Living off-the grid and becoming self-sufficient in these challenging times is a dream for most of us. For a man named Manfred Mornhinweg the dream came true and for him and his family it is a day to day reality. As you will see below, he managed to build a micro hydro plant to generate electricity and power his dream.
Manfred was sick and tired of the modern world which became to “noisy and hectic” for his taste. He bought 98 dreamy acres in Chile and he began building his new life. He started with a house and soon enough he decided to use the local stream to generate all the electricity he needs for his new home.
He decided to divert the water from the local stream into a pen-stock that houses the micro hydro-power system he built. This ingenious idea gave him the opportunity to place some of the generators directly into the stream.
As Manfred stated, the largest cost of his micro hydro plant was by far in the piping needed in order for the water to reach the pen stock. He decided to use white PVC pipes, class 2.5 that can be used at their safe limit, very close to 2 bar of pressure. He used higher resistance PVC pipes (class 4) only for the last part of the water run, where the pressure exceeds 2 bar.
An important part of the project that required a lot of hard work was digging the channel in which the PVC pipes were installed, but he got help from his trust-worthy neighbors. This is not a one man project and you would need help at some point.
Here are just a few photos of this amazing project of building a micro hydro plant:
Here is the outflow from his turbine, at 30 l/s this water is “tired” and it has helped generate enough power for a decent off the grid living.
The project for this DIY micro hydro plant may seem complex for many and I must admit I am overwhelmed by all the details. But if you have the will and if you get the proper help you can certainly do it, just like Manfred.
Following the link below, you can find all the details, step by step, on how to build this micro hydro plant:
Even though his website is classic, I find it very inspiring and it motivates me to try his approach. It presents every step of this man’s dream, from building the house, to building the micro hydro plant and presenting what his paradise has to offer.
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