AuthorTopic: Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building  (Read 1411 times)

Offline Eddie

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Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building
« on: March 04, 2017, 12:38:47 PM »
I found out Home Depot (the one up by Ft. Hood) will deliver anything for a flat  $79 fee. I am considering ordering three or four pallets of Quikrete readymix to build the dam for my new swimming hole, just using stacked bags (with big nails driven through them for rebar).

Very fast build, no forms, the concrete sets right in the bag and the bags exposed to the outside quickly biodegrade.

I've seen nice looking retaining walls built this way here by the highway department. (The added nails to reinforce the wall is my idea).
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Offline Eddie

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Re: Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2017, 12:44:28 PM »
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

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Re: Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2017, 12:45:38 PM »
I found out Home Depot (the one up by Ft. Hood) will deliver anything for a flat  $79 fee. I am considering ordering three or four pallets of Quikrete readymix to build the dam for my new swimming hole, just using stacked bags (with big nails driven through them for rebar).

Very fast build, no forms, the concrete sets right in the bag and the bags exposed to the outside quickly biodegrade.

I've seen nice looking retaining walls built this way here by the highway department. (The added nails to reinforce the wall is my idea).

What about getting a roll of that Basalt Mesh they used to build the walls at Monolithic?

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Offline RE

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Re: Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2017, 12:50:09 PM »
Before you build the dam, you should know what type of Micro Hydro device you will use and how you will set it into the dam structure.  As Oroville shows us also, you'll need some type of spillway for times of high water.

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Offline Eddie

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Re: Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2017, 12:51:09 PM »
I never got what I ordered from that company. First, it just never showed up and I forgot about it. Then, the guy called me, told me he'd accidentally misplaced the order and he asked did I still want it. I said yes. I sent them a faxed order, which he asked me to do. I'm still waiting. They never charged me, so no great loss, but I got tired of fooling around with them. They obviously cater to the building trade and not DIYer's. That's been what? Three years almost?
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

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Re: Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2017, 12:57:03 PM »
I never got what I ordered from that company. First, it just never showed up and I forgot about it. Then, the guy called me, told me he'd accidentally misplaced the order and he asked did I still want it. I said yes. I sent them a faxed order, which he asked me to do. I'm still waiting. They never charged me, so no great loss, but I got tired of fooling around with them. They obviously cater to the building trade and not DIYer's. That's been what? Three years almost?

What about calling Monolithic, have THEM order it and send it to you?  Tell them your story, they won't want to look bad.

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« Last Edit: March 04, 2017, 12:58:45 PM by RE »
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Offline Eddie

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Re: Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2017, 01:06:02 PM »
I've already thought about all of that.

It will obviously take some damage in floods, so the spillway part will require maintenance on an occasional ongoing basis. One side of the creek bed is solid limestone, so that won't give. I'll put a sluice box there for the turbines.




The other side will be the spillway. I envision a simple dam at first, but with a second concrete wall turned about 90 degrees upstream ( to be added over time) on the dirt side to make a catch basin, as the spillway side will give trouble after big rains. Eventually I should have something that won't have to be repaired very often.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

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Re: Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2017, 01:16:52 PM »
I've already thought about all of that.

It will obviously take some damage in floods, so the spillway part will require maintenance on an occasional ongoing basis. One side of the creek bed is solid limestone, so that won't give. I'll put a sluice box there for the turbines.


The other side will be the spillway. I envision a simple dam at first, but with a second concrete wall turned about 90 degrees upstream ( to be added over time) on the dirt side to make a catch basin, as the spillway side will give trouble after big rains. Eventually I should have something that won't have to be repaired very often.

How much weight of water will you be retaining?  If it is not too huge, then you might be able to use gates instead of or in addition to a spillway.  Then in times of high water, you  just open the gates.  It would be more expensive up front, but would save a lot of repair work down the line.

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Offline Eddie

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Re: Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2017, 02:10:37 PM »
My internet is flaking. I replied to this, but lost it. I'll try again.

It's difficult for me to estimate how much water I'd be backing up. I had a hard time just estimating the amount of concrete for the dam itself. the creek bed is uneven.

I don't like the gates idea. Too hard to build and they'd blow out if you weren't there to open them at the right time. Many of these small rivers and creeks around here have had small dams built successfully that have lasted for generations. I think I can fake it.

