Author Topic: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project  (Read 63381 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

skid

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Country: ca
5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« on: July 23, 2014, 12:06:03 AM »
I thought this site would be a good place to document my build and installation of a Poncelet wheel. I will assemble the wheel and then install it. This will be done in my spare time and will take some time due to the magnitude of the project.

Background:
I live on a fast mountain river. The river bank drops almost straight down at water level and water flow is quite rapid very close to the shore. I  measured 10 feet per second when water levels are low and when levels are higher, well it really flows fast.

This installation will be complex and innovative, and built with top quality materials for longevity. Something I have been planning for and accumulating materials for for years. The wheel will be built of mostly aluminum and stainless steel. The cantilever wheel supporting structure will be 10" diameter stainless steel pipe on a carbon steel stand on a poured concrete base. The generator I am spec'ing is a 5kw 50 rpm PM style.  I have machine shop and welding resources.

The design:
The wheel will be 10 feet in diameter and three feet wide. The 24 buckets are rolled aluminum and the wheel sides are aluminum as well. The wheel and bucket pieces are water jet cut for accuracy and ease of assembly. 8 aluminum angle spokes will be supported on a 6" stainless steel pipe with a 2 3/4 inch (turned down from 6 inch solid steel) stainless steel shaft welded on each end for the bearings. Weight is in the 1000 pound range.

Speed is expected to be in the 10rpm range and a 5:1 sheave and belt drive system will increase the speed to properly drive the generator.

The wheel is mostly designed and prepared for welding. There are still a few things that have to be determined, but I'll tackle those as things progress. I'll be posting pictures and commentary as I get started. Welding will commence soon!

electrondady1

  • SuperHero Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2850
  • Country: ca
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2014, 05:22:03 AM »
welcome to the forum  skid. photos, photos.

keithturtle

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Country: us
  • Things that fly
    • aftertherapture
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2014, 12:23:27 PM »
The wheel will be built of mostly aluminum and stainless steel.

Beware the galvanic reaction between dissimilar metals.  Aluminum corrodes [relatively] quickly when bolted to any other metal unless you take steps to electrically isolate them.

Use really big shaft and bearing components, especially if it will freeze.

There's lots of good info here.

Thanks for sharing

Turtle
soli deo gloria

MaryAlana

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1200
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2014, 02:42:59 PM »
Aluminum and stainless play well together. if they didn't my antennas(amateur radio operator) would have fallen apart years ago.

skid

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Country: ca
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2014, 03:43:55 PM »
Some pictures

skid

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Country: ca
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2014, 04:12:10 PM »
It's a bit of a learning experience to post pictures and having to reduce the size of the pictures...

Picture of wheel side with one bucket placed in weld groove.

skid

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Country: ca
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2014, 04:19:46 PM »
SS Axle and aluminum spokes. The bearing journals are 2 3/4 inches diameter. One bearing surface is longer for mounting the sheave

skid

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Country: ca
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2014, 04:25:20 PM »
Bucket edge detail. The edge fits in the weld groove and positions it for welding.

skid

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Country: ca
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2014, 06:41:46 PM »
Aluminum and stainless play well together. if they didn't my antennas(amateur radio operator) would have fallen apart years ago.

Yes, aluminum and stainless steel are passive towards each other galvanic corrosion wise.

southline

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 29
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2014, 07:02:31 PM »
WOW....  looking great.  Keep posting your progress, I know it takes time.  Adam


keithturtle

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Country: us
  • Things that fly
    • aftertherapture
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2014, 09:21:53 PM »
Aluminum and stainless play well together. if they didn't my antennas(amateur radio operator) would have fallen apart years ago.

Yes, aluminum and stainless steel are passive towards each other galvanic corrosion wise.
It's good to know you've considered the potential.   There's plenty of metal in that hub... keep up the good work

Turtle
soli deo gloria

skid

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Country: ca
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2014, 03:50:54 PM »
This is the river where I will mount the wheel. It is currently at low levels as the spring freshet has wound down. To maintain the delicate riparian ecosystem, I will hand excavate a small section of the river bank which is mostly stones interlocked with tree roots.

I will hammer in several pieces of 25 mil rebar as far as possible into the soil/rocks below the excavated portion and use the hammered rebar and the excavation to key in the concrete slab. Due to the weight of the  overhung wheel, I'll need a fair amount of concrete to keep it stable (although the wheel will be counterbalanced on the other side of the stand with weights). The slab will also be heavily reinforced with 25 mil rebar. When the river floods I don't want the wheel to wash downstream.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2014, 03:55:19 PM by skid »

keithturtle

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Country: us
  • Things that fly
    • aftertherapture
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2014, 10:03:10 PM »
When sinking rebar into the streambed, consider the accumulated aggregate below.  My experience on both sides of the stream was interesting; one side was pure undisturbed clay, and the other was so many big rocks and gravel, down too far to dig it all out.

