Saturday, July 5, 2014

Hydro electric power for a house

Question: I have a hill in a rainy part of the world, can I build my own mini-hydro-electric plant?

We get about 40 inches per year and I have a roof about 40' by 20' that will be about 50' in the air. That works out to 2,667 cubic feet of water ever year.

Potential energy is E = M * H * 9.8 N/kg. We have 75.5 cubic meters of water at 15.24 meters of height. That works out to 11.3E6 joules. That's 3,130 watt hours. Even at a 100% efficiency I'd only get 3kWhrs per year.

Which is really unfortunate because it would have been fun to runs some pipes and I could have easily 3D printed a little hyro engine.