The sluice box would need to built so that the turbines could be protected from floods. Even turning too fast can ruin them, so there would need to be a good gate on that. But that's easier to build.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline RE

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Re: Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2017, 02:26:25 PM »
My internet is flaking. I replied to this, but lost it. I'll try again.

It's difficult for me to estimate how much water I'd be backing up. I had a hard time just estimating the amount of concrete for the dam itself. the creek bed is uneven.

I don't like the gates idea. Too hard to build and they'd blow out if you weren't there to open them at the right time. Many of these small rivers and creeks around here have had small dams built successfully that have lasted for generations. I think I can fake it.

The sluice box would need to built so that the turbines could be protected from floods. Even turning too fast can ruin them, so there would need to be a good gate on that. But that's easier to build.

The type of gate you use is a vertical rise gate, not a swing gate.  It's made out of a single piece of steel plate.  As long as the weight of water is not too much it will not blow out.  You embed the tracks for it on either side into the concrete.  It's automatic and pressure controlled.  When the pressure at the bottom meets a defined level, servos raise the gate and let water out from the bottom.  When enough water is released, the gate rolls back down.  It's like a thermostat.

You can't do this on a really big dam like Oroville, but on a small dam you could.

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Offline Eddie

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Re: Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2017, 02:28:06 PM »
Servos....right. LOL.
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Offline RE

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Re: Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2017, 02:39:12 PM »
Servos....right. LOL.

Well, you could actually do it all mechanical, without servos.  You know how they made those big rock sliding doors in the Pyramids?  They used either water or sand as counterweights.  Same principle applies here, when the pressure gets high enough, it forces the gate to slide up.  It's just a design challenge.

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Offline Eddie

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Re: Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2017, 02:56:04 PM »
And a build challenge and a materials sourcing challenge. 

All that stuff adds time and costs. It does sound like a feasible idea, for someone with the right skills and access to good salvage. Not me.

Hard enough to stack 300-400 bags of 80 pound dead weight sacks of concrete. If the creek flow gets low, maybe I can carry most of it in the tractor bucket to right where I need it. I have learned, in my fence building, to try to work smarter with that stuff. I'm sure my back will take weeks to recover from one day of dam building, though.
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Offline luciddreams

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Re: Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2017, 03:03:28 PM »
And a build challenge and a materials sourcing challenge. 

All that stuff adds time and costs. It does sound like a feasible idea, for someone with the right skills and access to good salvage. Not me.

Hard enough to stack 300-400 bags of 80 pound dead weight sacks of concrete. If the creek flow gets low, maybe I can carry most of it in the tractor bucket to right where I need it. I have learned, in my fence building, to try to work smarter with that stuff. I'm sure my back will take weeks to recover from one day of dam building, though.

Wish I could say that I could come visit and help (in exchange for jacked up teeth removal) but there is no way I could get away long enough to make it all happen in the spring.  My phones already ringing everyday with business. 

I still haven't gotten to the dentist.  Part denial and part I just don't want to pay for it.  No pressure sensitivity, just heat/cold, and I've found ways to adapt to that.  I know I'm playing with fire, but to be alive is to do that. 

Offline RE

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Re: Small Dam & Micro-Hydro Building
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2017, 03:14:14 PM »
And a build challenge and a materials sourcing challenge. 

All that stuff adds time and costs. It does sound like a feasible idea, for someone with the right skills and access to good salvage. Not me.

Hard enough to stack 300-400 bags of 80 pound dead weight sacks of concrete. If the creek flow gets low, maybe I can carry most of it in the tractor bucket to right where I need it. I have learned, in my fence building, to try to work smarter with that stuff. I'm sure my back will take weeks to recover from one day of dam building, though.

Now you are thinking like LD, like YOU need to do the back breaking work of construction.  That would be stupid, considering how much you can earn in a given day drilling teeth.

What you need is to have the DESIGN for it done, then on construction day you hire a professional contractor to do the work, while you spend an extra day at the dental office drilling teeth.  You use this money to pay the contractor and his laborers.

I am going to work on a design for this we can build at 1/20th scale or so for a starter.  I already got figured out how it works.  :)

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