add hydro to an existing solar

Hi - long time stalker, first time poster. I have a solar panel system (12 panels) and a Froneius 4000. There is a water line that goes past my house (connects an upper pond to a lower pond) and I'd like to hook hydro into - anyone have any ideas or see any problems? Can that be hooked into the Froneius?


  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,006 admin
    Re: add hydro to an existing solar

    Hydro is all about the numbers... How much pressure differential and what kind of volume are you looking at?

    You probably saw this post referenced a few days ago:
    BB. wrote: »
    You can use a site like this:

    To figure out how much power you can generate for 5,000 gallons of water:
    Gross Head x Flow x System Efficiency (in decimal equivalent) x C = Power (kW)
    C is a constant (the value is different in English and metric units).
    • 100 psi / 2.13 psi per foot * 1 cf/s * 0.55 turbine eff * 0.085 = 2.19 kWatts
    • note fixed 0.85 should be 0.085
    • 5,000 gallons * 1/7.48 gallons per cuft * 1/1cf per sec = 668 seconds = 11 minutes of power
    Looks like a lot of "work" for little "work"... 2kWatts for 11 minutes.

    A pair of 225 AH 6 volt Lead Acid Batteries:
    • 225 AH * 12 volts = 2,700 WH for batteries
    • 2,190 WH * 11min/60min per hour = 402 WH for above water system
    In this example, the batteries store 6.7x more energy than 5,000 gallons at 47 feet elevation.

    If you could use a few hundred watts continuously--Then a smaller hydro system may work OK.

    If you have a lot of water and low head (5 feet or so?)... There are systems that work with that too... But you need a huge amount of water flow because of the low head.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,359 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: add hydro to an existing solar

    Hydro needs it's OWN controller, usually one with a " Load Dump " , so that when the batteries are full, the turbine is not simply disconnected, but directed to a load resistor, so that it does not overspeed and destroy itself.
    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 ||
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    gen: ,

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