Dear PowerSpout Dealers & Interested Parties

Welcome to our new look MailChimp Newsletter

Great work in Mexico


For video of this installation click here


Changes to freight practices on small orders

We have changed our freight boundaries a little, due to a recent analysis by our staff:
  • Items around 5 kg and less will go NZ Post
  • Items above 5 kg and not insured may go NZ Post ($250NZ cover provided)
  • Items above 5kg and where DHL insurance has been purchased will go DHL.
NZ Post has a target delivery time of 2 weeks (estimate only, 2 weeks is the average delivery time so allow 1-3 weeks, longer to remote locations) on a non-tracked service. It will be delivered by the postal service in your country.
DHL is a premium, fast, tracked service but is very costly for items under 5kg, whereas NZ post costs less. All complete turbines will ship by DHL. If you have got used to a very fast service from us on complete turbines, you need to lower your expectations for deliveries of parts. This is another good reason why you should order any parts that may be needed in the future with the turbine.

We hope to launch our new web site in the next month or so. A dealer-only update will be circulated shortly.

SHP – Triplex Update

We have been hard at work on the new Solar Hydraulic Pump (SHP) –triplex.
We have the 1st prototype running near my office and hope to have 3 more going soon to our test sites.
I have been very impressed with this type of pump when combined with a direct drive Smart Drive PMA. For its size (just 30x30x30cm) it is an impressive performer.
We are still some months away from product launch, but this is the draft specification:
  • 20 l/min piston triplex pump
  • Head 50-250m
  • Ceramic pistons and brass head with a design life of up to 20,000 hours
  • Direct drive - no gearbox
  • Brushless DC permanent magnet motor (BLDC)
  • Bluetooth via an Android Smart Phone to alter pressure and time-off settings
  • MPPT via BLDC speed adjustment in the range 200-1200 rpm
  • Efficiency of up to 60% (best in class)
  • 500,1000 or 1500 W of solar PV can be added to the pump
  • ELV operation, so no COC needed. You can install it yourself
  • Weight of solar pump <20kg
  • $1/day service plan available (return to base New Plymouth)
  • 2-year warranty (excludes consumable parts - seals and pistons liners)
  • 5-year warranty on BLDC motor
  • DIY service kits from $100. Service interval each year (or when weepers start to drip)
  • RRP from $1500 + gst (Pump only. Solar PV, wires, DC breaker and mounting hardware extra)

Steca recommending PylonTech lithium battery packs on their Chinese made 5KVA PCE

PCE is an abbreviation for "Power Control Equipment". 
There is a new class of combined Inverter and MPPT controller that we see in many forms coming out of China.  Steca have adopted one under their brand name.
When choosing Li-ion batteries it is advisable to check compatibility with the associated PCE you plan to use.


Angry Ram

For those who make a living from advertising clicks look at this.
For the video click here. 6.1 million views is not bad. I note the Pelton rotor used is the older type we used to make (prior to the improved PowerSpout PLT rotor).
We sell a steady stream of Pelton kit rotors in NZ for DIY’ers following this procedure.
Note the difficult bit, how to reconfigure the stator wiring, is not shown in the blog post or the video. You only tend to get high hits on such web pages if you make it look easy.  We have published a guide to choosing your stator for DIY projects.
Maybe this is why we do not sell many hydro turbines in NZ………almost all are exported.

Perpetual motion machine - for sale!? Going cheap 😄

1.6kW perpetual motion machine. Does it work?

You guessed it - NO!

……then the buyer is normally not happy after all their hard work and wants a complete refund. "The turbine must be faulty!" Dealers, please do not sell our products to such clients. It will come back to haunt YOU! If you had asked our advice first - we will always say NO. Stop wasting your time, and solve real power problems and not imaginary ones. There is plenty of free energy out there running down the hills.
Such clients have spent far too long watching scam YouTube videos and not enough time studying the laws of physics.

