Homemade Hydro Power

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    There are a variety of was to produce electric power at sea, or even on land. I will describe a simple, and easy-to-build one. It’s called the “Hydro-Jet”. The first task is to get the moving water up over 50 feet or so, so you have a nice “head” to work with. At sea there are a variety of pumps, and funnels to fill a modest storage tank. If your system is wave powered, generally, it only needs to hold the water from one wave to the next.

    This system uses a tall, 50 feet, plastic pipe. A 3-inch diameter schedule 40 pipe is strong, but thin-wall sewer pipe should work well if you balance it ok. It needs to have bearings to hold it upright, with a “thrust-bearing”, such as an automobile wheel bearing on the bottom to hold the weight.

    The whole pipe turns, so that it doesn’t need a rotating connection. So make it balanced.

    At the bottom is a pair of jet nozzles, so it will run like a sprinkler. The nozzles are spaced about 6-inches from center, facing opposite directions. You may need to change this some in your case. But keep it balanced so it will rotate smoothly.

    Another advantage is that the electrical part can be kept up away from the water, as the spray is usually close to the waves a high tide.

    The electrical part can be taken from a salvaged automobile. Take the alternator, voltage regulator, battery, battery wires, alternator dash light, and enough wire to hook it up just like it was in the auto. Then you can hook your radios, lights, etc. just as you would in an auto.

    The needed pulleys etc. can also be salvaged from an auto, except the big one on the main shaft. Old clothes dryers or washers often have a big one you should be able to get cheap at a junk yard.

    This design makes it easy to shelter the electrical part from the rain, and local water.

    At the bottom, to allow it to turn easily, yet hold the weight, use recycled automobile wheel, whose bearings are also “thrust-bearings”, so when placed under the vertical pipe it will operate correctly.

    However, most alternators or generators do not allow for a vertical axis, so either gears of pulleys that convert the vertical action to horizontal. One can use an automobile alternator, with its needed wiring and parts. Or you can use a large AC motor.

    I know, they told us in school that you can’t use an AC motor to generate power. Well they were wrong.

    Have you ever started up your power saw and watched the adjacent lights? They dim until the saw reaches full speed. What if you were to add energy beyond what they need to run? The so-called Back EMF gets bigger than the power which runs the motor. The kilowatt-hour meter runs backwards, and if you have arranged it with the Power Company, and have the right kind of meter, they will pay you.

    Wouldn’t you like that?

    You do have to turn off the connecting electric line when the wind stops. Or it wastes power.

    If you recycle from an automobile, use the alternator, voltage regulator, battery, battery wires, alternator light, wiring, and hook it up just like it was in the car.

    Hook up your radios, lights, etc. just as you would in your automobile. Use LED lights as much as possible because they are more efficient, so they use less power. They are availabe from newer automobiles. However, they won’t work if connected backwards, and don't forget to switch them off in the daytime.

    If any of this seems beyond your skill, ask someone to help you. These skills are common.

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