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Lammas eco-village
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BritDownUnder



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 364
Location: Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2016 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Catweazle wrote:
Does anyone make a load sensing device that can open a sluice gate / valve "on demand" ? It could be linked to hydro RPM.

That would make the mill pond approach more useable.


Following on from this and Adam's comments I think that every hydro generator would have some form of rpm governor fitted.

Not sure what type of hydro is present at Lammas but 27 kW is a pretty hefty off-grid system. Given that a rule of thumb for hydro is you get 7kW generated from 1 cubic metre of water falling one metre in one second this plant will be a run of river scheme on a fairly big river or have a few hundred litres of water falling a hundred metres or so. If low head they will need a reasonably large river and slow rpm (maybe like a water mill site with kaplan turbine with wicket gates) and if a high head will have a mountain stream and a jet type system at high rpm (pelton wheel turbine with valve). Either way they will need the device to vary the amount of water at the bottom of the 'hill' next to the turbine otherwise very interesting things will happen.

Not my expertise but I think that there will be two types of control on this system at the bare minimum.

1) Speed control by controlling the amount of water through wicket gates if it is a low head or valve if high head. This will either be set to speed of turbine or frequency of voltage output. They could also even out sudden changes on speed due to someone switching on a vacuum cleaner by having a large flywheel or even the natural inertia of the generator (this number is even quoted on a lot of generator datasheets).
So very unlikely to have some kind of 'dumping system' for excess load eg hot water immersion heater much more likely to have a speed control so when very little load just have the system freewheeling.

2) Voltage control to stop voltage dipping controlled by excitation of generator. I am presuming that a relatively small generator as 27kW will still have voltage control.

Other than that they could use solar hot water heating and use each household solar for 12 Volt equipment and maybe wood for cooking (mind those PM 2.5 values though) - a lot of people in my town in Australia have wood burners and the pollution from the neighbours fire is unbelieveable at times - I have to have my windows closed and sealed.

All in all if anyone in the UK is lucky enough to have geography that allows for a 27kW hydro system they should do it in this day and age. If the council, , Water Company, National Rivers Authority, Council, various NIMBY organisations and Greens allow it of course.
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Pepperman



Joined: 10 Oct 2010
Posts: 770

PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's high head as it's in a reasonably steep sided valley.
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Potemkin Villager



Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Posts: 942
Location: Narnia

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if anybody caught the "Grand Designs" based on a self build at Lammas on the box last night. Bit hard to take "head in the clouds" spouting on about his dedication to all things sustainable.

A high level of concrete pour and insanely expensive windows regularly feature in his regular mad ego trip trophy home for a mere half a million built by people with far too much money desperate to impress projects he usually gushes on about.

To me it showed just what a boutique activity projects like Lamass are and very unlikely to scale up. Good luck to them but you need to be blessed with a considerable amount of skill, experience and the sort of self confidence that usually only comes with a posh education to join the party.
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Little John



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
Posts: 5892
Location: UK

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom and Barbara have become Margo and Jerry.
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Potemkin Villager



Joined: 14 Mar 2006
Posts: 942
Location: Narnia

PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You must be about the same vintage as me if you remember the Goods!
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clv101
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Joined: 24 Nov 2005
Posts: 7756

PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Potemkin Villager wrote:
To me it showed just what a boutique activity projects like Lamass are and very unlikely to scale up. Good luck to them but you need to be blessed with a considerable amount of skill, experience and the sort of self confidence that usually only comes with a posh education to join the party.


It depends what you mean by scale up. Millions? No... but there's certainly scope for thousands of One Planet Developments in Wales. Simon and Jasmine are an extreme example, doing a lot with very little money and virtually no paid 'professional' input. They aren't the typical self-builder!

One approach is to see the One Planet Development policy as a way of creating new smallholdings at considerably less cost than buying an existing smallholding and ending up with a considerably better quality building. For around 100,000 a few acres can be bought and a modest, highly efficient house can be built. This is much cheaper than the quarter of a million+ for a smallholding and a lot more than 100k will buy you pretty much anywhere in the UK.
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