Low-Impact Micro-Hydro Power
Mike Lowery, a retired entrepreneur and inventor, and Paul Price have created a clever little device called the Hydro-Electric-Barrel Generator (HEB) that could help many people harness the power of rivers and stream while keep the impact on nature at a minimum. The beauty is that the HEB works in pretty much any type of river, regardless of depth or flow speed (though that will have an impact on the quantity of power generated).
How it Works
From the HEB website: "The barrel is one-piece moulded plastic with paddle treads and two integral planet gear driven permanent magnet generators installed making this a relatively light assembly for transportation and installation.
The rotating barrel turns the generator case which drives the planet gears which in turn spin the discs which holds the permanent magnets
The movement of the magnets induces electrical current in the coils which are held stationary."
There's even a version (second picture) that could harness the ocean's waves and tides to generate electricity. Here's a video of it in action.
Power output for two models, a 1.5 meter one and a 2 meter one (graph above), has been calculated:
Calculation using simple formula for POWER
Horsepower = Torque (foot pounds) x 2 pi x rpm / 33000 which simplifies to:
Horsepower = Torque x rpm / 5252.
Finding TORQUE by calculating the water pressure on the paddle area using:-
Paddle Area x Length x density of water x (Velcity of current2 / 2 x gravitational constant)
And multiplying this by RADIUS
Of course some real-world testing will be required to make sure that it works as planned, and that it is cost-effective compared to other micro-hydro solutions.
Via HEB, Blue Living Ideas
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