Monthly Archives: April 2012

Installing a personal water wheel for personal hydroelectric power

We have a canal running by our house, with a great flow of water in it nearly the entire year.  Just a guess, but it probably runs pasta couple hundred houses from its origin in the southern French Alps to the Mediterranean Sea. So it  seemed to me that this could be a great source of electricity, especially for those who already have solar panels so that could be augmented – two sustainables are better than one!

ImageSo I started doing some research for a product I was sure there would be hundreds of – I mean, they teach you how to make a water wheel to light a bulb in junior high school.  I couldn’t find ANY commercially available water wheels that I’d call “personal”.  By Personal, I mean that you could order online pay under $1000, and start generating electricity in a few days.

I did find this one, that can be put in a river, but it’s quite large and designed to be a power source for a town, not a single home.  It’s made by Practical Action, and you can read more about it in a  technical paper.

So, please readers, if you know of any personal water wheels available (or you want to make it rich by developing one), please let me know!!

Solar towers provide up to 20 times the electricity as standard panels

Live Science reports that a group at MIT have constructed solar panel towers that generate up to 20 times the power as regular installations, and have a much smaller footprint. The solar towers also collect much more sunlight during the mornings and evenings than standard panel installation.

“I think this concept could become an important part of the future of photovoltaics,” said Jeffrey Grossman, a professor of power engineering at MIT.