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Re: E-M:/ Power from Water

Enviro-Mich message from Lowell Prag <lprag@mail.msen.com>

On Sat, 10 Jan 2004, Mary La France wrote:

> Folks, got an energy question. . .
> Suppose I wanted to begin generating power for my home from a propeller turbine immersed in a stream next to my home. The kind of propeller turbine I am interested in installing is about the size of a submersible pump used in big water gardens.
> The stream next to my home is classified as a "drain", like many of our streams in this state (which makes them available for all kinds of pollution discharges),  but does anyone know if there are regulations prohibiting using drains for generating alternative energy? What limitations are there in the Michigan Drain Code for doing this type of thing?

Hello Mary,

You need to build a weir which concentrates and channels the water over a
hydro turbine. After the water turns the turbine and then the generator,
it continues down stream and hence, the process does not affect the
overall flow of the stream but the system has to be designed in a way that
is harmless to fish and turtles, if they are also in the stream.

First though, you need to do a technical study in order to determine the
amount of electricity that can be generated with the stream flow and then
determine the cost for equipment, payback period, etc. You can then determine
if the investment is worth your while.

For more technical info, contact the Real Goods Trading Company:


Here's a link to their site which contains a section on hydro turbines:



Lowell Prag

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