Water wheel generator

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Andrew Croft
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Water wheel generator

Post by Andrew Croft » Fri Oct 13 2017 17:33

Been thinking about it for up at the fishery

Got an overflow here thats usualy always has water coming over it more so through winter.

Bamboozled a bit as to how to go about it. The idea is purely for lighting the cabin 1 cree led pointing at the ceiling using my torch spreads the light enough to see half the cabin enough to see a little so the idea is maybe one of those spot lights or light bars with about 4-6 cree leds. One on ebay 12v 48watt.

What you reckon would be best to use as a generator. Quite a lot of motors out there from alternators to stepper motors to tumble dryer motors. Smallest option is the most desired.

Anyone done anything like this got any pointers ?
20171013_165918.png
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Andrew Croft » Fri Oct 13 2017 17:40

I was thinking about placing it against the wall here at the lowest point.
Screenshot_20171013-173737.png
And channeling water in to it with guttering.
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by mickmcd » Fri Oct 13 2017 18:47

A few ideas you could adapt here Andrew?

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_ ... r+homemade

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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Duncan Holmes » Sun Oct 15 2017 19:50

What you need is water head, so long pipe running up the incline collecting water at the top, with a turbine at the bottom will increase the generated power.

You want a dynamo generator, preferably something with a 24 voltage output, you can buy them for building tiny wind turbines.

If you used 4inch soil pipe, you maybe able to build a turbine housing out of an Tee section.

You will almost certainly generate an unstable voltage, maybe worth considering a solar voltage regulator and charging a battery to give you a stable supply voltage.

I will happily put together a electrical design if you want.
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Andrew Croft » Mon Oct 16 2017 10:57

Mick ive been over a few of em and got some ideas :thumbs:

Duncan, sounds like a compact design. Got a pic or link for one of those generators?. Its this im not sure what to get.

No need for the electrical design, or atleast not yet :smile:

I known ill need to do something like that. Battery, charge controller, and dump load even though i dont intend to have it as a permanently fixed feature.

As for batterybi was thinking like a bait boat type one but a bit bigger. Would a leasure/outboard one be overkill ?
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Duncan Holmes » Mon Oct 16 2017 11:56

Andrew Croft wrote:
Mick ive been over a few of em and got some ideas :thumbs:

Duncan, sounds like a compact design. Got a pic or link for one of those generators?. Its this im not sure what to get.

No need for the electrical design, or atleast not yet :smile:

I known ill need to do something like that. Battery, charge controller, and dump load even though i dont intend to have it as a permanently fixed feature.

As for batterybi was thinking like a bait boat type one but a bit bigger. Would a leasure/outboard one be overkill ?
Something like this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Wind-Power-Dr ... 2548.l4275

Or even http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10W-Water-Tur ... 2206278447, if you don't want the challenge of making the turbine itself.

The bigger the battery the better, depends what your amps in and amps out are likely to be? The biggest issue with "off grid" systems is balancing use/generation, and a bigger battery will be cycled much less drastically so will last a lot longer.

Have you considered what you might run if you had "unlimited" power? Have you considered adding a USB outlet in the cabin for phone charging?

Even with a tiny turbine you will get a decent amount of amps per day as it will run 24/7, the little turbine in the link will give 2-3Ahs per day, which will run your light bar for 10-12 hours comfortably.

Easiest dump load is a small heating element.
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Andrew Croft » Mon Oct 16 2017 13:19

Only thinking about lighting at the moment the fishery is out the way away from street lighting so it gets pitch black. The phone charger also sounds like a great addition i hadnt considered and now want to incorporate. Ooo maybe a little radio too.

Theres nothing else i really need power for as ive got a petrol generator for my power tools a log burner for heat and gas for the tea and munchies.
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Andrew Croft » Mon Oct 16 2017 13:23

Regarding heating element for a dump load is there a risk of it getting too hot. Id worry about leaving it unattended or does it never get that hot to begin with, being a bit of a power hog ?
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Andrew Croft » Mon Oct 16 2017 14:37

I could probably get my hands on a 12v 125ah battery :shrug:
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Duncan Holmes » Mon Oct 16 2017 14:54

That battery would be fine,

The heat dump could be anything from a 12volt immersion heater in an insulated tank, which would give you a supply of hot water, to an caravan electric fan heater either inside or out, the dump isn't a problem the voltage control switch will probably be most expensive bit of the system.

