Microhydropower

Microhydropower

Large, hydroelectric dams and generating plants have been used for decades to provide electricity. The same principles can be applied on a much smaller "microhydropower" scale to generate electricity for the homeowner with access to a stream or moving water. This size of system normally produces less than 100 kilowatts of power. A large home or small farm can be adequately powered by a micro-hydro system of only 10 kilowatts.

Microhydropower systems use the energy in moving water to generate electricity. These small systems do not normally rely on reservoirs or dams to impound water but instead use what is referred to as "run-of-the river." A portion of the stream or river's volume is temporarily diverted from the normal channel and used to turn a turbine and generator to produce electricity.

Microhydroelectric systems can only be considered by individuals with access to moving water. In the right situation, however, this approach to energy self-sufficiency can provide more than enough electricity for running a home and may allow the homeowner to sell unused electricity to the utility if the site is grid-connected.

 

 

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