Hydro Curious (adding hydro)

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bikermiker
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Hydro Curious (adding hydro)

Post by bikermiker »

Hi,

We have some running water on our property that I would love to make use of and I think it would be a fun project to add 350 to 500 watts to our current system. I'm just not really clear on how I can "add it".

I saw this link below and noted that people speak highly of the MidNite charge controllers as I'm assuming one will be needed, however, I'm not sure how the Radian would manage this input or if it even could. If it doesn't, I would suspect I use this addition as a "battery charger".

viewtopic.php?p=60168#p60168

I don't see a lot on here regarding this or anything current. Any tips or pointing me in the right direction are appreciated.

Thanks
raysun
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Re: Hydro Curious (adding hydro)

Post by raysun »

It's an attractive notion to extract a continuous stream of elections from a stream of water.
The output of a turbine must, in general, always be attached to a load, either a battery, or when the battery is full, a "dump load".
When attached to the battery, a charge controller should be employed, either to support a multi-stage charge cycle, or to divert the turbine output once the battery has completed the "Bulk" phase (battery voltage will have risen to the Absorb Voltage set point.) The Phi battery is ideal for the latter, especially if the "Bulk until Full" charge profile is used. The turbine can feed the battery in Constant Current (Bulk) mode until the voltage reaches 56V, (or whatever the lowest set Absorb Voltage is in the system), then have its output diverted. The Diversion "Hysteresis" setpoint should be the system Re-Bulk voltage in this configuration, IMO.
For 350 - 500W of output, I'd look for a turbine that has good DC voltage regulation in the range compatible with the battery voltage. I'd attach it to the battery through a DC disconnect (circuit breaker), current shunt (for monitoring via the FNDC), and a diversion relay. The latter is a key component. The control windings of the relay can be wired to the FlexMax AUX port, which can be configured to actively switch the relay when the battery voltage reaches the proper set point.
The FNDC actually has two Diversion options for the above application: Diversion, and Diversion:Solid St. The latter is designed for use with solid state relays and provides a PWM function for load control. (See manual for details.)
The choice of a dump load is up to you. Many folks use a water heater with a 48V DC heating element. I'm out of my depth with plumbing, so leave this here for, as they say, the student to complete.
bikermiker
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Re: Hydro Curious (adding hydro)

Post by bikermiker »

I was reading there are smarter turbines that spin free when capicity is full and I thought that would negate the need for a dumby load. Ideally it would be great to sell this back to the grid but I would need to integrate it into the 8048. Not sure I can share that same buss with the panels ATM. Looks good on paper :grin: !
bikermiker
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Posts: 49
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2019 3:45 pm
My RE system: :
Hybrid
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2x FM100
1x FlexNet DC
8x Simpliphi 3.8 LFP Batteries
30x Canadian Solar CS6K-300MS (9kw array)

Re: Hydro Curious (adding hydro)

Post by bikermiker »

raysun wrote: Thu May 18, 2023 10:24 am It's an attractive notion to extract a continuous stream of elections from a stream of water.
The output of a turbine must, in general, always be attached to a load, either a battery, or when the battery is full, a "dump load".
When attached to the battery, a charge controller should be employed, either to support a multi-stage charge cycle, or to divert the turbine output once the battery has completed the "Bulk" phase (battery voltage will have risen to the Absorb Voltage set point.) The Phi battery is ideal for the latter, especially if the "Bulk until Full" charge profile is used. The turbine can feed the battery in Constant Current (Bulk) mode until the voltage reaches 56V, (or whatever the lowest set Absorb Voltage is in the system), then have its output diverted. The Diversion "Hysteresis" setpoint should be the system Re-Bulk voltage in this configuration, IMO.
For 350 - 500W of output, I'd look for a turbine that has good DC voltage regulation in the range compatible with the battery voltage. I'd attach it to the battery through a DC disconnect (circuit breaker), current shunt (for monitoring via the FNDC), and a diversion relay. The latter is a key component. The control windings of the relay can be wired to the FlexMax AUX port, which can be configured to actively switch the relay when the battery voltage reaches the proper set point.
The FNDC actually has two Diversion options for the above application: Diversion, and Diversion:Solid St. The latter is designed for use with solid state relays and provides a PWM function for load control. (See manual for details.)
The choice of a dump load is up to you. Many folks use a water heater with a 48V DC heating element. I'm out of my depth with plumbing, so leave this here for, as they say, the student to complete.

