Life at the end of the road

April 16, 2011

You should read the other one first :-)

Filed under: daily doings, hydro — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 6:47 am I was just getting carried away with the photographs and experience tells me that my so called ‘broadband’ would have thrown a wobbly at trying to post them all. Anyway once up at Loch Airigh na h-Aon Oidhche (the loch of the one night shieling) we started cementing the UPVC ducts together that would become an extension to my mates already mind boggling 600m long penstock with a head of well over 90m. With some 200m of extra pipe and an extra 18m of head to the higher loch it really would be pushing the Harris turbine to the max 🙂

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Whilst not being very large this Lochan is very deep and would only be used for a couple of weeks during a drought, the extra head meaning that even drawing a measly .5lt/sec the turbine would produce around 300w.

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This ‘Polypipe’ 2” UPVC ducting is not pressure rated but I have tested it up to 12bar, not that this would be working at anything like that for it’s only used for the last 120m or around 10m (just over 1bar). The frictional losses in 800m of pipe are colossal but with this amount of head and at such a low flow it will still generate plenty of useful power.

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Here is the Harris turbine when I first installed it some years ago with a head of 32m, since then the green PVC pipe has been replaced with high pressure hose and the quick release couplings omitted. The four nozzles were designed to cope with the varying flow when the turbine drew from a burn but now two suffice. A small one that produces around 100w to keep the batteries charged and the system ticking over when the house is unoccupied and a larger one that produces around 300w, more than enough to supply the average families needs without resorting to the back up generator.

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Once the pipe was cemented together we headed back home along the fence, above are the two lochs at Brochel over a mile away as the crow flies and if you look carefully at the small one you can see my pipe coming out of it. Much more did happen but I have to go 🙂


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