How to Install a Complete Micro Hydro Alternative Free Power Generation System for your Home.

    This project goes over the details on how you can setup and install a 300W Off the grid Micro Hydro System for your home .

    The water source mentioned in this project have a flow rate of 15 – 30 gallons a minute and the drop between the source and the house is about 150 feet.

    The first step is to make an intake angled screen box for the system that helps in channeling the water from the source. The aluminum screen on the top blocks leaves, sticks and other debris to pass through into the box . The box is made of a 24 inch 2X10 ,2X4 and an 2X8 angled piece treated lumber.

    We add 3 one and quarter inch attachment points on the lower side of the box for the hdpe poly pipes. The box is secured using exterior screws on the outside and inner tubes on the seam to prevent leaks.

    The box is installed on the creek with help of couple of three and half inch concrete anchors and two boards are screwed on both the sides for support.

    The outlet poly pipes from the intake screen box goes to 55 gallon plastic barrel which acts as a silt catchment and also an air free source. The 3 outlet pipes are connected to the top of the barrel with the help of uniseal rubber gaskets. A 2 inch pipe is installed midway on the tank for the penstock.

    We also install an overflow pipe near the top of the tank to take the extra water out and a three inch cleanout pipe at the bottom . The cleanout pipe can be unscrewed to remove the silt and debris out.

    To take the water from the intake to the turbine, the penstock used here is a 100PSI 1100ft 2 inch poly pipe. A threaded adapter is glued to the outlet coming out of the barrel. It is then connected to a two inch full port shutoff ball valve followed by an another threaded adapter and a pipe. The penstock poly pipe is attached to this pipe using barb fittings with hose clamps.

    Next step is to install the pressure gauge and the surge tank to our penstock pipe. Water will come down through the poly pipe into another PVC pipe fitted with a pressure gauge, surge tank, two inch closing ball valve and a union to remove the turbine from the pipe. The surge tank is made of a standpipe that will prevent any water hammer affecting the pipes.

    The two inch poly pipe coming out from the barrel is connected to the two inch PVC surge tank and pressure gauge using regular . If the main shut off valve is suddenly closed, this tank will allow some of the surge to be absorbed.

    Next step is to build a housing for the micro hydro turbine. It is going to have a lid that opens up and a drain field pipe that goes out back to the creek. The housing for the turbine is made of three quarter inch plywood that is 2 X 2 foot wide and one foot tall. The turbine sits inside the hosing in the middle with the help of some 2x 4 scrap wood and a bucket lid piece. Then a 3 inch exit pipe comes out of here down through the middle of the housing .This drain pipe keeps the water from piling up under the turbine.

    The Micro Hydro Turgo Turbine is custom built based on the head pressure and the flow rate of the water source. It has three ball valves and four quarter inch jet nozzles coming out of them. The ball valves can be separately turned off when there is not enough water .The turbine is wired up to be three phase. The water coming out of the penstock hits jet nozzles that turns the Pelton wheel which is connected to 3 phase AC motor.

    To connect the turbine to our house, we use a 10/3 underground feeder wire. The wire is enclosed in a one inch conduit pipe. The proper way to install wire into a conduit is to get your conduit all glued together. And then you have a vacuum that pulls a string through. You tie your string to the wire and then pull the wire through the conduit. The wire goes into the house through a PVC conduit body.

    We install a junction box on the housing of the turbine to join the 3 phase turbine output wires to the 10/3 UG feeder wires coming from the house. Inside the house, we connect a rectifier to the three legs of the three phase coming from the turbine .This converts the AC generated into DC power.

    To generate useable power from this micro hydro system we need to install certain electrical devices in our houses. These include the MPPT Charge Controller, Grid Tie limiter Inverter, breaker box, disconnect switches and the batteries. These components are mounted on a 2 X 2 foot ,three inch plywood board. In case there is some excess heat for one of these electronics at some point, we cover the plywood board with a piece of sheet metal so that it will act as a heat sink.

    From the rectifier, the connection goes into a 25amp breaker box .The red wire goes into the breaker box and then further connects to positive of the charge controller. The negative white wire is directly connected to the negative of the charge controller.

    The five 12V AGM batteries are connected in series using four gauge cables. The positives from the batteries are connected to the charge controller and the inverter via DC switches .These switches allows us to isolate and disconnect the components individually. The negatives from the batteries are connected to the negatives of both charge controller and inverter respectively. The inverter is further connected to receptacle from where it goes straight to the main supply.

    • How to set up a Complete Off the grid living System using Solar and Wind Turbines . Make your own Power and never pay for electricity again.
      If you're going to run your home ,cabin or garage off grid, you are going to need some way of having power. Enter Solar and Wind. This project goes over the build of a complete off grid power generation system that can harness the clean and green renewable energy of the sun and the wind. Here is the basic rundown of the system .We go from sun to solar panels, there is no limit on how many solar panels we can put. It goes into a charge controller, it helps the solar panels create really efficient electricity to be pumped into your battery bank. Charge controller also makes sure that the batteries are being charged correctly and stay optimum. So solar panels to charge controller, and then that goes directly to your battery bank. The other source of renewable power is wind. The wind turbine is connected to a stop switch that goes into your battery bank. In some cases in between you can put up a wind turbine charge controller. Next step is converting the DC power to AC power with an inverter. The inverter basically converts the power to make it usable for your home. The inverter also has to be sized appropriately. From inverter to breaker panel which spreads the the power out throughout your house through your light switches, wall sockets. From breaker panel straight to your house or cabin. The first step is sizing your system. The battery voltage is going to determine what type of equipment you are going to be buying, and how you are going to be wiring your battery bank. So if you go with a 12 volt system, then you are going to want to make sure that your solar panels are wired up correctly for 12 volt. Even when you go with a wind turbine, you are going to want to make sure you buy the correct wind turbine for your battery voltage .So everything has to be sized appropriately so that you can collect as much energies as efficiently and then you can draw that power out. The golf cart batteries in my system are of 6 Volts. I have 6 of them wired in parallel, and in series to give me a 12 volt battery bank. The control panel box consists of my charge controller, voltmeter and 2 ammeters for both reading both solar and wind power amps. Four 12V Solar panels , each 100 watts are wired together . All the positives are connected to each other and all the negatives are connected to each other. The wiring goes straight into the control panel. The wind turbine used here is also 12V.The 3 Phase connections from the turbine goes into the bridge rectifier. The negative connection from the rectifier goes straight to the batteries, the positive goes to a junction box that connects the turbine and the inline fuse and 50amp breaker. The negative of the inverter goes into the negative of the batteries ,positive to positive. The romex wire from the inverter goes into the breaker panel in the house. The Permanent Motor Alternator turbine stands on a 6 foot pole .We have these two steel pipes that go down into the ground, three feet. There's another piece of steel that runs across here that's welded together, and it's in the bottom, and then we poured concrete over it to anchor it. Three tie down points are connected to the turbine to keep the pole steady from rocking around especially in high winds. So that way, when the blades turn, the bearings don't get worn out prematurely from wobbling. The Permanent Motor Alternator (PMA) used in this turbine consists of 2 shell casing, two bearings, a rotor inside and a stainless steel shaft. The tail of the turbine is made from a sheet metal cut to look like a fin.It is attached to a steel pole.This is further connected to the PMA alternator. The 11 blades of the turbine is attached to a hub and a pulley through a steel shaft. The belt is connected to a secondary pulley which is connected to the Permanent magnet alternator. The wire from the PMA is connected through MC4 connectors to the control panel. Wind turbine and solar power system overview : Setup of the wind turbines :
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