proposed generator setup

t00lst00ls Solar Expert Posts: 234 ✭✭✭
I'm not sure of the math, or if this is even possible, I have a creek beside my property below a hill that I live on.....I was thinking that I could use a foot valve in conjunction with siphon techniques to run my windblue generator with a pelton wheel....kinda a reverse ram pump, only not to pump water

heres a crude drawing , I would like anyones thoughts on this

Comments

  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: proposed generator setup

    Don't understand. How do you get the water from the creek up the hill?
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: proposed generator setup

    Looking at the sketch, the short answer would be "nope".
    Here's why:

    The water flowing down through the turbine has a certain amount of power in it. That power is used up both in turning the turbine, running the generator, and overcoming friction. The amount of energy necessary to lift it back up to the starting point exceeds the amount used in coming down. f there's enough energy to do this to begin with, there's no point in lifting it back up; you can not gain any energy by using more to raise the water again.

    You're thinking about hydraulic rams, aren't you? :D They rely on a large volume/flow of water and consume some of that to create vertical lift. But the energy has to be there to begin with.

    It's amazing how much head you need to run micro-hydro. Much the same problem as with wind, in fact. Scale up and the inefficiencies become less of a factor.

    Why not just run the turbine from the stream? If there's not enough flow/head it won't work no matter how you pipe it.
  • RCinFLARCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,323 ✭✭✭
    Re: proposed generator setup
    stephendv wrote: »
    Don't understand. How do you get the water from the creek up the hill?

    Strong foot!......
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: proposed generator setup
    RCinFLA wrote: »
    Strong foot!......

    Hehe, in that case, it would be more efficient to use the foot to turn the generator directly ;)
  • t00lst00ls Solar Expert Posts: 234 ✭✭✭
    Re: proposed generator setup

    the volume of water would create a vacuum enough to replace what was exited through the 1 " pipe.

    large volume siphoning a smaller volume to replace a smaller yet volume....while it would have a surge effect it should still replace the amount of water lost while having enough head pressure to spin the generator.

    so suction would replace the water...I may go with 1 1/2" pipe for the supply

    I may have to have 2 foot valves on the 2" pipe......both pipes would be filled with water to start off the process... the foot valves of course keep the water at the top till it is ready to be siphoned in

    for this to work...it would have to be a closed system with no air in the 2 " pipe

    the output of the generator may not charge the batteries at a contiguous rate ...but it wouldnt have to as I am grid tied (xw 4548) and also have solar

    have you heard of anyone else trying this.....I need math figures.....there is all kinds of variations I could do with this like have a small pump resupply if I used a larger exit pipe ....that pump would only come on if the water level got too low


    I gotta try this just to rule out the possibility that it wont work ....so many times I have been told it cant be done with no proof, I've almost always proved people wrong
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: proposed generator setup

    I think the thermodynamic police are going to be after you, something about a second law.
  • t00lst00ls Solar Expert Posts: 234 ✭✭✭
    Re: proposed generator setup
    stephendv wrote: »
    I think the thermodynamic police are going to be after you, something about a second law.

    where would thermal dynamics come in to play....the generator has an open 1" jet that would spin a pelton wheel.....the generator has the ability to run 3 phase ac to a remote rectifier , so there isnt any voltage loss as with dc electric.

    and the creek is fed by springs year round:D nice cool water
  • t00lst00ls Solar Expert Posts: 234 ✭✭✭
    Re: proposed generator setup

    I just think that a negative vacuum pressue after some of the water has exited the 4" pipe would be able to siphon water that is already to the top of the 2" pipe.....I'm hoping the 2" pipe will resupply anything lost by a 1" pipe by surging it in from the vacuum

    further thinking ...I may need a foot valve on the end of the 4" inch pipe to make sure it doesnt try to burp itself

    the setup for the generator would be something like this....all the water does is exits...there isnt any pressure to to stop it
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: proposed generator setup

    If I understand your idea, you might as well use a bucket instead of a stream right? Because you're not trying to take any energy from the motion of the stream. You're using the energy of falling water to power the rising water.

    and that's where the second law of thermodynamics comes in. Under perfect conditions, the energy lost by the water going downhill is the same as the energy it requires to pull the same amount of water from the creek back up hill. You can't get energy from nothing.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: proposed generator setup
    stephendv wrote: »
    If I understand your idea, you might as well use a bucket instead of a stream right? Because you're not trying to take any energy from the motion of the stream. You're using the energy of falling water to power the rising water.

    and that's where the second law of thermodynamics comes in. Under perfect conditions, the energy lost by the water going downhill is the same as the energy it requires to pull the same amount of water from the creek back up hill. You can't get energy from nothing.

