Experimental Study on the Efficiency of Harvesting Power from Rain Gutter Downspouts
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Goal. Determine how much energy can be produced from rain water running down gutter downspouts.. Renewable Energy and Hydroelectricity. Produced by harnessing the energy of moving water and converting it into electricity.Supplies 715,000 megawatts of electricity or 19% of the world\'s electricity. 63% of the total energy harvested from renewable sources. .
Experimental Study on the Efficiency of Harvesting Power fro...

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1. Experimental Study on the Efficiency of Harvesting Power from Rain Gutter Downspouts John-Nicholas Furst Crescent Valley High School Corvallis, Oregon

2. Goal Determine how much energy can be produced from rain water running down gutter downspouts. The goal of this study is to determine if producing energy from rain gutter downspouts is a viable alternative small scale renewable energy source by determining how much energy can be produced by rain water running down gutter downspouts. The goal of this study is to determine if producing energy from rain gutter downspouts is a viable alternative small scale renewable energy source by determining how much energy can be produced by rain water running down gutter downspouts.

3. Renewable Energy and Hydroelectricity Produced by harnessing the energy of moving water and converting it into electricity. Supplies 715,000 megawatts of electricity or 19% of the world?s electricity. 63% of the total energy harvested from renewable sources. Hydroelectricity is produced by harnessing the power or energy of moving water and converting it into electricity. In the latest census of the world?s renewable energy preformed in 2005 by the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), hydroelectricity supplies 715,000 megawatts of electricity or 19% of the world?s electricity. This accounts for over 63% of the total energy harvested from renewable sources. Hydroelectricity is produced by harnessing the power or energy of moving water and converting it into electricity. In the latest census of the world?s renewable energy preformed in 2005 by the Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), hydroelectricity supplies 715,000 megawatts of electricity or 19% of the world?s electricity. This accounts for over 63% of the total energy harvested from renewable sources.

4. Pico Hydroelectric Installations Generate under 5kW Very useful in creating small amounts of energy Environmentally friendly compared to fossil fuels Pico hydroelectric installations are devices that generate under 5kW. They can be very useful in creating small amounts of energy. In the towns of Kithama and Thimba in Kenya pico hydroelectric installations produce nearly 2.2 kW of energy to power some small devices (Pico Hydro). Pico hydro power is more environmentally friendly than burning fossil fuels, as it does not pollute the air. Pico hydroelectric installations are devices that generate under 5kW. They can be very useful in creating small amounts of energy. In the towns of Kithama and Thimba in Kenya pico hydroelectric installations produce nearly 2.2 kW of energy to power some small devices (Pico Hydro). Pico hydro power is more environmentally friendly than burning fossil fuels, as it does not pollute the air.

5. Energy Resources Running out of carbon based resources Estimated end of supply of carbon based resources: 2200 Find ways to produce energy from renewable sources Reduce dependency if we produce a fraction of our consumption We are running out of non-renewable resources such as coal and petroleum that satisfy our current energy needs. It is estimated that we will run out of carbon-based natural resources such as coal, oil and natural gas around 2200. We need to find ways to produce energy from renewable resources so that we can sustain ourselves. If people started producing even a fraction of their own consumption of energy from renewable energy sources, we could greatly reduce our dependency on non-renewable carbon based resources.We are running out of non-renewable resources such as coal and petroleum that satisfy our current energy needs. It is estimated that we will run out of carbon-based natural resources such as coal, oil and natural gas around 2200. We need to find ways to produce energy from renewable resources so that we can sustain ourselves. If people started producing even a fraction of their own consumption of energy from renewable energy sources, we could greatly reduce our dependency on non-renewable carbon based resources.

6. Materials Papst 12v DC Turbine 10 feet downspout Gutter apparatus Water Brass Flow Rate Limiters Weight Mounting materials Multi-meter 5 feet 16-gauge wire, black and red

7. Methods A Papst 12 DC fan works as a turbine Mount the turbine to the weight Position turbine under downspout such that water hits blades at 90 degrees Protect wiring from water and fan blades Attach leads to multi-meters Measure and record power output A Papst 12 DC fan works very well as a turbine in this case. The fan will act as our turbine in this hydroelectric system Mount the turbine to the weight to keep it from moving while water is running though the turbine. Position the turbine under the downspout such that the water hits the blades of the turbine at a 90 degree angle. This angle is very important. This allows for the water to transfer all of its potential energy to the fan blades causing them to turn. Make sure the wiring is protected from the water. Connect the positive and negative leads of the turbine to a multi-meter to measure the amperage and voltage. As water runs through the gutters and down the downspout, it will exit through the turbine. Measurements are taken and recorded from the values of the multi-meters.A Papst 12 DC fan works very well as a turbine in this case. The fan will act as our turbine in this hydroelectric system Mount the turbine to the weight to keep it from moving while water is running though the turbine. Position the turbine under the downspout such that the water hits the blades of the turbine at a 90 degree angle. This angle is very important. This allows for the water to transfer all of its potential energy to the fan blades causing them to turn. Make sure the wiring is protected from the water. Connect the positive and negative leads of the turbine to a multi-meter to measure the amperage and voltage. As water runs through the gutters and down the downspout, it will exit through the turbine. Measurements are taken and recorded from the values of the multi-meters.