Thank you for this!
raysun
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Re: Hydro Curious (adding hydro)

Post by raysun »

bikermiker wrote: Thu May 18, 2023 10:47 am I was reading there are smarter turbines that spin free when capicity is full and I thought that would negate the need for a dumby load. Ideally it would be great to sell this back to the grid but I would need to integrate it into the 8048. Not sure I can share that same buss with the panels ATM. Looks good on paper :grin: !
I haven't done more than cursory investigation of hydro turbines (no surface water here.)
To integrate the DC feed into the FNFC, the two FM100s could be "piggybacked" onto a single shunt (e.g.: Shunt B), and the Hydro turbine attached to the newly freed-up shunt (Shunt C).
Optics sorts out the two FM100s just fine when attached to a single shunt.
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Re: Hydro Curious (adding hydro)

Post by JRHill »

The previous owner of a nearby place has a 'Unique Well" that has a substantial volume of water at the surface and I can't recall but I believe it is somewhere north of 10 PSI. Of course it had to stay capped. But he thought to make use of a hydro generator and invested no small sum for the equipment. The unit produced a pretty high AC output which he ran ~300yds to the point of use for charging a 24vdc bank of Trojans. When all was said and done the turbine impeller had to be changed out multiple times to reach max efficiency. The max delivery at the point of use was 300 watts but it could go 24/7. Pretty cool, kind of....

Amazing to me was the amount of water the turbine flowed to make that bit of power. Again, this goes back a ways but the discharge had to be through a 6" drain tile and boy does it release a bunch. I don't recall the GPM but it was substantial. For 300 watts. All I can forward is that whatever vendor you select, get ready for some experimentation. Maybe extensive experimentation. The system is still working but the current owner doesn't use it that much that I know. He built out his solar at the point of use instead.
courierguy
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Re: Hydro Curious (adding hydro)

Post by courierguy »

My Harris hydro, currently putting out 34 amps 24/7 at 26 volts, (145' of vertical fall, 3" line) uses no charge controller, but a Morningstar load controller. The way I recall setting it up, and I could be wrong its been 16 years ago, is that once the very small battery (token, just enough to work with the Outback battery based grid tied inverter, is charged (which is all the time) further incoming power is shunted to the inverter and into the grid. A large dump load keeps it loaded if the grid goes down. I assume some degree of greater efficiency could be gained by first running the power thru a MPPT controller, but am not sure if I want to "fix something that isn't broke", another 1500 watts of misc. PV, feeds the same small battery.
JRHill
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Re: Hydro Curious (adding hydro)

Post by JRHill »

That's impressive. And I'd do that in a heartbeat if we had the resources. Wow, 145' and a 3" line... We'd be glad if it rained between May 1 and Sept 1.
fcwlp
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Re: Hydro Curious (adding hydro)

Post by fcwlp »

Some sites are blessed with water. My washes run about 3 days a year.
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Re: Hydro Curious (adding hydro)

Post by plebspamuser »

Sorry a bit late on this but it may be some help.

We have had microhydro running for a number of years with no issues. Anyone with such water supply knows how much a real blessing this is..

The easiest setup would be to connect straight to the batteries. You can use one of the AUX on the outback devices to open or close a relay that would either feed the turbine or close the water supply. A manual setup with valve could also be used if your close by by this has the danger of overcharging if were not careful.

Most DC turbines (Harris , Stream Engine) have some way of tuning the height of rotor from the stator so you can match the water supply to find the highest output. This can be tuned for each season if their are drops in water supply. If your water supply is not static then you can use a Midnight solar which has a hydro mode and will find the MPPT without going open circuit which is no good for the turbine or controller if your VOC is over the max volt of the charge controller. If your head is not very high, then you can safely use and FM60 or 80 etc for the MPPT.. note that this will go open cuircut for a few seconds each time it finds the MPPT so you need to make sure your VOC is under 140 vDC as not to destroy the charge controller. You can also use the FM60 - 80 without the sweeping option, finding the MPPT manually. There is some info in both the manual and the forum on how to do this..

FM60 / 80 does have options to solid state diversion for either heating some with excess power or dumping excess power if some relay faulters.

Either way its a good idea to have some sort of dump load if things go wrong and a catch all ..

300 to 500 watts is quite a bit if its running 24/7.. ie 500 x 24 = 12 kwh.. thats could run the bulk of the loads of small home..

Also, added to the FNDC as suggested means you can monitor exactly what the system is doing..

Your first job would be to calculate exact head, and how much water... everything stems from this..
There is some good information in the docs section of the StreamEngine site in Canada and also Powerspout in New Zealand..
I can help with more details if your interested..
I hope this helps
pleb
JRHill
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Re: Hydro Curious (adding hydro)

Post by JRHill »

No source is referred to the feed. Ground water? Unique well? Regardless of the source there are considerations.
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