Life at the end of the road

July 14, 2008

Mucking about with gauges

Filed under: daily doings, hydro, Land Rover — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 9:22 pm

It’s been a lovely day here, a bit misty at times but a good steady breeze all day to keep away the dreaded midge, power the washing machine and put some juice back in the 1000ah 48v battery bank after yesterdays roast chicken! We are able to run the oven or the washing machine off the battery bank without any wind but with the price of diesel these days we’re being a bit more selective with our baking and washing. We turned the gate the right way up in ‘the chunks’ field yesterday and locked them in their field and after having had free range of most of the croft and out buildings for a month or two they were not impressed. We’ve been turning gates over so the wider gaps are at the bottom enabling the piglets to wander about whilst confining mum.

It did make feeding everyone allot easier as now they aren’t pestering me under the Land Rover or in my workshop. My little helper fed the ‘chunks’ and ‘spotty pigs’ whilst I fed Braken and the ‘brakenets’ . Brakens 7 beauties are almost 4 weeks old and it was time to turn the gate over in their field so they could have a shot at the ‘big wide world’ and a good scoff away from mum. By moving their wee trough just to the other side of the gate we had them coaxed out in no time and before long they were scurrying allover the place, though at the first loud noise or sight of ‘two legs’ they’d go charging back to mum under the gate. With the feeding out of the way I got on with dressing a couple of crabs and the lobster we’d caught on Saturday, being pleasently suprised by the amount of meat that came out of the crabs. As I’d cooked and dressed the crabs outside to keep the smell off the washing that has been hanging in the kitchen since the tumble drier died I decided to share out the remains between the pigs. I don’t actually thinkt there’s much wrong with TD but I’m trying to encourage OH to hang out more washing instead of just chucking it in the drier! Basically it’s ileagal to give a pig anything that’s been in a kitchen or even near it. There are whole reams written on the subject of what you can and can’t feed to pigs most of it for very good reason and I’m pretty sure by the strict letter of the law your not allowed to feed them crab shells as it’s probably classed as a by product from food processing or something.

Anyway the pigs really enjoyed them and I’m sure all the calcium did them good.

More on the hydro scheme

Anyone following this will know that over the past few months I’ve been building a budget hydro scheme and before today it had not cost me a penny! ( well apart from 2 fence posts, some screws and a cable joint ) My system is a ‘high head low flow’ scheme with over 40m of head and around 1lt a sec of flow. I plan to drive a 200w ‘turgo runner’ turbine from Navitron

The penstock pipe and armoured cable is laid and now I’m just waiting for the turbine, I’d ordered it around a month ago but they were out of stock. Delivery was expected in three weeks but as yet there’s no sign, however I spoke to a nice man there called Mike Walsh and they’re going to let me have their display model out of the showroom. Whilst I’ve been able to calculate the water flow very acurately over the last few months by taking regular readings with a stopwatch and calibrated bucket. I calculated the head at between 35 and 40m by geustimate, having found a suitable gauge to mearure it acurately I thought I’d give it a go, so with a combination of a Land Rover ‘polybush’ exhaust clamp plumping fittings and self tapping screws I fitted a gauge on the turbine end of the pipe

Which according to the formula for pressure in bar to head in m is 4.05 x 10.197 = 41.297m of head which is even better than my top estimate. With this head even at flows as low as 1/2 lt a sec 200w should be achievable and even during the drought the flow never fell below 1/3lt per sec. with this in mind I may well be able to run a larger turbine in the winter of perhaps 500w. Even 200w over 24h will produce 4.86kwh which is enough for most households.

With all this mucking about with gauges I decided to fit the oil pressure, and ammeter instruments that I’d bought off eblag recently to the old girl. I’d already got 3 gauges in the centre dash but they were all different and me being a bit of an ‘anorak’ when it comes to my Land Rover wanted them all the same.

I bought the stainless surround from for £4.50 ( though I did have to enlarge the outer holes ) and I got the oil and ammeter for around a tenner each off fleabay. OK it took me the best part of a day to fit them but I was well chuffed with the result.

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