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Making Pumps into
Electrical Generators

It is unlikely that after a nuclear holocaust you will be able to find a suitable turbine even if you do find a high head water source but here is a solution that has been tried and said to work even in pre-holocaust time.

How to do it: Using a pump as a turbine

Unfortunately, because of government bureaucray we were not able to go ahead and do a demonstration implementation of the solution - still we did do the the engineering studies.

Large pumps are to be found, even now, in ship and oil field salvage yards. They may have been used to pump oil or some chemical so that you would not want to use them to pump drinking water - but that is okay because you are just using them to create power.

Here is a picture of the type of pump that we are talking about:

It is big (stands about 3 and a half feet high), heavy, and dirty - but once it is cleaned up it will probably work just fine. Moreover, you can very possibly use the attached motor, as explained in an earlier webpage, to run backwards and be the generator.

If you don't have a single large enough volume of water - or sufficient pressure in the water to run the pump then you may be able to use the approach that I suggest on our home waterfall website and that is to cut holes in the casing and aim nozzels in at the blades, so that you are striking them at more than one location.

Don't forget - your goal is not to move the water (which is the original design purpose of the pump) but rather to take the energy out of the flowing water and transfer it to the wheel inside the pump. For this reason - once you have received the energy, the water is really just in the way and you are now having to use energy to get rid of it. Therefore, what you can do is cut other holes in the casing for the water to escape through - because you just want it to leave.

Another point. If you aren't getting enough energy from the wheel to run the motor backward at a sufficient speed to generate electricity you can also substitute a low rpm generator for the motor.

Overall the concepts here should have application for numbers of potential situations. And don't forget the idea of possibly adding a heavy flywheel to add to the torque and smooth out the operation, but also consider the disadvantage of flywheels as discussed under our home falls generating system.

Below is an engineering study on the expected performance of the pump at our large falls location.:

chart3405 showing pump performance
From the above chart, done by US engineers, you can see that it was expected that we would get over 45KW given a flow of 4756 gallons per minute and using a 1200 rpm generator. Twenty four hours per day with no additional energy input it would be the neatest thing we would have going. Then or now.

The following chart, done by Canadian Engineers, shows the site flow expectations in cubed meters per second. I have not yet been able to convert between American gallons per minute and Canadian cubed meters per second to reconcile the two sets of numbers.

Fig 1 - Flow Duration Curve

The following chart shows revenue expectations assuming that we could sell the electricity back to the grid under the "green program" which was legislated many years ago and has been talked about endlessly but I know of no one who has personally made it through the bureaucratic hoops. This chart shows a substantial seasonal difference in water flow and while I have seen BIG differences as the result of a storm - I haven't personally noted there to be that kind of seasonal difference. It makes me wonder if the engineers took some seasonal charts rather than considering the actual underground source from which our stream is fed.

Seasonal Flow and Revenue Expectations
Below is the summary engineering study showing, that given the terms of the current "green power" legislation, that the project is financially feasible. Electricity prices have increased since the study was done and as they continue to increase - the case justification of course just gets better and better.

However, the PTB have frustrated all attempts for implementation - not just for us, but also for many others. There has been talk, talk, talk about "green power" and the environment - but it is just talk and impossible hurdles by very antagonistic low level bureaucrats are placed in anyone's way who tries to do anything about it. When my wife and I showed our case to my attorney - he simply replied, "Ah! You are planning to put my children through college!"

The Case Study After a nuclear war the practicality - nay the dire necessity of such sources as this will become apparent and so I continue to study and prepare for that eventuality.

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