You will need a suitable relay like this, http://www.bimblesolar.com/extras/dumpl ... 200a-relay, but the control bit is likely to be costly.
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Andrew Croft » Mon Oct 16 2017 15:34

Ive been looking at this

Image

Come as 10/20/30 amps where would that split charge relay come in to that diagram i thought the regulator done that :scratch:

Would i be right in thinking led lights/phone charger probably wouldnt draw more than 10amps ?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/192128810135?c ... 5192391362

They start from £7'odd :suspect:
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Duncan Holmes » Mon Oct 16 2017 16:03

Andrew Croft wrote:
Ive been looking at this

Image

Come as 10/20/30 amps where would that split charge relay come in to that diagram i thought the regulator done that :scratch:

Would i be right in thinking led lights/phone charger probably wouldnt draw more than 10amps ?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/192128810135?c ... 5192391362

They start from £7'odd :suspect:
Its not clear from the description whether or not it has voltage diversion function,

This one has the right info in the description

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10-20-30A-12V ... 0005.m1851

Impressed by the price.
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by DavyMc » Mon Oct 16 2017 16:28

Excuse my ignorance but why does this panel description say it's safe without the controller
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Top-8-Strands ... Ciid%253A1
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Duncan Holmes » Mon Oct 16 2017 18:06

DavyMc wrote:
Excuse my ignorance but why does this panel description say it's safe without the controller
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Top-8-Strands ... Ciid%253A1
Shows braid when I press the link :grin:
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by DavyMc » Mon Oct 16 2017 19:33

Duncan Holmes wrote:
DavyMc wrote:
Excuse my ignorance but why does this panel description say it's safe without the controller
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Top-8-Strands ... Ciid%253A1
Shows braid when I press the link :grin:
:laughs: technology
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by DavyMc » Mon Oct 16 2017 19:40

Off the same supplier Duncan, my pal was wondering about panels on the boat roof for keeping a charge in the engine starter battery.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12V-Portable- ... 2437874309
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Duncan Holmes » Mon Oct 16 2017 19:51

DavyMc wrote:
Off the same supplier Duncan, my pal was wondering about panels on the boat roof for keeping a charge in the engine starter battery.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12V-Portable- ... 2437874309
I wouldn't connect it to my battery, flooded lead acid batteries shouldn't be charged at higher than about 14volts.

Max output on that panel is 18 volts, the Chinese will tell you anything, but rarely back up their claims if something goes wrong.

Not worth risking damaging an expensive boat battery for the sake of a £10 controller.
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Andrew Croft » Mon Oct 16 2017 19:54

DavyMc wrote:
Off the same supplier Duncan, my pal was wondering about panels on the boat roof for keeping a charge in the engine starter battery.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12V-Portable- ... 2437874309
I dont think solar panels work like a generator. turn off whatever device you are powering and the solar panel wont meltdown without a dump load, the leccy just stops (i think, or something like that) charging a battery though im guessing it needs to be told when to stop :shrug:
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Andrew Croft » Mon Oct 16 2017 19:55

Duncan Holmes wrote:
Andrew Croft wrote:
Ive been looking at this

Image

Come as 10/20/30 amps where would that split charge relay come in to that diagram i thought the regulator done that :scratch:

Would i be right in thinking led lights/phone charger probably wouldnt draw more than 10amps ?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/192128810135?c ... 5192391362

They start from £7'odd :suspect:
Its not clear from the description whether or not it has voltage diversion function,

This one has the right info in the description

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10-20-30A-12V ... 0005.m1851

Impressed by the price.
might give it a try. from Jersey, UK. that'll be china then.
Let me ask you one question. Is your money that good. Will it buy you forgiveness. Do you think that it could. I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul.

