Organic Rankine Cycle
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Above: Our house is powered by micro hydroelectric and solar electricity.
The 10 Kinzel/Kingsley Rules for Surviving Micro Hydroelectric Power (and what the ads and manuals don’t tell you)
In the fall of 1991 we started to build a small, off-the-grid house. Living next to Lake Superior in Michigan’s upper
peninsula, we knew that a source of electricity to supplement our PV panels would be necessary to get us through our dark and cloudy winter. The tall towers required for wind turbines were quite daunting. A stream flows through our yard, but thinking it viable only out West where the heads were high, we didn’t seriously consider hydro power initially.
©1995 Terry Kinzel and Sue Ellen Kingsley
Attending the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair prompted us to reconsider hydro power and take actual measurements. We consulted with Paul Cunningham of Energy Systems and Design. Now, while our PV panels are an idle piece of art during the long night of December, our hydroelectric turbine produces generous, reasonably reliable power. Now in our third year of hydro power, this satisfactory state has not come without glitches. What follows is a Murphy’s Law catalogue of things that will go wrong for any ordinary person attempting to grapple with micro hydroelectric power.
Rule Number 1
Never underestimate your ability to cheat on your measurements.
We measured the flow of our stream using two methods (HP #8, page 17 and HP #15, page 17)
Terry Kinzel and Sue Ellen Kingsley
16 Home Power #47 • June / July 1995
Image | Above: Our house is powered by micro hydroelectric and solar electricity.
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