realise that the land isnt suitable for my needs. The outcome of this will determine the type of land i acquire.

How im getting the land, taxation on money made through the sale of power and so forth i will post up in different notes.
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Re: Help advice & assisatnce (power generation)

Postby holy vehm » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:27 am

I have just learnt that an olympic sized swimming pool holds 1 million ltrs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympic-size_swimming_pool
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Re: Help advice & assisatnce (power generation)

Postby holy vehm » Wed Aug 01, 2012 10:57 am

Ideally i could dig out the lake so its the same volume as a pool but deeper rather than longer. I think a pool is two metres deep, if im 100 metres higher then the turbine and i need a certain angle of decent i could make the lake 40 meters deep. Im not sure how to work out the above sums into something simple, if its 40 mtrs deep and has a volume of 1 million ltrs how wide is the lake?
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Re: Help advice & assisatnce (power generation)

Postby Freeman Stephen » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:03 pm

That's some major civil engineering works.
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Re: Help advice & assisatnce (power generation)

Postby nunkey » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:14 pm

Have you thought about keeping PIGS HV for the METHANE use ???

http://www.viacorp.com/bio-gas.html
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Re: Help advice & assisatnce (power generation)

Postby holy vehm » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:31 pm

Freeman Stephen wrote:That's some major civil engineering works.


Digging it out isnt too much of a problem, any earth that comes out will be used for the mound that i want to run around the boundary.
A 2 ton digger and a dumper will do the job.

I dont fancy digging out a depth of 45 metres tho :giggle: This is why im trying to workout the scale of things, to see just what the reality of the work involved is.

On the land, hopefully it will be clay as i wont need to line the lake with anything and from there its pipework to the turbine. This will require some form of housing, but again nothing to difficult.

nunkey wrote:Have you thought about keeping PIGS HV for the METHANE use ???

http://www.viacorp.com/bio-gas.html


Thanks, but i know even less about pigs and gas than i do water turbines :giggle: I suppose its the same equations as working out the water. How much gas per pig per day x amount of gas the turbine would need to create a kwh of electricity.
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Re: Help advice & assisatnce (power generation)

Postby Freeman Stephen » Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:27 pm

A thousand litres in a cubic metre. not sure what your calculating.
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Re: Help advice & assisatnce (power generation)

Postby holy vehm » Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:33 pm

Im kinda working it out as i go along and your figure helps a lot.

What i was trying to solve is rather than have a lake the size of a swimming pool, dig it deeper and make the area smaller. The lake would still hold the same volume of water, so i was trying to work out a ratio, so for instance if i dug the lake 10 mtrs deep how wide does the lake need to be (circumference)

I should be able to work it out using your figure :yes:
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Re: Help advice & assisatnce (power generation)

Postby Freeman Stephen » Wed Aug 01, 2012 7:51 pm

Generally your not digging out a square cross section with vertical walls but a trapezoidal cross section with sloping sides that in the circumstance of soil should be forty five degrees as vertical walls will collapse to this angle due the structure of soil. Consider if you were digging a hole in sand. The walls for sand slope at about thirty degrees due to its structure. You can build vertical walls once you reach the base and backfill the slopey bits. Is the question "what dimensions of a one million litre pool will require the least effort to dig?" if so avoid depth below a single spade full so half a metre deep in a circle of a two thousand metre area. So a radius of about the root of six hundred . . . About a hundred metre diameter. Area of a circle is pi times the radius squared. The volume of a cylinder is the area of the circle times the depth. The turbine has to be lower than the pool base or your only using fart of the pool.
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Re: Help advice & assisatnce (power generation)

Postby holy vehm » Thu Aug 02, 2012 8:24 am

Freeman Stephen wrote:Generally your not digging out a square cross section with vertical walls but a trapezoidal cross section with sloping sides that in the circumstance of soil should be forty five degrees as vertical walls will collapse to this angle due the structure of soil. Consider if you were digging a hole in sand. The walls for sand slope at about thirty degrees due to its structure. You can build vertical walls once you reach the base and backfill the slopey bits. Is the question "what dimensions of a one million litre pool will require the least effort to dig?" if so avoid depth below a single spade full so half a metre deep in a circle of a two thousand metre area. So a radius of about the root of six hundred . . . About a hundred metre diameter. Area of a circle is pi times the radius squared. The volume of a cylinder is the area of the circle times the depth. The turbine has to be lower than the pool base or your only using fart of the pool.


Thanks for that stephen.

I have worked as a ground worker for many a moon so digging out etc isnt a problem. The general idea will be a bowl shaped lake, hopefully its clay, if not i will clay line it, if it is clay rather than say sand it will hold its shape much better esp if the lake is never empty, the pressure against the walls will help. Ideally the inflow will be greater than the outflow so all im doing is topping up as i use water for the turbine.

How much water in a river i have yet to work out as in litres per second that i can take into the lake.

The size of an olympic pool is 50 mtrs x 25 metres x 2 metres (i think) so i will dig out say 25 mtres in circumference and dig down accordingly so it holds around 1 million ltres. As long as the lake inflow is greater than 70 ltrs per sec it should be fine.

But if the inflow is greater than the outflow then i dont need a lake anywhere near that size.

The lake or lakes will have to be continually flowing, one into the other or along streams. Having had a look into the paperwork side of things, there are certain restrictions on taking water from a river, the environment agency is the assumed authority. If i take water and hold it till i need it then its classed as removing the water, so it needs to be continually moving and flowing back into the river at the lowest point of the land. I cannot take any water from the 'otherside' of the river. I have 'rights' from the bank to the middle, i cant take water if it means the water level drops significantly between the inlet and the outlet back into the river, this is more relevant if a fishing club for instance uses that part of the river.

I could of course tell them to all go fuck themselves, but i dont want the conflict tbh and what im doing or want to do is only common sense and fairness, i will only take and use what i need so long as it causes no loss to anyone else.
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