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Applewood 08-24-09 09:35 AM

River power
I have looked for info on generating electricity from large slow moving bodies of water and have found very little. I would like to place a generator on a floating dock where the currant is about 1 or 2 miles per hour. Can any one help or direct me to where I can get ideas and info?

Daox 08-24-09 09:58 AM

First off, welcome to the site! Its cool to see someone here interested in hydro power.

Would you be able to pipe off the river and go downhill to a generator station? The greater the head of water you can get the more power you'll get out of the system. I posted something like this a while back.

We did have a post on a book about a water wheel farm setup here. is also another vast resource of info that I would check out.
Small Scale Hydro -- Ram Pumps and Water Motors

Applewood 08-24-09 11:04 AM

River power
There is no option to raise the head of the river water. I will look into the 'farm electricity' as suggested soon. BuildItSolar is one of my favorite sites but has little that applies to my situation.
I live beside a navigable river that flows thru flat countryside here. I'm thinking that a floating platform with an undershot waterwheel could harness some of the unstoppable mass of water that passes by. It seems that a broad 6' to 8' wide wheel with similar diameter dipping about 2' into the flow would give plenty of torque. Gearing could be stepped as needed to match the generator.
I would like to do the math before the building so help with that is needed. Just references to sources or formulas would be fine.

Daox 08-24-09 03:54 PM

This is the best thing I could find.

Calculation of Hydro Power - Hydro

I plugged some numbers in for fun to see what comes out. I used .1 meters of head. I then used 680 liters of flow per second (base off really rough calculations that I'm unsure of and I assumed 2 mph water). This gave 667W of hydro power and 400W @ 60% efficiency.

Christ 08-27-09 09:28 PM

Gonna have to check that link out , and see if I can find the downloadable calculator I found yesterday, but my download failed. If I find it, I'll post it here.

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