Hydro Power, another lesson in critical thinking?

See my Blue Ribbons

See my Blue Ribbons


As we’ve discussed many times, a person should never think he’s the very first to have an idea.  That old expression that there’s little new under the sun is so true.

But there are others who will instantly say… “yes but if you think that way, you’ll never discover a new and better thing.”

I suggest you at least ask why very smart people might have ignored the idea for a 1000 years or more.

Most of us who have any kind of energy awareness know that ships are pulled up on shore and scrapped as soon as there’s a more efficient way to power them, and the rail road would go back to clean coal fired steam if it were cheaper.

So this energy in water thing,  we need understand the Gang Green Mind, when it sees something move, that’s energy! Move your arms, and they see the force moving the world! But in addition, there will be a parade of Gang Greenies hanging blue ribbons around your neck for such an idea.  Is it about the deed itself, or about the fact that you care enough to march in their parade?  Headless hydro, and the headless horsemen, I’ve heard of both, but never see them so much.

As I’ve mentioned before, there are plenty of studies worth your while, but hydrovolts.com might be a best place to study marketing.  It’s all about what I think, but step one is to know who you market to, and why.  Maybe you learn from them, and sell your idea too?

Was it in Iraq a thousand years ago, they knew that moving water could do work and developed a way to measure how much? And that Green loon you know who would build a tower so tall just to stand on top and hold a pin wheel in his hand and say.. “feel that wind in your face? It’s sure to make you re-comb your hair!”

So let’s take a look at Hydrovolts.com, it’s been around for how long, their idea is as old as Homer himself, and all the professional world for all these years has pretty much ignored that water in the irrigation canal as a source of hydro power.

Here’s the truth.. you being a DIYer, you ask why? Why didn’t the Canal Builder ‘build it in’, and in many cases wasn’t he the same builder who placed those turbines below the head in other places?  And look there! Right at the head of many irrigation canals are screens, ‘big wheels’, and normally turned with electric motors.. why didn’t these pro canal builders power the turning of the screen with the hydro power itself?

Yes, you DIYers spend less time marching in the parade, and less time chanting too..

Following are durable questions we might ask about any technology…

What is the total cost of the KWH generated? Have we included all real costs? Maintenance, cost of the machine, cost of finance?

Here’ one link for your study.. just Bing it for more…


I’m still allowed to think, and even say it’s my thought, and here it is…

DIYers do think differently, and there are others who would read every detail of what Hydrovolts does and praise every effort.

Here’s a learning experience I think..

I see their pages have changed a bunch since I last looked, the wayback machine might have it all for you to see.. as I remember.. a rather huge machine was placed in the canal, and clearly lighting a light bulb.  Since I have walked miles of canal, and some of the same ones, I know about what falls in canals, and what is sure to foil a machine, we do need a maintenance man to mind it all no matter how tiny the power we make, maybe a guard shack placed close by, and three shifts? Since it’s green, perhaps a new union job, and benefits too?

It leads me to think.. if it’s blue ribbons for show, , why don’t we sell them?  The “National Committee For The Best Of The Better Ideas?  Who makes blue ribbons? Who might make you blue ribbons, and how much could you sell them for? Yes, we call it  ‘BOB’ for short! “Best of Better.”

So now.. you’re onto a money making idea! Why award a blue ribbon when you could sell one to the marketing folks?

And here my DIYer Brothers is where reality kicks in for you!  Just like the canal idea, you are more than 1000 years too late to call it a new idea…..you yourself come to that conclusion, and that is what makes you different, and a true bore at parties..

Sorry, but it’s why the Fairies don’t like you so much……It’s what I think, and I don’t think we need think hydrovolts.com will fail at their mission..



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6 Responses to Hydro Power, another lesson in critical thinking?

  1. Keef Wivanef says:

    Excuse me for stating the bleeding obvious BUT…….
    If enough of those ridiculous turbines could be placed in the canal system to harvest let’s say 10% of the energy without reducing the flow too much it might be possible to generate quite a few Kwatts.
    However……. the same energy saving could be achieved at ZERO cost by simply reducing the power of the turbines which drive the system.
    Anyone with even a quarter of a brain could see this.
    Does the SEC or the FBI step in to put a stop to a blatant Green Widget Scam?
    Don’t be silly….it’s business as usual on Wall Street.
    Bring on the revolution.
    Off with their testurcles!!!

  2. George B. says:

    Keef, we’re talking a huge machine in the headless portion of a canal to make a few hundred watts.. Money in, what power out? Just the fact it’s an open ditch and normally designed to keep the velocity of the water very low to control erosion and most often designed to deliver water as far as gravity will allow.

    Of course the DIYer mind thinks about the headed hydro turbine, just why didn’t those dumb ass pros put 30 turbines back to back?

  3. harold says:

    P.T. Barnum nailed it!

    “There’s a sucker borne every minute.” or something like that.

  4. Brian Young says:

    Hydro no power, but this made me think why not air powered stern wheelers on rivers,
    every time the air pressure runs low in the tanks, just throw out the anchor and let the current turn the wheel to compress more. I bet there’s a grant in this some where!.

  5. George B. says:


    That sounds like a Best of Better Gang Green Blue Ribbon Winner!

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