Wildcat Creek Brick Company

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hydro electric project update

Ive been working off and on with my homestead off grid power project. Here are a few photos of the progress to date.

This was after some 2 or more inches of new rain a few weeks ago. The dam worked great. But after about 4 days it had undermined the gravel and had a blow out in the center of it. So Ive had to go back and make improvements.

Ive dug the trench all the way across back to the bend in the creek downstream now.

Looking to be able to raise and lower water level in the dam quickly, I built a gate. It can be raised and lowered by turning a threaded screw. It works good but I need to add some kind of sealing strip to control leaking.

It works well enough for now. You may have noticed I lined the side of the dam with concrete. This was because of endless small leaks I was patching and filling in. The dam so far is a single log lined with plastic tarp, filled in with rocks, gravel and sand. Then covered in a layer of concrete. Its sloped to deflect the force of the water on it. Because of the success of this I am going to add the same to the down stream slope of the dam as well soon. Hopefully it will be able to survive most floods.

Heres a .gif I found on the web showing how the gate on the dam works. Pretty simple.

This is a simple water wheel I put together to get started with. Later on there will be a bigger one if this project is successful.

I dont expect to power alot with any of this. Thats just not the scale of what Im trying to do. If I can get enough power out of this to provide free 24 hour barn and stall lighting that will be great. Maybe a radio and a small water feed pump too.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Mushrooms and Trenches

Hi, here is a small update on my hydroelectric project.

I now have the in feed canal dug to the water table depth by hand.
It will need widened to fit the block lining so sidewalls don't collapse.
There is quite a bit of useful sand and gravel I have gathered out from the dig so far.
Its hard to tell from the photo, but there is a gentle downward sloping as i dig the length. Hard to notice. Inches of slope over many feet. But you can tell by the water gathering to one end. It doesn't lie. 

My girls were watching me work and went looking for mushrooms and found these.