I had this site saved for quite some time but it appears that the watermill page has now disappeared.
It's too bad, because it was a very interesting concept, although it was
still in the testing stage. It used the same "wheel" generator system
that e-traction is using to power buses.
Here are some pictures I had saved of the watermill.
I found the whole concept fascinating, as I have often been surfing around reading about off-grid power sources.
This watermill produced 20,000KWH per year, which is about enough to provide power for two
average homes. I had roughly converted the cost, and guestimated the
overall expenses to be $25,000 - $30,000, although that was several
years ago now. I can't recall exactly for how long they had it running, I
think eight years or something like that, and it was still humming
along fine. Many watermills, I have read, last for 30 years or more,
although they need to be stopped and serviced once or twice a year -
just like a car.
But, think about it. Although it would be one of the most expensive
initial investments to produce off-grid electricity, over the long haul,
it is not a bad deal at all, given the savings in electricity over the
years. Also, given that it provides far more electricity than is needed
for a single home, you could probably also power a nice little workshop
with it... or sell that excess electricity to a neighbour.
The problem with many off-grid electricity sources such as solar or
windmill, is that it is not constant power. But, if you had a year-round
creek on your property, I would think that it should be able to produce
electricity at a steady rate, no matter the time of day, the weather,
or the season. In the winter, ice would not form if the wheel kept
turning. The only thing I wonder is how much of a pain in the ass it
would be to have those government bureaucrats approve it for use in a
water source. They can be quite the stinkers already over even simple
things like putting culverts and such in a driveway.