Author Topic: I've only gone and done it!  (Read 635 times)


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I've only gone and done it!
« on: May 05, 2018, 10:28:19 AM »
Hi All,

After only 4 years of looking I've found an ancient stone barn, off grid, in my (meager!) price range with a head of water, a decent view, 5 hecares (14 acres) of extremely sloping  land, backing on to a HUGE wood and far enough away from the neighbours so they won't moan about the Lister!

See Google map link for details


I haven't signed anything yet, but we 'spat and shook', up here that's pretty binding, It should be mine in 2/3 months, anything over a hectare has to be offered to the local farming community for two months, at the agreed price first, generally not a problem.

It's bigger than I wanted, so I think I'll end up with a decent integral workshop.

So, the first of many questions, there's a stream above the property I'd like to use as a supply for a small hydro scheme.

It would involve a 200m long 25mm id mdpe pipe and have a vertical drop of 35 meters - 120 feet. I've had a scout around on the WWW and can't come up with a definitive answer, so, could anyone here point towards a useful site or tell me how much power I'd get allowing for the friction loss in the pipe?

Cheers Stef
Tighten 'til it strips, weld nut to chassis, peen stud, adjust with angle grinder.


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Re: I've only gone and done it!
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2018, 10:48:48 AM »

Wow! Congrats!
Looks beautiful.  Was it you or someone else here who had a shed/ house that was like 100 years old and made from stone?

A microhydro setup would be my dream. The ultimate in clean, quiet, stable and dependable power.

I haven't looked at any MH sites for a while, I get depressed i'll never be able to have one, but you should just be able to look up MH sites  And find head and flow charts or calculators for different elevations, pipe sizes etc.

Try terms like water head pressure calculator, Microhydro Flow rate sizing, MH turbine flow rate etc.
I'd see what I could find for you but my eyes are not good atm, I suspect my blood sugar isn't the best either as I forgat to take my meds last night so things are difficult to see atm.  Surprised I haven't fallen asleep already.  Im sure some other people will be able to get you going with it.

Have a look on YT as well. Lots of MH eye candy there.

One thing I'd suggest straight off the bat, 25mm pipe will be useless. Over a 200m run, I think the frictional losses in teh pipe will make it good for supplying tap water and that's about it.  You really want more like 4" to get a decent output on a turbine. Will depend on what you want and I might be deluded as i'm only going on gut feeling from what I remember before but I do recally anyting under about 2" doesn[t have much power in it because Flowrate is a critical thing in MH just as much or more than head.

One day maybe I'll build a turbine / generator setup and run it off a pump just to see what I can learn and satisfy my niggling ambition.

Good luck with the new place!  A truly exciting and motivating thing for sure!


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Re: I've only gone and done it!
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2018, 04:34:34 PM »
Congratulations Stef, that's a gorgeous property nestled into the edge of the forest!

This link has a calculator that shows your power and flow:

A 1 inch pipe will only give you 50 watts of power and 6 gpm flow. A 2 inch pipe would give you about 260 watts  and 30 gpm.

A good article on design ;

Here's a power and pipe size calculator:

Even a modest microhydro source would be a fabulous power asset.

« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 04:56:43 PM by BruceM »


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Re: I've only gone and done it!
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2018, 10:48:58 PM »
Thanks for that, Glort, yes it is me with the stone barn, it's less than 4 k away from the one in the Google map link. It's a bit small, only 8m x 3.5m, and right alongside the road. When I refurbished it I did it in such a way that it could be turned into a small dwelling with minimal alterations, once again  we have SWMBO factor, I'd like a summer residence akin to a backwoods log cabin, Carolyn has space for the klds and grand kids in mind.........

I also wanted an 'off grid' project, last year I sold my little Dutch Barge, it was too far away, mountains and canals aren't usually synonymous,  the result won't go more than 25% of the way to the Big Barn project, I'll scrounge the rest up as we go along!


Three great links, with calculators that I can understand (albeit that I have convert from 'footric' to metric!), thanks a bunch.

As you can imagine the whole project is on a very light gauge shoe string, luckily, after 7 years up here, I have a huge amount of goodwill backed up and am prepared to call it all in shamelessly......

Anyone who's passing and has a desire to indulge in concrete mixing or roofing and slating in an area of outstanding natural beauty for 3 squares hot and a cot, PM me soonest!

As for the techie stuff I'll be abusing the forum in my usual fashion, safe in the knowledge that if it interests me then at least 75% of the blokes on here on my wavelength whether it's diesel powered or not!



Tighten 'til it strips, weld nut to chassis, peen stud, adjust with angle grinder.


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Re: I've only gone and done it!
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2018, 07:26:01 AM »

You're in France.

What's a fellow do with 14 acres besides grow a Lister program and hydro-power?  Looks like it might get chilly.
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Re: I've only gone and done it!
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2018, 08:43:47 AM »
Congrats Stef

That's a lot what I bought recently in lots of ways:

Off grid . . .

An acre of flat with an old barn on it and 11 acres of hill with a spring up the top

 . . . just on the other side of the world lol

Well done


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Re: I've only gone and done it!
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2018, 10:36:35 AM »
Well done Stef, a beautiful property in a magnificent part of the world. I have spent a lot of my holidays in the Pyrenees and French alps and I just love it. I would happily volunteer to come and roof your barn but I suspect my health problems would make me more of a liability than an asset.

Please keep us posted on how it`s going.