Learn About Hydro Turbines for Off-Grid Container Home
There are a few types of hydro turbines for off-grid container home. Here we will explain the differences. Hydropower is a very good alternative as an energy source in an off-grid environment. Its major advantage comes from the fact that the energy is generated on a 24/7 basis. But there is also a major limitation – Its feasibility is strictly dependent on the location of your house next to the suitable water stream. Suitable means:
a) Sufficient water flow
In other words, enough water to be able to divert some for the hydro-turbine without a noticeable impact on the stream and its ecosystem;
b) Sufficient Water Head
It’s the difference of levels between the intake of the water pipe and the turbine. The higher it is less water is needed (diverted) to generate the required amount of power.
For many, accustomed to the pictures of large, industrial hydro-dams it will be surprising to see that mini hydro-turbines and required infrastructure for the generation of power) are actually quite simple. As it can be seen on the following pictures.
Left: This Suneco’s Micro Hydro-Turbine (XJ Series) will generate 500W of power with a “water head” of 40ft (12m) and a water flow of about 1.8 gallon/s (7 l/s).
Right: That’s all it takes to build the “Hydro-Station” (not visible here are intake and return water pipes)
Source: Suneco Hydro Power
The benefits of hydro-power systems are the same as those of wind turbines. Mainly, continuous operation (24/7), very high efficiency reaching 70% to 90% (highest of all renewable sources of energy), low “footprint” (visual and environmental), and high predictability (in moderate climate zones, rains are well-described statistical weather events).
The math is simple, a 500W-rated mini hydro-turbine will generate 12kWh of energy in one day (24 hours).
Unfortunately, having your home at the right location (next to the suitable stream) and at the right time (enough of water) still does not guarantee the success of your project. For that to happen, two more requirements have to be met:
a) The section of interest of the water stream must be outside of Protected Areas (local or National Parks). If this is not the case, your project ends here.
b) Permission not only from Local Authorities but also from Environmental agencies is necessary and it won’t be an easy task.
Note that any stream is part of an ecosystem. It’s true, that hydro-turbine does not pollute the environment, does not kill birds (like wind turbines), or make noticeable noise. However, by diverting some amount of water (even for just a few hundred meters), fragile parts of the environment may be endangered, that’s why authorization from the Environmental Agency is a must.
However, if your location meets basic requirements (water stream) and you get relevant permissions, you may say that you won the lottery ticket. It’s not only the continuous availability of energy, but also the lowest environmental footprint (no pollution, no visual impact, no danger for wildlife), and the lowest cost. Note that hydro-turbine needs only a small bank of batteries to be able to supply peak power for a limited period of time (microwave, electric stove, home appliances …..). Only AC or electric heating may impose bigger-size batteries (or eventually higher installed hydropower, although the latter depends on the water stream.
Types of Hydro Turbines Off-Grid Container Home
Cross-flow turbines, also known as Banki-Michell turbines, are popular for use in small hydroelectric power plants. These turbines are suitable for low-head installations, and they are highly efficient. Cross-flow turbines work by directing water through a runner that is shaped like a half-pipe. As water flows through the runner, it drives the blades, which turn the generator to produce electricity.
Pelton turbines are highly efficient and ideal for use in high-head installations. These turbines work by directing water through nozzles that are mounted on a wheel called a runner. As water flows through the nozzles, it creates a high-pressure jet that hits the runner blades, causing them to spin. The spinning blades turn a generator to produce electricity.
Turgo turbines are similar to Pelton turbines and are also suitable for use in high-head installations. These turbines work by directing water through nozzles that are mounted on a runner. However, instead of creating a high-pressure jet, Turgo turbines create a high-velocity jet. The high-velocity jet hits the runner blades, causing them to spin and generate electricity.
Kaplan turbines are suitable for use in low-head installations, and they are highly efficient. These turbines work by directing water through a series of fixed blades called a stator, and then through a rotating set of blades, called a rotor. The blades of the rotor can be adjusted to maintain optimal performance, making Kaplan turbines highly adaptable to changing water conditions.
Francis turbines are suitable for use in both low and high-head installations. These turbines work by directing water through a series of fixed guide vanes called a stator, and then through a set of curved blades, called a runner. The curved blades of the runner are designed to optimize the flow of water, making Francis turbines highly efficient.
In conclusion, hydro turbines are an excellent option for off-grid homes, providing a reliable and sustainable source of energy. When choosing a hydro turbine for your off-grid home, you must consider the head of water available, the amount of water flow, and the power output required. By carefully considering these factors, you can select the most suitable turbine for your needs.
Hydroelectric power is a reliable and sustainable source of energy and can be an excellent option for off-grid homes. If you are looking for a reliable and sustainable source of energy, hydro turbines are a great option for you.