New product guides

I feel like I have been writing installation guides for the last 5 years, which has been very tedious for a mechanical engineer with dyslexic tendencies – Thanks Hugh for all your help, patience and assistance. I think we have done a good job.
The job is almost complete, with about 100 topic specific guides making up our INDEX of linked documents.
There are two types of client/installers in renewable energy
  • Those who read the guides and do a great compliant job J
  • Those who never read guides, have all sorts of issues and a tendency to become argumentative after the fact 
The few remaining service guides left to complete are marked in red.
Click to enjoy our fully revised INDEX. Please take the time to review all the new material.

Nepal Job

Derek of Aurora Power in the USA has been instrumental in getting a job in Nepal over the line. It is a 6kW scheme using Studer PCE equipment and 6 x PLT300 (volt) HP (High Power) PowerSpout turbines. The pictures tell the story better than I can. Click here to view the pictures of the pipe/intake/turbine hall installation phase. A team are on site at the moment doing the AC power reticulation/distribution. I will be visiting Nepal between 17th and 27th November for the turbine commissioning stage.
Let’s hope this is the first of many such schemes. This solution sure beats small AC-direct turbine solutions for remote village power.

PHP Install

It is not a hydro turbine, just a great little water pump

If you have a small falling stream and need to pump water to a storage tank on a high hill then consider the PowerSpout PHP.


I hope to go to PGN soon to commission a 4.5kW village scheme as outlined below.

A recent job by Jamie Robinson – with a PowerClamp

Jamie’s words...

The batteries and inverters (StorTera) are just not ready for the market place yet. This one is the first units other than prototypes out in the real world. These products are very new to the market and my suppliers have gone back to the drawing board with their products following my feedback from this installation. They may well come up with something good and robust in the future but they are just not quite ready yet....
The story went something like this... The client wanted an off-grid supply to a new property she was building. Initially she wanted Sunny Island inverter, Tesla lithium batteries, tonnes of PV, generator and any type of hydro that was on the market. The water supply is another one of those little Lochs which is filled by several small burns and seepage. We discussed budgets and her initial thoughts on cost was that £10,000 was about right for this……….. I quickly put her in the picture!!
I then recommended Victron EasySolar and BYD lithium batteries with a PowerSpout Pelton turbine but this still ended up too expensive.
I had worked with the guys at StorTera…………. they said they had some cheaper products that they were testing and would do a trial price on it to get some of their products out there. The lithium battery has its own BMS built in and can be connected just like a lead acid one with no communication cables. This was quite attractive for me.
The equipment works but nothing like as well as some of the other products on the market
  • Inverter and battery both very light in weight and easy to mount.
  • No comms cables needed for the battery.
  • Impressive spec sheet for the battery with potentially very long life.
  • Low pass through current capability in the inverter when generator running.
  • MPPT range is pitiful. 150VOC capability but max MPPT voltage is only 70V. This means all panels in strings of 2.
  • Battery and inverter not matched very well. Inverter will supply 5KVA but when this load is applied to the battery, the voltage collapses and it initiates a generator start after about 15 seconds. A second battery at £900 would be required to make this inverter perform properly.
I got over the MPPT issue by installing a second MPPT on the hydro. As usual I went for a trusty Victron 150/40. This works just fine and the MPPT in the inverter is now used for a small PV array.
From PowerSpouts point of view, the turbine and Power Clamp work just fine and it all interfaces together very well. The customer is also happy but if it were my property, I would be looking for a bit more resilience and functionality in the system.

Lithium learnings…

Do not let your clients or sales representative pressurise you into installing a small lithium battery bank. This concept works fine for grid-tied homes, but for those living off-grid it does not (unless you have plenty of hydro generation 24/7). Put in a good sized lead acid battery bank until the cost of lithium falls by 50%..........assuming of course that cost of lead cells does not also fall by 50%. Time will tell.

Pipe Supports

Cyprus 3 x TRG install

Suppliers’ comments:
I have news from the turbines in Cyprus that had low output. The problem was solved luckily. The jets were not supported correctly, the end user had to fix the issue and now the output is perfect at 1100 Watts each.
PowerSpout comments:
With TRG and PLT turbines, output will fall over time as the cases distort from the heavy unsupported pipes. Clients who read the install guide do not make this omission. Glad to hear it got sorted :)
Pipe supports are supplied with TRG turbines, it never ceases to amaze me that client’s do not read the manuals at all. They must wonder what the left over parts in the box are for?

