Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Micro hydro?

With all this rain, we bought ourselves a rain barrel. For a few bucks at Ocean State Job Lot, we got a 150 gallon barrel and set it up in time for the latest deluge. It was full by noon the next day.

All the water flowing off our roof got me thinking about how much energy could be produced if you funneled it all through a turbine. It seems like it should be a lot (picture the energy involved in dropping a full 150 gallon barrel off of a two story building). My rough calculations for a 1000 square foot roof, two story building, with 50 inches of rain annually (Worcester county) is 1 3/4 kWh.

A Google search turned up some patent applications, but nothing concrete...