PowerSpout Newsletter

November 2019 to July 2020
Apologises for the late newsletter - we have been very busy, other than during the Covid shutdown where we really enjoyed having family at home and not much else to do  :)

PowerSpout has diversified into high lift solar water pumping as hydro turbine sales have plateaued in recent years.

Click here to see our social media intro for our new ReactPump
Click here to read the installation guides for our new ReactPump
Click here to contact our NZ Reactpump dealers

Outside of China and Vietnam PowerSpout is the world’s largest manufacture of domestic scale hydro turbines. For DC turbines that can connect to MPPT’s and GTI’s (in the 40-600 VDC range) we are the largest manufacture. It is our view that further growth in domestic scale hydro is unlikely, so we decided to add another string to our bow.
Over the last NZ solar pumping season, NZ sales of the SHP-TX exceeded expectation, we ran out of stock well before demand started to reduce with the approaching NZ winter.
We are busy rebranding the SHP-TX to, making a new web site and getting production ready to make 250 units for the next NZ solar pumping season. We will then turn our focus to export sales and hope to ramp up to 500 units per year in due course. The PMA we use on our hydro turbines is the same one we use on our ReactPump but as a BLDC motor.
The reason to rebrand the pump, is that solar water pumping is relatively easy with only 2 pump options (<160m head or > 160m head). Compare this to hydro with a 100 PMA options, 5 PowerSpout turbine body options and many PCE compatibility issues to work through.

Hydro is hard work, not many clients and lots of options needed to get the perfect hydro solution for each site. Water pumping on the other hand has many more potential customers and only two products options needed. Hence a new web site dedicated to our ReactPump can be simple, clean and uncluttered.
Our part-time staff (Em and Izzy), reconnecting Smart Drive motors from 0.699W/rpm to 0.05W/rpm. A human process that takes 1-2 hours of detailed and repetitive hand/eye coordination to complete.
This is the most time consuming part of the ReactPump to manufacture.  We hope to have 200+ on the shelf ready to go for the start of the NZ Spring solar pumping season.

Outback FM100 has been tested on hydro and added to our MPPT guide

Click here to read this guide

A TRG operated in a mix of gravel and water

When your intake gets washed away in flood and gravel pours onto the Turgo rotor. The good news is that they do not cost much to replace.  Before and after images below.
EcoInnovation/PowerSpout have recently appointed Independent Power NZ to look after our NZ hydro turbine sales.

The reason for this change is that Independent Power can supply all the equipment needed and arrange for an NZ wide installation service.

As we focus more and more on production, we are less able to drop everything and head into remote NZ to undertake installation work.

We are much better placed to support our dealers/installers from base, to do that we need to be at base.
A day in the life of a staff member - Andy2:
  • Listen to an interesting podcast on black-holes and block out all distractions with noise cancelling headphones
  • Render a 3D PLT image for the revised web site
  • Work on the new web site
  • Get online help, to help sort the coding bugs of the day
  • Pack today's online orders
  • Put your latest daughters drawings on the wall
  • Help the boss to sort out his mailchimp newsletter
  • Go home
  • Work on more drawings with daughter
A request from Bill Cave:
"Just a thought for your next news letter, the cups of your Pelton runner are very nicely designed, there is an attention to detail that will escape many people, perhaps you could tell us the history behind how you came to adopt this design: was it an off-the-shelf pattern or a bespoke pattern for you."

Bill has done great work over the years with his PowerSpout PLT turbine. You can see Bill's recent 2020 blog posts here.

Michael replies:
The bucket shape of a Pelton spoon has been refined over many many years. There are a few companies globally who do little else than optimise the spoon shape for peak efficiency for very large hydro plants

The largest Pelton every made was in recent times, only 20 years ago with almost 0.45GW per unit on a head of 1.87km. To put that in perspective, you would need 281,000 of our PLT turbines to do the same job. You can read more on this massive turbine here.

The design of our Pelton wheel was done with guidance from the book "The Micro-Hydro Pelton Turbine Manual: Design, Manufacture and Installation for Small-Scale Hydro-Power " by Jeremy Thake. You can still buy it here.

This was our 2nd design, and the a main change was my desire to also injection mould the hub. The final design consists of only two parts and enabled us to make a high quality, durable, efficient and low cost Pelton rotor.

You can view a video of how to put one together together here.

The spoons key into two hub plates, that once bolted together form a very rigid component. 
In the 10 plus years we have been making this glass filled nylon Pelton rotor, I have not yet seen one worn out. 

I also decided to avoid the need for a keyed hub and went for a friction grip hub, that self tightens. This meant that we did not need a costly keyed shaft and can also easily alter the Pelton wheel alignment (relative to the jet) with simple packing washers. 

When we came to make the TRG rotor a few years later, we went one step further and designed the hub to be part of the Turgo spoon, then only 1 injection molded part was needed. We also incorporated a plastic taper lock into the design to retain the TRG rotor on a smooth shaft while still allowing for easy position adjustment.

All the best, keep up the good work.

Michael Lawley

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