Then the exact same issue arose on a job in Slovakia on a 4 x TRG install.
Then another job in Chile, same problem
Then on another job in Spain, same problem
The installation above had many issues; the penstock had been reduced from 110mm to 75mm ID. This in combination with the terrible manifold pipe work above resulted as follows:
The initial power estimate of 320W was based on:
  • 5.5m gross head with 10% pipe loss and 12L/s flow
Installed data was about:
  • 3.9m net head and 4.8 L/s flow

PV Array Destruction – Lessons Learnt

If you are involved in tenders on larger solar PV jobs, then read this report

Improvements due soon

All products can be improved, we have been working on several minor improvements that will launch at the same time as the new web site.

Voc Test Socket

Hidden behind the rear leaf-hand-side PLT cooling vent you can locate a Voc test socket where you can connect the probes of a multimeter.  This socket will become standard on PLT/TRG/LH turbines (not on Cube turbines) that are to be connected to MPPT or GTI equipment.

New Jet Design

Our existing jet design uses a costly Hansen 2” BSP end cap which we have to modify. We have managed to reduce costs by changing to a modified A200 camlock fitting to do the same job. This required the jet to be re-designed to fit correctly. We took this opportunity to make a more efficient jet with a longer taper. A new injection mould was made and this combined with volume outsourcing has significantly reduced the cost of the jet assembly while improving turbine efficiency.
These saving we pass on to clients by not putting up our prices each year and offering other improvements.

Pressure Gauge Fitting

All turbines ship with a mid-range pressure gauge. We often notice from installation pictures that clients have not installed the supplied gauge, so are often working blind, this makes it hard for us to help if there is an issue needing our input. This improvement makes the process of attaching the gauge easier. The bracket and black pipe supplied allow the gauge to be mounted on the side of the turbine or a suitable post. If the site is subject to freezing, then the gauge can be removed to prevent it from freezing.

Pressure Gauge Fitting

All turbines ship with a mid-range pressure gauge. We often notice from installation pictures that clients have not installed the supplied gauge, so are often working blind, this makes it hard for us to help if there is an issue needing our input. This improvement makes the process of attaching the gauge easier. The bracket and black pipe supplied allow the gauge to be mounted on the side of the turbine or a suitable post. If the site is subject to freezing, then the gauge can be removed to prevent it from freezing.

PLT Water Ingress Guard

We are looking at a few options for a clip over guard on the top cap seal for the PLT turbine. This guard will add another labyrinth and act as a deflector cover over the drain hole to prevent exhaust water spray from entering via the drain. We can then enlarge the drain hole, the water spray that manages to get through the double labyrinth can easily collect and drain out, before it reaches the rear seal and finally the 2nd drain on the dry side.
So the sealing on the PLT will be:
  • Double labyrinth
  • Wet side drain with deflector shield
  • Shaft seal
  • Dry side drain
  • Air gap
  • Grease barrier
  • Bearing dust shield

New Products and Guides

Parts to manufacture the new lower cost PLT Cube and Coanda intake screen have arrived. These products will be available from the launch of the new web site. In the mean time you can email me if you want to buy one.
Recently issued guides:

Newsletter changing with the times

We will soon be changing our newsletters to the mailchimp platform. Then we can see who actually reads them, this is an agreed requirement for all our dealers. Content from these newsletters can then be added to the new blog - that is part of the new web site.

Important Dates

  • Michael on holiday from 29th September to 14th October
  • Michael in Nepal from 16th to 28th November
  • EcoInnovation is closed for summer holidays from December 21st to January 14th
The Ecoinnovation team will still be despatching orders while I am away, but allow for delay if your enquiry requires technical input prior to ordering online.
All the best, keep up the good work.

Michael Lawley

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