Micro Hydroelectricity

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onderslag waterrad moulin garnaud

The owner wanted to contribute as much as possible to a good cause and produce environmentally friendly electricity. The existing water wheel seemed very suitable for this purpose. The blades had been replaced a few years before. The axle was modern, so an ideal situation.

The first video quickly showed that there was enough water, but that the wheel turned too slowly. The first question was what could be causing this. First some more water. The RPM increased to an operational RPM, but well below normal for an idle situation.

At the first visit it turned out that the wheel was running firmly in the tail water; at least 60 cm. Way too much for a wheel with straight blades. Subsequently, it turned out that the wheel had no confined inflow. All the water that did not want to go through the wheel could easily pass under it. The solution was therefore quickly clear and consisted of 3 steps:

  1. remove the small dam further on so that the water flows away easily,
  2. raising the wheel as a whole so that it does not rotate in the water,
  3. make a guide so that the water cannot wash away under the wheel.

The work has now been completed and the wheel is turning with a capacity of 4 kW. Potentially there would have been more in the location, but given the circumstances this is sufficient. It is often not about maximum return, but about a good return at acceptable costs.