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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Duncan Holmes » Mon Oct 16 2017 20:20

Andrew Croft wrote:
Duncan Holmes wrote:
Andrew Croft wrote:
Ive been looking at this

Image

Come as 10/20/30 amps where would that split charge relay come in to that diagram i thought the regulator done that :scratch:

Would i be right in thinking led lights/phone charger probably wouldnt draw more than 10amps ?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/i/192128810135?c ... 5192391362

They start from £7'odd :suspect:
Its not clear from the description whether or not it has voltage diversion function,

This one has the right info in the description

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10-20-30A-12V ... 0005.m1851

Impressed by the price.
might give it a try. from Jersey, UK. that'll be china then.
😁China indeed.
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Andrew Croft » Tue Oct 17 2017 14:38

Theres been a solar panel up here for months and im only just finding out :laughs:

Its got 3 pins on the connector though. Positive negative and a ground im thinking :scratch:
20171017_143317.jpg
What would that have plugged in to ?
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Duncan Holmes » Tue Oct 17 2017 17:29

Andrew Croft wrote:
Theres been a solar panel up here for months and im only just finding out :laughs:

Its got 3 pins on the connector though. Positive negative and a ground im thinking :scratch:

20171017_143317.jpg

What would that have plugged in to ?
Wouldn't have thought it would be grounded on a panel that size.

Got a picture of where the wires connect to the panel?
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Andrew Croft » Tue Oct 17 2017 18:00

Duncan Holmes wrote:
Andrew Croft wrote:
Theres been a solar panel up here for months and im only just finding out :laughs:

Its got 3 pins on the connector though. Positive negative and a ground im thinking :scratch:

20171017_143317.jpg

What would that have plugged in to ?
Wouldn't have thought it would be grounded on a panel that size.

Got a picture of where the wires connect to the panel?
afraid not its pretty well sealed. I think its from an electronic street sign (slow down etc). maybe some properietory connector for a system with a radar attachment. from solagen btw. no idea on model or anything.
Let me ask you one question. Is your money that good. Will it buy you forgiveness. Do you think that it could. I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul.

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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Andrew Croft » Wed Oct 18 2017 17:15

Well reckon it puts out more than 10amps i just blew the fuse on my wee toy multimeter (10a) :lol:

It gave 20-21 volts in cloudy'ish conditions.
Screenshot_20171018-170856.png
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Duncan Holmes » Wed Oct 18 2017 18:36

Andrew Croft wrote:
Well reckon it puts out more than 10amps i just blew the fuse on my wee toy multimeter (10a) :lol:

It gave 20-21 volts in cloudy'ish conditions.

Screenshot_20171018-170856.png
You can't measure amps like that on a solar panel. You need to short circuit the panel and measure using a clamp meter. Measuring it open circuit will cause a massive rush of electrons over the translation layer and spike your meter, good job it has a fuse otherwise you would have had a nice blue flash coming out the side :grin:

The volts will stay pretty constant until you get to the extreme ends of daylight, the amps change with light intensity.


That's a polycrystalline panel, so as a rough guide you peak output will be around 150 - 175 watts per m2, dependant on year of manufacture. The peak short circuit current will be around 7.5 to 8.5 amps.

Peak is measured at 1000 w/m2 of daylight.

If you decide to short It, be careful as dc hurts :thumbs:
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Duncan Holmes » Wed Oct 18 2017 18:46

Andy, link to the solar pv bible

Lots in there about off grid systems.

https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&sourc ... 19j9ZRHV7F
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Andrew Croft » Wed Oct 18 2017 19:25

:red: Thanks duncan. Do you reckon this would be easier to rig up than the turbine with similar results in output?. I do like the idea of bodging together a turbine though.

So go with a 20a regulator like the ones earlier in the topic then?. 30a would be better wouldnt it(future proofing) ? Am i right in thinking a higher amperage charge controller wont degrade the output of say one more suited to a 10 or 20 amp charge controller :scratch:

I love electronics and tinkering but its a ballache to understand and retain. Ive electrocuted myself more times than id care to remember :laughs:
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Duncan Holmes » Wed Oct 18 2017 20:26

Andrew Croft wrote:
:red: Thanks duncan. Do you reckon this would be easier to rig up than the turbine with similar results in output?. I do like the idea of bodging together a turbine though.

