Micro Hydro power

Electrical generation, heating options, wind-powered machinery...

Micro Hydro power

Postby Matt » Sun May 01, 2011 9:57 am

The ideal solution for power generation, where it is possible, is hydro. In a location with a stream that flows year-round with sufficient flow and head, hydro power will provide energy 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is not intermittent as are solar, wind, and tidal systems, and does not require continuous service as do biomass systems. The catch is finding that ideal location. In 2004, Natural Resources Canada produced a document to help property owners determine their location's hydro power potential, and to help them evaluate micro-hydro power systems. I can no longer find the document on their website, so I have attached a copy of the file to this message.
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Other resources with information about evaluating streams for hydro power generation viability are:

Some guides for site evaluation and system design: http://www.eee.nottingham.ac.uk/picohydro/documents.html#manuals

Technical info for the design of micro systems: http://www.pumpfundamentals.com/micro-hydro.htm

A selection of home-built, low-power hydro systems: http://wildwaterpower.com/

A second list of resources for micro-hydro construction: http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/Hydro/hydro.htm

An alternative to high pressure turbines which may be easier for non-specialists to install, and which requires less head (vertical drop between the inflow to the system and the outflow--a key problem for small properties where the installation of a dam is not practical or desirable) is the water vortex power system: http://www.zotloeterer.com/welcome.php This system diverts a portion of a stream's flow through a channel that delivers the water to a cylindrical drop. The swirling motion of the water flowing down through the drain spins a turbine shaft. The beauty of the system is that it requires no pressure or related plumbing.

Informative account of one rural couple's investigation into micro-hydro options for their homestead (conclusion is that micro-hydro may not be a viable option even on sites with small year-round streams): http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/Microhydro:_Clean_Power_From_Water/

In summary, micro-hydro would be the ideal power solution for the monastery but it would place severe constraints on where the monastery could be built. File it under 'if only' for now.
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Re: Micro Hydro power

Postby Amy70 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:23 pm

Those links definitely have some good info on power. I was always leaning towards wind or solar :)
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