8. Trials 10 feet freefall The flow rate of the water was limited to three different rates for the tests: 1 liter/second 2 liters/second 4 liters/seconds. Many downspouts on homes have a freefall near 10 feet. Thus 10 feet was used for the downspout drop of the trials. The flow rate of the water was limited to three different rates for the tests: 1 liter/second, 2 liters/second and 4 liters/seconds. Many downspouts on homes have a freefall near 10 feet. Thus 10 feet was used for the downspout drop of the trials. The flow rate of the water was limited to three different rates for the tests: 1 liter/second, 2 liters/second and 4 liters/seconds.

9. Results

10. Calculations & Conclusions Energy can be produced by running rainwater through a turbine to produce a small amount of energy Small amount of power can add up over time and with more homes harnessing it. Corvallis, Oregon receives an average annual precipitation of 42.8 inches Average new house has 2,469 square feet of roof (29,628 square inches of roof) Possible 1,268,078.4 cubic inches of water Approximately 20,780 liters of water At an average flow near 1 liter / second and at 50% efficiency approximately 2,493 watts produced per year per household The hydroelectric installation did produce power. The power output was minimal compared to the regular power consumption of homes in the Willamette Valley, however this small amount of power can add up over time and with more homes harnessing it. Corvallis, Oregon receives an average annual precipitation of 42.8 inches (Economic Facts about Corvallis and Benton County). As of the 2006 census the average new house has 2,469 square feet of roof (2006 American Community Survey Data Profile Highlights).This converts to 29,628 square inches of roof. A possible 1,268,078.4 cubic inches of water that could be converted into energy. That converts to approximately 20,780 liters of water. With an average flow near 1 liter / second, which can obtained during medium rainfall, this equates to approximately 2,493 watts saved per year per household. ?The hydroelectric installation did produce power. The power output was minimal compared to the regular power consumption of homes in the Willamette Valley, however this small amount of power can add up over time and with more homes harnessing it. Corvallis, Oregon receives an average annual precipitation of 42.8 inches (Economic Facts about Corvallis and Benton County). As of the 2006 census the average new house has 2,469 square feet of roof (2006 American Community Survey Data Profile Highlights).This converts to 29,628 square inches of roof. A possible 1,268,078.4 cubic inches of water that could be converted into energy. That converts to approximately 20,780 liters of water. With an average flow near 1 liter / second, which can obtained during medium rainfall, this equates to approximately 2,493 watts saved per year per household. ?

11. Calculations and Conclusions Continued Running out of resources, need to conserve resources Save nearly 62,500 kilograms of coal or approximately 137,788 pounds of coal per year by 50,000 homes adding devices to their downspouts to harvest the energy. Downspout devices could be installed on commercial buildings and homes throughout climates that experience medium to heavy rainfall. When it comes to conservation, every little bit counts. This is not an overwhelming amount of energy. However we are running out of resources, and we need to conserve what we have left and transfer to renewable forms of energy to provide for our needs. At about 2,500 watts per year multiplied by 50,000 homes, we could produce approximately 125,000 kilowatts per year. We would save nearly 62,500 kilograms of coal or approximately 137,788 pounds of coal per year by 50,000 homes adding devices to their downspouts to harvest the energy. Downspout devices could be installed on commercial buildings and homes throughout the northwest. When it comes to conservation, every little bit counts. This is not an overwhelming amount of energy. However we are running out of resources, and we need to conserve what we have left and transfer to renewable forms of energy to provide for our needs. At about 2,500 watts per year multiplied by 50,000 homes, we could produce approximately 125,000 kilowatts per year. We would save nearly 62,500 kilograms of coal or approximately 137,788 pounds of coal per year by 50,000 homes adding devices to their downspouts to harvest the energy. Downspout devices could be installed on commercial buildings and homes throughout the northwest. When it comes to conservation, every little bit counts.

12. Error Factors & Improvements Multi-meters: Values fluctuating Ampere reading limited to hundredths of an ampere Higher accuracy measuring equipment would improve the results. The ampere measurement limited the overall power measurement. The most notable errors in calculating the power outputs were from the multi-meters. They would change as well as the ampere meter was limited to hundredths of an ampere. Performing the tests with more accurate measuring equipment would improve the results. The ampere meter limited the amp measurement which limited the overall power measurement. The most notable errors in calculating the power outputs were from the multi-meters. They would change as well as the ampere meter was limited to hundredths of an ampere. Performing the tests with more accurate measuring equipment would improve the results. The ampere meter limited the amp measurement which limited the overall power measurement.

13. Extension Polyvinylidene Fluoride as a piezoelectric element Piezoelectric elements harnesses energy produced by rain drops deforming the surface on impact Line roof with piezoelectric material There has been research done by a French group who has worked with harnessing energy through polyvinylidene fluoride and using it as a piezoelectric element. The element harnesses energy of the rain drops as they fall on the roof. Lining a roof with piezoelectric material could produce a massive amount of energy, especially in areas such as the Amazon where it does not stop raining for months (The Power of Rain: Alternative Energy.) There has been research done by a French group who has worked with harnessing energy through polyvinylidene fluoride and using it as a piezoelectric element. The element harnesses energy of the rain drops as they fall on the roof. Lining a roof with piezoelectric material could produce a massive amount of energy, especially in areas such as the Amazon where it does not stop raining for months (The Power of Rain: Alternative Energy.)

14. Thank You Jeff Engelmann Mark Baldwin Adam Kirsch


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