The clay side of the dam still stands strong.   That which had 1" rebar driven into and lots of concrete poured on top, well, it's a few yards down stream.   I had intended to pump lots of water under it and scour out the gravel, then fill the voids with cement.  A series of big rains came before I could get to it, and now it's all destroyed.

I suppose if you had numerous heavy rebar driven deep enough, you could get by with building on gravel.  The problem I ran into was hitting big rocks and not even getting into the clay.  That, and I was driving it by hand with a 12 lb sledge, an arduous task at best.  Mechanical drivers are worth the rental fee, IMO.

Turtle
soli deo gloria

skid

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Country: ca
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2014, 10:50:56 AM »
I started digging the riverbank yesterday and it is very tough going. Very little soil, lots of roots and rocks. It's unlikely that I'll be able to drive rebar down as there are too many rocks. In fact after getting down 18 inches or so I am hitting the tops of some very large rocks that are too big to move by hand. I'll dig around those as best I can and expose as much of the rocks as possible.

I'll likely hammer drill into those large rocks and epoxy the rebar into those rocks as they'll work very well as foundation anchors. The rough surface of the rock tops will also work well to key in the foundation. I need several tons of mass to support the wheel and frame...

keithturtle

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 196
  • Country: us
  • Things that fly
    • aftertherapture
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #14 on: July 26, 2014, 11:39:32 PM »
If you had some way to determine how far down it was to clay, you'd have a better idea of how well your structure will hold.  It may be shallower than you think, but building on the aggregate is a recipe for failure.  If the large rocks are, say, in the ton range, then it should hold.  Anything smaller than a cubic metre is really just gravel to a storm surge.

Not to sound snooty, but you're building on sand, just that the particles are much bigger.  I'd look into some sort of mechanical driver.  Maybe heat-treat the driving ends of your rebar and send them right thru the rocks.   Put enough of 'em in (3 per sq ft) and it should hold.

Better yet, call a soils lab and do a core sample.  If you're gonna invest close to five figures in the project (don't grimace, you'll be there sooner than you think), a few hunnerd turtlebuks to find out what's down there will give you peace of mind when the hi flow comes, provided you built following the data of the test.

I just bit the bullet and rented a small track hoe and cleared out everything down to clay, on the good side.  Cheaper in the long run, for me.

Just sharing my (few) successes and many failures, skid...

Turtle
soli deo gloria

Frank S

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1622
  • Country: us
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2014, 12:57:03 AM »
when dealing with marine hydraulics the forces grow exponentially at a rapid rate. Shorelines constantly change, when the slightest obstruction is added to the equation.
 A series of steel piles driven several feet into the ground using a minimum of a 3000 lb hydraulic hammer mounted on a backhoe would be marginal I would think.
 Piles like 4" diameter oilfield drill pipe  driven 20 to 30 ft deep would be none too extreme.
 Also plan on lining the upstream bank for a few hundred ft with rip-rap.  laced together or interlocking would be best.
  If you plan on just pouring a footing then a temporary coffer dam driven 10 to 15 ft deep 20 feet or more out from where the excavation for the footing is to be placed would be a good idea as well
 these were my machines for working in calm waters
my first barge with a 48 ft tower and a 1,700 lb drop hammer

My truck mounted unit for shoreline work, 1,400 lb hammer 15 ft of drop travel
   
I live so far outside of the box, when I die they will stretch my carcass over the coffin

skid

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Country: ca
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2014, 11:16:53 AM »
Thanks for the advice Keith and Frank. I have thought about this in detail already and you are both correct.
 
The river bank is naturally rip rapped with small to large stones and very large tree roots help to bind it all together. An approx. 5 ton concrete slab keyed into the river bank will hold the wheel apparatus in place during normal flow conditions. When river flows exceed a certain level, say 1/2  bank full and 15 feet per second+ velocity, I will lift the wheel out of the water to avoid the sure destruction of the wheel. I'd be overdriving the generator well before that anyways according to my calculations.  If flows get higher than 1/2 - 3/4 bank full I will remove the entire wheel and support structure except for the stand and slab. This will have to be made easy since I don't really want to get too close to the river when flows are that high.

Rather than building for the worst case I will simply remove the wheel and apparatus when flows get too high. I am designing the wheel for somewhat easy removal and have a front end loader on my tractor for lifting up to 4000 pounds. Since I am embedding the slab (roughly 4' x 8 ' x 2.5' thick) deeply into the river bank it shouldn't get pulled into the river at high flows as it will be almost flush with the surrounding river bank. It also sits downstream of a massive tree that has been there for a century or so which should help dissipate the river velocity.

Of course this all depends on me being there when flows are high but that is fairly predictable as we get our highest flows on Oct/Nov. during the rainy season. A dam upstream helps to regulate flows  as well so flows rise somewhat predictably. My river floods  about every 10 years or so and almost every year flows get 1/2  bank full.

