20-foot Waterfalls, any experience with hydro-power generation.....??

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  • 20-foot Waterfalls, any experience with hydro-power generation.....??

    One of the tracts has a 20 foot (pretty much straight drop) waterfalls. Wondering about using it to generate electric power. Anyone have any experience doing this.....??? Thanks

  • #2
    Anytime you have moving water over a little elevation difference you can generate electricity and/or supply a domestic water system. There are lots of technical options. A waterfall isn't even necessary.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It

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    • #3
      Search the forum for "pelton". Lots of information.

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      • #4
        Couple of guys towards my cabin use hydro from the river for all electric needs other than winter. Raspberry Island Lodge has used it for quite a while. Awesome use of a natural source and quite a bit on the web for doing such.

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        • #5
          It is on one of the 8 acre tracts we have for sale, not something I am going to build. If I live through this dam winter from hell, I am "OFF" this mountain, next spring. But I wanted to get rough information, as it is a wonderful sales feature, it flows straight out of Chugach National Forest land.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by AGL4now View Post
            It is on one of the 8 acre tracts we have for sale, not something I am going to build. If I live through this dam winter from hell, I am "OFF" this mountain, next spring. But I wanted to get rough information, as it is a wonderful sales feature, it flows straight out of Chugach National Forest land.
            That would certainly be a useful resource and I am similarly situated with a waterfall that is a good 5 foot drop. I don’t have a good way to gauge the amount of water flow except to say that it will fill up a five gallon bucket in about 3-4 seconds. I know this as I use this as my agricultural water source on the rare occasion when my rainwater collection system runs dry.

            As a kid my grandfather had a water powered brain mill back in the Appalachian mountains and I have always been fascinated by the power that you can harvest from water. The part I haven’t figured out is how I would get power to my home a good quarter mile away from my little waterfall. I assume your waterfall flows year round which would be good, Mine would be problematic at best if not impossible to produce power from late 0ct through April.

            How far away is your waterfall from your useable acreage for building site? I haven’t even bothered to contemplate the possibility or the cost to run a 1/4 mile power line and what that means in terms of loss of available power.
            I am the one who has to die when it's time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to. - Jimi Hendrix

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Cheeser View Post
              Search the forum for "pelton". Lots of information.
              I must suck at searching this forum, as your post was the only hit on this forum for pelton. But still useful as a DuckDuckGo search found plenty.

              AGL4now, this site might be helpful:

              https://www.powerspout.com
              I am the one who has to die when it's time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to. - Jimi Hendrix

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              • admin
                admin commented
                Editing a comment
                When searching, be sure to use the search bar at the top of the page. The search bar that appears lower down will only search the specific forum that you are in, and may not yield results.

            • #8
              Originally posted by iofthetaiga View Post
              Anytime you have moving water over a little elevation difference you can generate electricity and/or supply a domestic water system. There are lots of technical options. A waterfall isn't even necessary.
              As mentioned, elevation difference is key, but capturing the water in a pipe to build head pressure substantially improves power output and is necessary for small flows (see the powerspout site under low, medium, high head info for elevation/flow rates). A waterfall indicates steep ground, exposed bedrock, and may be a problem if it's too steep to construct or access the forebay or pipeline. You could mention there may be micro-hydroelectric opportunities with year-round flow (if true) and leave it at that, but be prepared to answer questions like access, constructability, year-round water flow conditions (winter flow, ice formation, flooding during spring melt), topo map with the stream on the property (to confirm vertical rise and location), soil conditions to bury a pipe (shallow rock means it's not deeply buried and needs to be insulated pipe for year-round use, or limited to summer only), etc, which may help to find a buyer that weighs hydropower heavily (seems like a rare bird).

              Personally, I like the idea of hydropower, but running water also tends to pose hazards such as avalanche chutes, floods, or debris flows in steep terrain which may impact the system or your property. For off-grid power, I'm also looking at sun exposure for solar which is easier to setup or wind turbines, as neither tends to freeze up like a pipeline in winter. Anyways, some thoughts on it.

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              • #9
                I wonder if "Gold" plugging the system is a common problem in some areas....???

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                • #10
                  Originally posted by AGL4now View Post
                  I wonder if "Gold" plugging the system is a common problem in some areas....???
                  Not in the Hope area. I worked that area many times when I first got into gold prospecting. That area isn't known for big gold. It's a good area to have fun but not if you want to cover expenses. And there are hundreds of places between Anchorage and Hope where you can find similar if not more gold.

                  As a quick reminder for those who may not be aware of mineral rights... just because you own the property that doesn't mean you own the mineral rights to your property. Before looking for any precious metals on your property I highly recommend verifying the mineral rights ownership. You can use the state's AKMapper site to do this or contact the Division of Mining.


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                  • #11
                    These beauties would probably clog the system:

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                    • #12
                      Originally posted by Cheeser View Post
                      These beauties would probably clog the system:
                      Finding those would be worth figuring out what clogged the system!
                      Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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                      • #13
                        "As a quick reminder for those who may not be aware of mineral rights... just because you own the property that doesn't mean you own the mineral rights to your property"

                        The same can be true for water. Just because a system of water is present or flows through your property you may not have rights to it. More common in the lower 48 but water rights do also exist in Alaska with a formal application and process to retain/receive them. It is very beneficial to pursue this if you live on a waterway or have a well.

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                        • #14
                          Originally posted by cory100 View Post
                          "As a quick reminder for those who may not be aware of mineral rights... just because you own the property that doesn't mean you own the mineral rights to your property"

                          The same can be true for water. Just because a system of water is present or flows through your property you may not have rights to it. More common in the lower 48 but water rights do also exist in Alaska with a formal application and process to retain/receive them. It is very beneficial to pursue this if you live on a waterway or have a well.
                          The property deed (the one that most people don't actually read) spells out exactly which land rights you bought when you closed on your house or land. In most cases the land has first passed through state ownership and the state reserved all minerals. There are exceptions however, so it's good to read your deed to know what exactly you own. Anything that is "reserved" means that that particular land interest was not conveyed as part of the sale.

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                          • #15
                            https://www.flexmls.com/link.html?1o...ik0g,2,1,20468

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