Microhydropower System Debris Filter Revisited


I recently ventured upstream to check on the status on my microhydropower penstock (the pipeline) to see why it had ceased flowing.  I expected  to find some kind of rupture or dislocation in a planned spot following torrential rains, but I was delighted to find the line intact.  What had happened was that the beta version of the new line filter, installed just before peak leaf season, had finally become encased in leaves from the stream and had clogged.

This is no small deal as the water not only flows passively into the penstock, but once the penstock is filled and the water therein pressurized, the flowing-in water and any debris it contains is literally sucked to the grill of the filter from the siphoning power of the pipeline.  Given that the “siphon” contains almost 900 pounds of water falling 125 feet, that’s a lot of siphonage.

The fact that the clogging took more than three weeks during the autumn leaf deluge was extremely heartening.  Literally less than two minutes of housekeeping got the system up and humming, and before I reached the bottom of the hill the turbine was cranking out electricity.

In  coming weeks I will fabricate a real live “production” version of the filter which should make t a piece of cake to keep functioning.  The new production version will be longer, probably three feet versus one, and may be larger than the beta’s 2-inch diameter.

Stay tuned.