MaryAlana

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1200
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #17 on: July 28, 2014, 04:51:17 PM »
Sounds like building this on some sort of trailer that slides into a slot to hold it in place during operation is needed.

skid

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Country: ca
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2014, 10:11:07 PM »
Some progress. Got the spool gun on the Mig set up today. Welded the wheel side segments together and then put the buckets in the slots and started welding them to the side plates.

skid

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Country: ca
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2014, 10:23:35 PM »
Picture of welded segment. I stitched together several beads instead of one or two long beads to try to avoid distortion. The side wall material is only 1/4" thick so it bends and warps pretty easily.

Once I get the buckets all welded up and put the 3/8" circumferential side-stiffeners in, the wheel should be a lot more rigid. I should be able to tune any wheel run out with the axle spokes so it runs as true as possible.

richp0169

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Country: us
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2014, 11:01:52 AM »
Impressive.

Will be very interested in seeing your results and a live video of this sucker running.

skid

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Country: ca
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2014, 09:53:19 PM »
I finished hand excavating the river bank to key in the concrete foundation. The excavation is roughly 4' x 8' and 24 -36" deep. I went down below river level so water has seeped in.

I'll hose down the sides to expose the rocks and wash any dirt to the bottom where I can scoop it out when the river level drops . I'll also cut any exposed roots.

There are two large rocks (one on each end) that I will drill and epoxy rebar into which should help anchor the foundation. I'll also try to drive rebar into the excavation in the appropriate spots to anchor and support the rebar mesh. Knowing how many rocks are in the river bank may make this very difficult. I may  have to pilot drill the holes with a 1" hammer drill.

 I have some 25 mil rebar bent into 90's which I will place in the corners. I figure I'll place the 2 rebar mats about 6" off the bottom and 6 " from the top of the foundation.

When I'm done pouring concrete the foundation will hopefully look like it's not even there. I will try to restore all the moss covered rocks around the concrete and make a nice path down to the slab.
« Last Edit: August 07, 2014, 10:00:04 PM by skid »

skid

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Country: ca
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2014, 10:10:20 PM »
This is the stand that will support the wheel.  I will be putting a turn-table on the top so I can swing the wheel 180 degrees to remove the wheel. I need to get machining that up. I'll also put a coat of paint on it so it looks a little nicer.

I'll also install a large reinforced 12" pipe tee onto the turn table that the 10" pipe that holds the water wheel will slide into. I will put a counter weight on the opposite side of the wheel to balance it.

The pipe tee will also allow me to raise and lower the wheel by turning the 10" support pipe in the tee as river levels raise and lower. I'll have it counter balanced so any large trees or debris coming down the river that hits the wheel will temporarily knock it up and out of the water to prevent major damage to the wheel. That's the plan anyways:)

skid

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Country: ca
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #23 on: August 09, 2014, 02:59:19 PM »
Impressive.

Will be very interested in seeing your results and a live video of this sucker running.

Thanks,

With luck I'll have it installed in the river sans generator by the end of the year.

skid

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Country: ca
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #24 on: August 17, 2014, 10:21:38 PM »
It's been too hot to do any welding. Dressing up in long sleeves/pants and welding when temps are this hot is tough, so that's been put on the back burner. I'll get back on it when it cools down a bit later on. I've been working on my shop in the mean time. Like most do it yer-selfers I always have several projects on the go.

The river level has dropped and there is no longer any water in the excavation. I cut all the rebar today and started putting in the lower rebar mat. I should get the rebar all in by the end of the week and then put the forms up. Once that's done I'll order the bagged premix concrete which will be mixed at site. I can't get a concrete truck anywhere close to where I want it...

skid

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 129
  • Country: ca
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2014, 11:29:03 PM »
Update:
Haven't done too much since my last post. It's been pretty busy on the farm with watering and harvesting etc. I have managed to burn through 5 one pound rolls of aluminum wire in my MIG's spool gun welding the water wheel. I'm about 2/5ths done.

I'm going to start wearing a respirator as welding this much aluminum hurts my lungs. I'm not sure if it is the aluminum or the argon shield gas that is irritating them. I keep the shop door open when I am welding for fresh air. Trouble is flying insects sure seem to like the welding arc at night...

One of the issues I have to resolve is the distortion in the wheel's aluminum side plates  from welding. Despite tacking and stitching the welds there has been quite a bit of movement. Once I get it fully welded I may have to take a propane torch to heat and stress relieve the wheel and try to straighten it out as it spins in the bearings. Hopefully the side plate reinforcements and spokes will line everything up.

XeonPony

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 686
  • Country: ca
  • Sanity is over rated!
Re: 5kw Poncelet Wheel Project
« Reply #26 on: September 08, 2014, 07:14:32 AM »
that is critical in aluminium welding is to fire the piece to destress it, even with tig welding, if you can heat the whole thing up befor welding it helps to reduce distortion.
Ignorance is not bliss, You may not know there is a semie behind you but you'll still be a hood ornimant!

Nothing fails like prayer, Two hands clasped in work will achieve more in a minute then a billion will in a melenia in prayer. In other words go out and do some real good by helping!