Life at the end of the road

September 20, 2010

Pure hydro :-)

Filed under: boats, daily doings, hydro, life off grid — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 10:02 pm

I’ll just rewind a couple of days before I fill you in on today’s events, back to Saturday in fact when I was Loopallood and the rest of Raasay was attending the ‘Soup and Pudding’ plus car boot sale at Raasay village hall. For I’ve just been informed that the well attended event raised a further £700 towards the new school shelter fund, which does not include the £10 cheque that Frances P sent me today 🙂 And I believe (from my 11 year old so it could be wrong) that the lovely bench donated by Salford University raised around £130


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Back to Loopallu

Or should I say back to the aftermath 🙂 As usual I was up far earlier than the rest of the incumbent’s of the ‘Thomson Glenelg’ so sneaked  out to the toilet block to get freshened up, big mistake 😦 The once pristine toilets would have beaten  the bog in ‘Trainspotting’ into second place for disgusting loo of the century award.

Ewan Macgregor would not have dived in these toilets for an opium suppository trust me, personally I think it’s a ploy by all festival organizers. They never clean the loos on the last day in the hope of forcing people to leave 🙂 So, unrefreshed  but still wide awake I wandered down to the harbour to look for my mate John who’d sailed the Minch from Stornoway in his fine wee yacht to be at the festival.


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Where I was treated to fresh coffee and a fine breakfast of Stornoway black pudding before going in search of my Land Rover.

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Before finding my 24 year old girl I came across this one, a Lancia Beta Volumex. Seeing any Lancia Beta these days is a rare treat, seeing one of the only 150 or so RHD 2000cc supercharged ones in such condition is  nothing short of a miracle, their 0 to 60 time was only slightly quicker than their 0 to pile of rust time, with many of them having subframes fall out whilst still under warranty :-(  Trust me, I had one, not the coupe but the saloon version, it literally disintegrated before my eyes and judging by the registration number it probably came from the same dealer in Manchester 🙂

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By the time I found my ‘Old Girl’ the ‘big top’ was almost down, and would that not just make a fine wind turbine mast complete with ‘gin pole’ 🙂

Back to the croft

So here I am back at Arnish and after a late night here on the blog I was awakened by torrential rain, only this morning I was quite glad of it 🙂 For nowadays rain = water and water = power from the new hydro turbine 🙂 and today was the first time that we’ve had an abundance of rain with absolutely no wind so it would give me a chance to asses the performance of the ‘Stream Engine’, so the first thing I did was put on a wash, then another and then the tumble drier. When I was out feeding I saw just how much it had rained during the night and got quite excited 🙂

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So after delivering my boy to school then spending the day at my parents on the mainland I returned to a full battery bank that was hovering between 58v (dump load off) and 53v (dump load on). I was most impressed, the flow had abated considerably but I could now start tinkering with the third nozzle to my turbine.

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With just two operating it was producing 500w, by bringing the third nozzle into play and increasing it in size from 13mm to 16mm I got it up to 800w but I’m sure that I can get it to the magic 1Kw. I could get it to produce more but my cable is only good for 1000w :-(  Adjusting the field would probably give me that now but then I’d loose out when it was just feeding one nozzle and what I’m aiming for is a system that produces as much power as possible without having to alter anything, better to sacrifice a little top end performance to get the max out of it at lower flows but it’s early days yet 🙂

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So I’ll just leave you with the ‘Duich Highlander’ alongside at Kyle


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and a big crane loading something exciting on board the SD Salmoor.

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