So go with a 20a regulator like the ones earlier in the topic then?. 30a would be better wouldnt it(future proofing) ? Am i right in thinking a higher amperage charge controller wont degrade the output of say one more suited to a 10 or 20 amp charge controller :scratch:

I love electronics and tinkering but its a ballache to understand and retain. Ive electrocuted myself more times than id care to remember :laughs:
Had to go and get the laptop for this one as too long to do on the phone. :laughs:

When sizing, always choose a component that's at least 25% higher than the calculated peak power. :thumbs:

The turbine will certainly be more of a challenge to set up and I would take the opportunity, very few people have a chance to rig one up as they don't have access to the right type of water, where as almost everybody can set up a solar system

Watt for Watt, the turbine will give you more available power as it will run 24 hours a day, in the winter the turbine will give around 10 times the power of the solar.

Its relatively easy to work out what your solar output is likely to be. If we assume that the peak is 150Wp based on facing south panel for a G1 postcode, you can expect the following power per day ON AVERAGE.

Jan 15 Ahr
Feb 20 Ahr
Mar 27 Ahr
Apr 36 Ahr
May 41 Ahr
Jun 40 Ahr
Jul 40 Ahr
Aug 39 Ahr
Sept 32 Ahr
Oct 24 Ahr
Nov 18 Ahr
Dec 12 Ahr

For the turbine is a bit more complicated, if you went for a 10W turbine, assuming it had enough flow to run at 80% output 24 hours a day, =8/12 = 0.666 Amps*24hrs = 16 Ahrs per day. Assume around 10% losses (which is already in the solar calc) so around 14 Ahrs day.

a 150W Solar panel would give you around 10000 Ahrs a year, whereas the turbine about 5000 Ahrs, but December will be the limiting factor for solar.

Now how many Ahrs you need per day is the big question, that is always the tricky bit with working out how much power is needed, in fact its several questions.

What is the power and time of use of the appliances?
What is the usable storage capacity?
How long is the recharge period.

Lets say 100 watts for 5 hours per day with 24 hours between recharge periods.

100 watts/ 12 volts = 8.33 Amps x 5 hours = 41.7 amps.

For practical purposes, usable storage capacity is battery capacity/2 , so 50 Ahrs.

So you know that the required power is less than the capacity, so that's ok, but you have to generate 41.7ah in 24 hours to recharge, the solar panel would just about cut it in the summer, but has no hope of keeping up in the winter, the turbine not at all.

If the period between uses was 72 hours, you only need 41.7/3 = 14 Ahr/day, so the turbine would be fine and the solar ok apart from December.

You can replace the numbers above with what you think will happen to your system, if its daily use I would factor in a 50% margin on the solar to cover s**t days.

Go turbine, maybe buy one of those off ebay, get the rest of the electronics right and then see if you can build your own turbine :thumbs:

We are spring cleaning our warehouse over then next week or so, I will see if I can find anything useful for you.
Last edited by Duncan Holmes on Wed Oct 18 2017 21:28, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Andrew Croft » Wed Oct 18 2017 21:25

You and I need to have a talk about what is and isnt relativley easy to work out :lol: :dizzy:

Thank you duncan. I do very much appreciate the time you've took to explain this. It will take me a few read throughs and googling to fully appreciate it though. I'll be sure to post up my project for everyone :smile:
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Re: Water wheel generator

Post by Andrew Croft » Fri Jun 29 2018 22:54

back on this again :giggle:

I bought the bloke at the fishery this solar charge controller (20A) https://www.amazon.co.uk/JZK-Intelligen ... B071ZZ2S84

works great, it charges his leasure battery no bother and the usb ports charge phones at 5v 2.5a. charged a nearly deed battery (125ah) back up to 'medium' on his battery tester. but ive been scratching my head trying to find out what the "load" terminals will pump out. I know it gives out 12v but ive not got a clue at what wattage or amperage so ive no idea what cree led light bar would be suitable as they go in to 75 watts for a decent one :sad:

the load terminals take power from the battery, not directly from the solar panel via the controller.

they look great for small use, but obvious chinese cheap so not ideal for big applications or more than 40v worth of panels, would be great for boats on the cheap.

also how many batteries do you think you could link up together to get a charge ? I think only one but the guy at the fishery thinks he could get away with a few. im not so sure though :giggle: I think just one. especially with just that one solar panel :shrug: it kicks out about 14-15v in direct sunlight, 12.5 in the shade.
Let me ask you one question. Is your money that good. Will it buy you forgiveness. Do you think that it could. I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul.

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