It has been about 5 years since I have played about with renewable energy at the house. That first project had started out as more of an engineering exercise come garden feature, than anything else.
The water wheel:
Hewletts Mill, Somerset, now in reversed form & internally shuttered to catch the flow. Output is now stated at 2.8kw. Nice!
Having mapped the fall of the stream across my site, I now have foundations in place for a 6' overshot wheel. This I plan to use to drive a ground source heat pump in the future.
The latest project has been the installation of a solar furnace to the house. This is heating the living room at the back of the house which faces NNE, so never benefits from direct solar heating. The panel I built consists of 221 Guinness cans which had the bottom removed and placed in 17 columns, 13 cans tall, within a 8'x4' box. The can tops were cut & twisted to create a swirl effect within and were joined using o-rings. The box was lined internally with insulation and the the whole assembly sprayed matt black.
The highest temperature I have noted to date was at the end of April with a furnace temperature of 92deg.C & the air entering the room at 68deg.C. Running costs for the inline fan are currently £0.01 for every 3 hours of operation.