At Fuelternatives foot step power generation pdf are trying to help consumers find solutions to allow them to use alternative energy sources. I started by trying to make an inline energy take off with a pre-made propeller blade from a paint stirrer.
While an interesting thought, I couldn’t get any reasonable motion out of it – which reminded me of my physics that the max torque will come with the force applied furthest out radially. First things first – physics reminds us that we can make energy only convert it and every conversion includes loss. Next that water pressure from gravity is directly related only to the height of the smooth column flow. Design plan – knowing that we want a smooth flow but our goal is to move the water out to the radial extremes of our propeller, I created a basic test harness to try and understand how to optimize the hydro power system. The pipes here are really representative of what you would have to install in your environment. I fill up the 5 foot tall 2 inch pipe to get a know water volume for efficiency testing. The point here is to show the behavior of the water and the wheel.
We are aiming the water jets to hit just under tangent to the edge of the wheel so we get maximum effect. Note the whit painted wheel section shows the spin. A note on performance You can see the short pipe on the far side is impacting the wheel well, but on the longer jet on the near side needs to be tweaked to maximize impact. The support structure for your practice design is not critical. Shown here, I have a 2 by frame work with a peg board top and a support piece of plywood to keep the wheel in alignment.
The feed pipe gets filled from the hose while I hold the jets closed. Then step back cause water is splashing everywhere. Ultimately, an installed system might get set in a sump style container so that it can drain away the water. It is important to keep a full pipe since total “head” or falling distance is the basis of water pressure. We have a 2 inch feed line, but we want it to come out in a tight and aimed water jet.
Given that we reduce from 2 to 1. 2″ copper pipes as our jets. Copper pipe is easily bent to shape and the tips flattened to maximize the impact on the paddle wheels. At this point only the compression joint is tight both to the copper and the PVC so that all other angles and parts are just pressure fit, allowing me to change them as needed.
To get the far side jet angled so close, it uses a 90 degree compression fitting that you can make out with effort in the back of the picture. We have a be nice policy. Does anyone know were I can find some good instructions for a waterwheel for a large waterfall on our farm and some water-turbines for our large streams that differ in flow. If your still looking for some projects. May be this could help for a Science fair unless and until you are ready to drain your water tank to generate less energy or ready to carry barrels of water to jsut perform the demo. I like your idea, one idea is to use collected rain water pumped to a high tank during excess solar generation, Then when there is no sun use the water in the high tank as a hydro power source.
In this way you can save excess solar energy into long term storage. Also someone had thought of compressed air as a means of storing the energy. It would be interested to compare these and hydrogen system . Grey water collection system , rain water lower tank , upper tank would work as storage as well saving water. Use you washing machines drain pumps, the vanes are optimized. I’ve seen some excellent home-made impact wheels like this using old spoons as the vanes on the water wheel. How much power did you get out of it?
A neat addition for a science project would be a dynomometer to measure the output curved over water flow rates. Also, would like to see some preliminary plans. Way ahead of you on this one. I like your idea of using the gravity flow though You need to look into some jetison nozzle, approx 3 set at different angles. Your design may not work to full potential with that flow.
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