    Yep. In essence the proposal is a perpetual motion device, no matter how you pipe it.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,956 admin
    Re: proposed generator setup

    Remember, even with a siphon, there are two different water levels. And the water from the higher level will flow to the lower level of water.

    In your case, it is a "U" shaped siphon? Both the inlet and outlet (at best) are at the same water level--therefore no water level / potential energy difference to harvest.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,976 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: proposed generator setup

    All you can do in your situation, is use a RAM PUMP, and it can, without breaking any rules, move some of the water uphill, where you can store and use it for a small waterwheel. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ram_pump
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • t00lst00ls Solar Expert Posts: 234 ✭✭✭
    Re: proposed generator setup

    as I have been looking at this all day....siphon is an incorrect term.

    the water in the large 4" pipe will be acting as a piston, creating a vacuum,slowly.
    once a critical vacuum is reached, it will allow the spring loaded foot valves to open an atmospheric restricted flow of water through a 2" pipe.

    the 2"pipe only needs to replace the amount of water that was exited through a 1" pipe.

    one thing I did not mention....the exit will be slightly lower than the inlet

    I think why people have failed at this before is none of the cases I looked at were using a valve at the top of the loop or the bottom to keep the water at the height till it once again pulled a vacum

    think of a piston moving in a motor...it wouldnt work without valves...the exaust is always smaller than the intake and the pitons volume determines the power

    not violating any conservation laws...just using natural physics

    at any rate...I am going to do this, it may take a year to gather the parts ,as I am strapped for cash right now, and I have a very greedy ex-wife

    but I will do this and let you guys know how it turns out

    an idea never tried ...never fails
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,956 admin
    Re: proposed generator setup

    From Dave in another post/thread:
    Home Power, this month has a full page add for a new company making some pretty good deals on small pelton systems. They are stackable. Looks like they are around 1.3K$ Head x flow GPM / 10 should give you ballpark power production, or head x GPS = power.

    http://www.powerspout.com/

    Here is a low head turbine (don't know anything about company). Works on 5 foot of head and ~10 Gallons per Second flow rate for 200 watts of power.

    www.powerpal.com/lowhead.html

    In general, hydro requires quite a bit of water flow, and low head requires a lot more water flow for reasonable power output.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • t00lst00ls Solar Expert Posts: 234 ✭✭✭
    Re: proposed generator setup

    some visual aids for ya...I live on a hill, at the bottom is the creek. the 4" pipe would be about 150' -200' long on a slope of about 30 degrees

    I can run the 2" pipe up stream about 100' with about a 2' fall

    the outlet at the generator would be 3' below that point

    so I would be using 3 natural physics properties...gravity, atmospheric pressure, and siphon properties

    the water as it lowers in the 4" pipe will cause an intake (low pressure) effect causing the valves to open, as the water level rises the pressure returns to zero

    I'm hoping a valve at the generator side will stop air from entering at the bottom when the low pressure occurs...but it shouldnt be a problem
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: proposed generator setup

    It won't work :)
    To convince yourself you could try it at home with a bucket and few lengths of hose.
  • t00lst00ls Solar Expert Posts: 234 ✭✭✭
    Re: proposed generator setup
    stephendv wrote: »
    It won't work :)
    To convince yourself you could try it at home with a bucket and few lengths of hose.

    I'm sure it wont work on small scale.....the pressure just isnt there

    but thanks for your encouragement,I'm gonna be nice,but I'm glad you werent around when wilbur and orville built their plane..............................;)
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: proposed generator setup

    I didn't mean to be rude, just straight forward. This is a variation on hundreds of years of thinking on perpetual motion devices and you're in good company, Da Vinci and others have attempted to build them: http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/museum/people/people.htm

    Wikipedia also does a good job of explaining why they can't work: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_motion
  • t00lst00ls Solar Expert Posts: 234 ✭✭✭
    Re: proposed generator setup
    stephendv wrote: »
    I didn't mean to be rude, just straight forward. This is a variation on hundreds of years of thinking on perpetual motion devices and you're in good company, Da Vinci and others have attempted to build them: http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/museum/people/people.htm

    Wikipedia also does a good job of explaining why they can't work: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_motion

    yup...I saw those also....none of them used spring loaded valves in an enclosed system ....with one end higher than the other

    did you also see this
    http://sentinelkennels.com/Research_Article_V41.html
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: proposed generator setup

    So the only thing standing between humanity and unlimited free energy is spring loaded valves?

