I have wanted a dam ever since I bought the 'stead. I know right where it should go. I don't really think I'd get enough head to drive a turbine very often, but I sure would like to try it. The creek is named Mill Creek, and I think that means that at some point somebody had a dam that generated water power nearby. But so far I have not uncovered the history of the local mill that must have once existed.
If your head is too low, there are still ways to get small scale hydro power. Forget the math for sufficient head for a moment. All you need is 3 or four gallons per minute of MOVING water.
I think you have that, do you not?
There are two ways to handle that.
1. A bullet shaped submersible electric generator is fastened to a post in the stream. You then use that electricity to run an electric centrifugal pump from the stream to a reservoir.
2. Skip the electric generator and put a hydraulic ram pump in the stream to pump water up to a reservoir. Ram pumps can, with very low stream velocity, pump water up as high as 40 FEET!
This is a 1973 article but the principle involved in hydraulic ram pumps is the same. Perhaps they are cheaper now than they were then:
The Hydraulic Ram Pump: Perpetual Motion for the Homestead
Although water won't run uphill, some exceedingly clever soul discovered a long time ago that H2O can be persuaded to pump itself in that general direction. The hydraulic ram pump makes it possible.
... if your property contains a spring, creek, small stream, or other source with a flow of at least three gallons per minute (gpm) you can probably solve your problem easily and inexpensively with a hydraulic ram pump.
All that time the device has been pumping clear, cool spring water up over a 25-foot hill—a distance of 150 feet—and into our farm pond, without the use of any fuel whatsoever. In short, we're getting about 500 gallons of water per day at an operating cost of zero ... and we expect this to continue for ten years or more. (http://www.createaforum.com/gallery/renewablerevolution/3-200714191258.bmp)
Huge Hydropower Plant to Harness Seawater and Solar Power in South America’s Driest Desert (http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130730115824/plantsvszombies/images/5/59/Sunflower_Free_Promo.jpg)
Cole Mellino | January 22, 2016 3:54 pm
Lodged between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean is the Atacama Desert in Chile—the driest non-polar desert in the world.
It certainly isn’t a location where you’d expect to find a hydropower plant, but Valhalla, a Chilean company, plans to build Espejo de Tarapaca (Tarapaca Mirror), a 300-megawatt solar and hydropower plant.
Valhalla claims Chile’s unique coastal geography make its an ideal location for a solar and hydropower plant.
During the day, the plant will use solar power to move seawater up a tunnel to the top of a mountain, where the water will be stored in a natural reservoir, explained FastCoExist. At night, the water will be released back down, generating power as it falls. This way, the plant can generate power day and night. Pumped storage hydropower plants are not a new concept, but utilizing solar power to pump the water is.
“You need to be able to provide power when it’s needed, so it’s readily available and dispatchable,” Francisco Torrealba, co-founder of Valhalla, told FastCoExist. “If on a particular day you don’t have wind and can’t provide energy at a peak time, that would be a huge crisis. That’s why our concept becomes relevant.”
The water will be pumped up to a natural reservoir at the top of a mountain using solar power during the day. Then at night, the water will be released back down, generating power as it falls. Photo credit: Valhalla
Because there are natural reservoirs at the top of the mountain, the company will not need to build dams. ;D
The Chilean coast is an ideal location for this type of project. “Chile has the best conditions in the world for solar plants—roughly 15 percent better than Arizona,” Torrealba said. “It’s really stunning. But Chile also has the best conditions in the world for pump storage running with seawater. That means we can produce flat, steady power at a very reasonable price.”
The company won’t have to construct dams, either. “We found these natural depressions that we believe were very ancient lakes, but obviously there is nothing there now, it is a desert, that will allow us to store water,” the company’s co-founder and chief executive Juan Andres Camus told Reuters.
And it’s currently cost-competitive with coal. “In Chile, we don’t have any subsidies for renewables, so we need to be able to compete straight with coal generation,” Torrealba explained. “It’s a very Darwinian world—you need to be able to play against coal. Our cost structure is at the price of coal right now.”
Valhalla is set to begin construction on the plant in the second half of 2016. They’re still in the process of securing funding for the venture, but they estimate they will be supplying electricity to utilities by 2020. They believe the Chilean coastline has the potential to supply power for all of South America.
“The region of Tarapaca can be a leader in solar energy,” Torrealba told Tunneling Journal. “And Chile can become an energy superpower in the world.”
“We could completely replace all the generation in South America,” he told FastCoExist. “You could very easily envision a South America in 20-25 years which has an integrated grid all throughout the continent, in which Chile could be providing very cheap, clean electricity with this combination of pump storage and solar power.” (http://cliparts.co/cliparts/Big/Egq/BigEgqBMT.png)
How to Make Electricity in a Disused Coal Mine ;D
A coal-mine that powered German industry for almost half a century will get a new lease on life when it’s turned into a giant battery that stores excess solar and wind energy.
The state of North-Rhine Westphalia is set to turn its Prosper-Haniel hard coal mine into a 200 megawatt pumped-storage hydroelectric reservoir, which acts like a battery and will have enough capacity to power more than 400,000 homes, said state governor Hannelore Kraft. The town of Bottrop, where people worked the 600 meter (1,969 foot) deep mine since 1974, will keep playing a role in providing uninterrupted power for the country, she said.
Source: University of Duisburg-Essen
Full article: (http://www.pic4ever.com/images/reading.gif)