Elevator-Door Operator Used for Powerhouse

(l-r) Dan Cook and his son
Editor’s Note: We recently received the following e-mail and photos from Dan Cook, who, in his retirement, has found an unusual use for an elevator-door opera-tor. Although Dan has provided some information on its origin, perhaps others can provide a bit more.

The photos are of a powerhouse I am building on my property at Pitt Lake in British Columbia, Canada. The only access is by boat or float plane, even though it is in fairly close proximity to Vancouver (probably about a 20-mi. straight-line distance but closer to 40 around the mountains). The pictures are of a 12-V motor, but we’ll be trying a 100-VDC motor soon. And, of course, we will be working with a lot more flow when the West Coast rains start. I don’t know much about the door operator. It was an old one from a company called “Elmac” in Kelowna, Can-ada. It was bought by Dover, and then, of course, Dover was bought by ThyssenKrupp Elevator.

I am running the door motor in reverse: the water wheel turns it, and we were getting about 99: 1 with a 2-in. pulley on the 12-V motor. The motor was only put-ting out 8 V and about 1 A, which is not enough to keep the batteries charged. I am going to try a 100-V motor from a treadmill next. We have had a dry spell here, and the water volume over our falls is really low right now. I am hoping the winter and spring rains will add enough volume to give me 8-10 A, at 13-14 V. We presently have one older solar panel, so we may purchase some new and larger panels now that the price is more reasonable. The water wheel should supplement the panels when we get the rains. We also do not get much sun, even on sunny days during the fall, winter and spring, as we are in a fjord with mountains on either side, so the days are pretty short.

Dan Cook

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