    Good luck.
  • t00lst00ls Solar Expert Posts: 234 ✭✭✭
    Re: proposed generator setup

    I really wanted to be nice stephan...but you sound a lot like a corporate shill....you dont have a reason why this wouldnt work...you havent shown any proof that someone has done it this way in the past...and

    you have a diesel generator on your profile on a renewable energy forum, wow

    now while I know generators have their place here, it's usually accompanied by some type of renewable energy

    I just cant stand people that always have a negative input

    I'm done
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,976 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: proposed generator setup
    t00ls wrote: »
    I'm not sure of the math, or if this is even possible, I have a creek beside my property below a hill that I live on.....I was thinking that I could use a foot valve in conjunction with siphon techniques to run my windblue generator with a pelton wheel....kinda a reverse ram pump, only not to pump water

    heres a crude drawing , I would like anyones thoughts on this

    if you are not going to like the answers, then don't ask.

    and I have 2 backup gensets, am I a shill too ? (but one can run on veggie oil)

    and I'm agonizing over answers I've gotten here, but I don't slam folks about it.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: proposed generator setup
    t00ls wrote: »
    I really wanted to be nice stephan...but you sound a lot like a corporate shill....you dont have a reason why this wouldnt work...you havent shown any proof that someone has done it this way in the past...and

    you have a diesel generator on your profile on a renewable energy forum, wow

    now while I know generators have their place here, it's usually accompanied by some type of renewable energy

    I just cant stand people that always have a negative input

    I'm done

    You've been given the reasons why it won't work. In one word: physics.
    If you insist on learning the hard way, go ahead. It's not our time, effort, and money you'll be wasting.

    And lots of us have generators; it's called "back-up power". When you're in the middle of nowhere you need it, because sometimes things go wrong and the sun doesn't shine for days.

    You will always find sensible, fact-based, real-world advice here. Never pie-in-the-sky solutions or hype.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,956 admin
    Re: proposed generator setup

    Everyone is here because they care. And sometimes humor is used--but missed in typed conversations.

    Hyrdo is just such a tempting power source--but every time I look at it--there is just the simple physics that say you need a water level differential and lots of water flow. At least commercial electric stuff--it seems that 3-5 foot head is about the minimum to get a few hundred watts--and even then it requires a lot of water flow to get that power.

    Your proposed system looks a little bit like a Ram Pump from Mike's post. The issue is that changing static energy (head) to dynamic energy (momentum of water through pipe to pump water) still needs the basic physics to make it work.

    If you don't have sufficient difference in water levels and enough water flow--hydro is very difficult to make work.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • t00lst00ls Solar Expert Posts: 234 ✭✭✭
    Re: proposed generator setup

    thanks bill...thats what I was looking for....opinions, with more than 2 words

    as I said before the 2 things I am doing different is
    1) the outlet will be lower than the inlet
    2) I will incorporate valves just as an engine does

    to have any good generator power, you need a good engine

    and also I may incorporate a paddle wheel to run a small large volume pump such as this one http://www.dbestpump.com/

    I was informed yesterday that with any pump above a source you can only get 25 feet out of it. So if I put a pump at the bottom and use some of the vacuum to get water to the top...everything should go as planned

    thanks everyone for the input
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,956 admin
    Re: proposed generator setup

    Depending on altitude--probably about 20' would be a good maximum siphon lift at sea level.

    What is your difference between water level and how much flow (GPM or equivalent) are you looking at?

    The Ram pump does have several valves in the system--and, from what I have read, Ram systems can have decades or more of functional life without service.

    There are quite a few Internet Sites with descriptions about how they work, design information, and how to build them.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • stephendvstephendv Solar Expert Posts: 1,571 ✭✭
    Re: proposed generator setup

    There are only 2 variables that count when calculating the power output of hydro: the head and the flow rate between the high point of the water source and the turbine ouput. Here's an online calculator that will let you calculate the available power: http://www.reuk.co.uk/Calculation-of-Hydro-Power.htm

    The only source of energy is that of the water moving from a high place to a low place. No amount of valves or pumps in between the high place and low place will increase the energy - if anything, they will decrease it.

    Your most viable options are to dam up the creek to create more head and then use a standard hydro turbine. Or to use an old style water wheel type system connected to a generator if the stream doesn't have much head.

    No amount of syphoning or valves or pumping in between the high and low points of the water will add any energy to the system.

    (Regarding the "corporate shill" comment, yes you are spot on, I work for BP we have a new project to bring oil direct to US shores, without the inconvenience of pipes - still need to sell the concept to the locals ) ;);)
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