Did anyone just see the BBC2 programme above just now? (8pm Tuesday)
There was a guy who was diverting his rainwater into a storage tank and
then using it for flushing his toilet. Does anyone know what building
control would think about this? Are there regulations covering this
sort of thing? And do the regulations actually make any sense anyway
I was thinking the tricky part would be soem sort of filtration to
ensure your 15mm pipes to the toilet aren't being continually bunged
up. I guess you'd need an overflow and also a connection to the storage
tank to the mains supply in case there isn't much rain.
How would you prevent the water stagnating?
Also, the tank would need to be below roof height but above toilet
cistern height which does limit the options somewhat.
Anyway, any thoughts anyone?
I was wondering how long it will take to environmentally repay the materials
and other resources used in making the water wheel by producing about 60
Likewise with wind turbines. need to consider the resources used in
Indeed, and the cost payback would probably be enormous. I imagine the
whole lot will rot and fall apart before it's paid for itself. But the
engineer in me thinks it would be wonderful, regardless of such
On Thu, 30 Mar 2006 07:22:30 +0100, David Hansen
I think they have plans for a wind turbine as well...
I think that the water wheel was perhaps an 'easier' first project,
and would probably provide a continuous source of power (as long as
the stream is flowing) whereas the wind turbines will only produce
power when there's enough wind....
As with all of these things - the challenge is to store the energy
'somewhere' until you need it. If you can find a cost-effective way to
store it, then it may be 'better' to have something like a water-wheel
that produces a reliable (although lower) output - rather than a wind
turbine which produces higher output but intermittently....
======return email munged================take out the papers and the trash to reply
On Thu, 30 Mar 2006 07:44:41 +0100 someone who may be Adrian
I was thinking of a water turbine. Although these don't look as
attractive their output is more closely matched to the input needed
for generating electricity, usually avoiding the need for a gear
box. Water wheels need gear boxes to convert the slow rotation of
their output shaft into something suitable for connection to a
generator, which adds more losses. Although advances in electronics,
driven by the wind turbine industry, make this less of a problem
than it was such electronics are not 100% efficient either.
Water wheels were used to drive machinery by line shafting in mills,
but if/when electricity was installed it was provided by a turbine,
fed from the same water supply.
It will be interesting to see how much more slowly the water wheel
rotates when electricity is being taken from it.
David Hansen, Edinburgh
I will *always* explain revoked encryption keys, unless RIP prevents me
I would hazard the guess that at these small power levels the
waterwheel is less lossy, as long as the buckets don't leak.
Pelton wheels seem to be most efficient at high head, then as the head
gets lower propeller type devices are better.
This interest me, I take it that a Pelton wheel is only power matched
at one speed, when the buckets are moving at half the water velocity,
so to avoid throttling losses you either drive it constantly or change
What struck me about the breast shot wheel is that it is not lossy and
there is some feedback, with it's speed adjusting to the torque
extracted from it. As the load increases then the wheel slows and
allows the buckets to fill a bit more, presumably maximum power is
then when the buckets are brim full, which is maximum torque times the
slowest speed is it not?
I did a rapid calculation that, I am ashamed to say, seemed to
indicate my family's (total) energy needs would be provided by 500m^3
falling through 30 metres every day!
Makes more sense to store it as water at the higher head where
This is one of the things we calculated when deciding on the diesel
genset, the cost of storing electricity as chemical energy was more
that the value of the generated electricity, storing it as diesel was
cheaper even if the specific consumption went up.
I imagine it's OK as long as they are not connected by a hosepipe :-)
A neighbour says he was offered a new plastic water pipe from the road
to the house in exchange for accepting a water meter, tempting.
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