Low wattage input

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Low wattage input

Postby hyve » Sat Mar 22, 2008 10:16 am

After reading a couple of the more interesting (and witty) threads here can I offer a couple of thoughts ?
When considering wind turbines some time back the low input problem gave me an idea: forget charging batteries and then inverting, with losses at each stage. Just disconnect the electric element in the hot water cylinder from the mains and couple the wind generator to it instead. Provided it also has heating from the CH system of course.
Whatever wind power you're getting goes straight into making hot water, no losses along the way. So long as your generator's potential output doesn't exceed the element wattage, it can blow as hard as it likes and you still get power. Some generators I note shut down above or below certain wind speeds - what a waste of potential, but obviously necessary if wired into the mains. Go direct to this heater element only and that problem is eliminated.
Now those who know about electricity will tell me why this isn't a clever idea, I expect....

Second thought: with rain being collected on top of generally 2-storied houses and then falling maybe 20 ft to the ground through a convenient pipe, here is another un-tapped source of home energy. It works at night too. A car water pump (?) or better, turbocharger compressor connected to an alternator sounds like a simple rig to test the idea.

Taking this further, around here are a number of old mill dams storing water still, which could all be driving small water turbine generators. Multiply this by the total up and down the country and here is yet more wasted potential.
Peter Ph

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Postby ChrisB » Sat Mar 22, 2008 11:13 am

I've thought the same about wind turbines for ages, why go about having to store the energy in batteries and mess about with inverters etc as you say wire it direct to a suitabley rated heating element in your tank and let it get on with it.

Some reasons though why wind turbines need to shut down in high wind speeds is due to the blades over speeding and possibley breaking off the hub rather than over volting the house supply :wink:

Quite like the water idea 8)

I reject reality and substitute my own !!!!!!

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