Portable submersible water generator design? - Page 2 - Mountain Buzz

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Old 07-13-2016   #11
Wadeinthewater's Avatar
Walterville, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1977
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by jgrebe View Post
I'm a hydroelectric engineer. Designed, installed, REAL hydrokinetic turbines in the Mississippi and tried get these smaller ones to work in off-grid applications. The power output is minimal unless you have at least 6-8 fps and even then not a lot of power - maybe 50W. Your a whole lot better off (cost and hassle factor)keeping it simple and use a solar panel
What he said. The units the OP showed were designed to be towed off the back of a open water sailboat. Those boats are usually moving fairly fast and the units require quite a bit of current over a long period of time to generate much electricity. I was a fish biologist, not an engineer, but I cobbled together several undershot wheels to make power for monitoring fish in remote locations. The wheels were about 4 ft in diameter and 5 ft wide. We set them on legs or pontoons in fairly swift streams and made up to 100 watts. But they weren't anything you would consider taking boating. I wish I still had pictures. After I retired, the crew started using units similar to the one the OP shows, but I am not sure what equipment they were running or how much power they made. Solar power is probably the way to go, but you seem to want to do a project and it might be fun so go for it and let us know how it turns out.

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Old 07-13-2016   #12
Bosque Farms, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1986
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7
DIY tow generator

I've thought about making a DIY generator with a permanent magnet alternator mounted on a gimbal connected with a short piece of rope or cable to an outboard prop with a capped PVC pipe float. Tow generators get used in yachting, but cost too much (see Tow Generator ). You can make a DIY permanent magnet alternator by replacing the rotor in an auto alternator with a purchased rare-earth magnet rotor (see: Permanent Magnet Alternators ). Another solution is a smaller DC generator like a treadmill motor. You also need a cone to send down the line to kill the prop rotation so you can pull it in. It seems like such a unit would fit just fine in rocket box or a couple of 50cal boxes.

Having the electrical stuff out of the water makes it all much simpler. It would be cool if this could make enough power to run a 12v cooler/icemaker. I'd also like to use one of these to charge the battery of a electric water filter I made. Solar is great too, but this would be the night-time solution. You'd have to make sure that it wasn't an entrapment / Cuisinart risk though. Maybe just trail a buoy with a bright flag.

Has anybody already tried this?
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Old 07-14-2016   #13
bighorn1478@msn.com's Avatar
lafayette or Grand Lake, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1961
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Originally Posted by wasatch_angler View Post
I have a couple thoughts,
I recall from fishing discussions the faster flowing water is at the top of the water column, so a small turbine near the surface may be better.
That's a fact Jack.
Time is like a river. You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of life on or off the river.
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Old 07-17-2016   #14
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jackson, Wyoming
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wow. i remember when you could go down the river with nothing more than aa batteries.
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Old 08-19-2016   #15
Missoula, Montana
Paddling Since: 2012
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Just saw this on Kickstarter today, I've got a few issues with the design and capacity compared to solar panels and larger batteries, but it's a little different approach than the other turbine generators I've seen.

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Old 08-25-2016   #16
Old Guy in a PFD
Tucson, Arizona
Paddling Since: 1967
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old school is always the best school.
Power generators, Bose speakers for camp, air conditioning ...............
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