Since a watertower stores potential energy just like a reservoir does for a hydroelectric dam, could I use that to power a pico (<5kW) hydroelectric system for my homestead?
Now, I have read that the problem is not that this model will not create hydroelectric power, it is that the energy required to refill the tank after consumption is greater than the energy generated. Consequently, most of the pico hydroelectric systems on homesteads use the actual water source as the energy for the hydroelectric generator. In other words, the topography of their land is what they use to create the pico hydroelectric system, and the manipulation of their water source is part of the design. Either they build a reservoir or they already have land that gives them an adequate head to generate power.
Additionally, I have seen the use of ram pumps for all kinds of energy transfer inventions on numerous homesteads. Specifically, the use of ram pumps to replenish a homestead water tower irrigation system was the inspiration. But, there was only one ram pump in this case (which was plenty). If the water source is good enough, why could numerous ram pumps not be used in different spots in the source for replenishment? I would guess most people have water sources for dozens of feet if not hundreds.
Assuming that someone has a good running water source on their property with enough flow and volume to run one or more ram pumps to the watertower for either demand determined replenishment or constant flow generation, that source would essentially be limitless and ram pumps could run all the time.
Even with a constant flow system, a ram pump could be installed at the outflow to recycle additional water. The outflow will simply just be sent downstream, so why not use it again?
If this setup is not adequate to replenish, an additional small power pump could be added for replenishment. Collect it in another tub and pump it back up as close to the tower as possible, preferably.
I understand that ram pumps vary to a great degree in efficiency. However, this USDA report states that some ram pumps could be upwards of 60% efficient.
It just seems like there would be enough with all this to create an energy surplus. Would this be something that might work?