Farmers, ranchers, or anyone whose property has a flowing water source can create a micro-hydro power-producing system. Small-scale hydroelectricity systems are relatively affordable compared to other renewable energy systems, and they have low maintenance costs. They can be adapted to a variety of landscapes, and their design generally has little to no negative effect on the ecology of the water system.
Components of a Run-of-the-River System
You won’t need to dig a reservoir. Micro-hydro systems redirect a portion of flowing water upstream from the powerhouse through a channel, pipe, or pressurized pipe.
The redirected water then runs a turbine or sometimes a water wheel. These mechanisms create rotational energy that can be harvested by an alternator. Collected energy can be connected to homes and buildings. The powerhouse will be located close to a downstream area so that water discharging from the system can be returned to the flowing stream or creek.
How Much Output Can You Expect?
Various factors influence power output. This includes the seasonal water level, which determines the gallons flowing per minute. A drop in elevation can also impact that.
A renewable energy professional from Magic Solar can evaluate these factors at your property anywhere in the vicinity of Twin Falls County. We’ll determine where water intakes and discharges as well as where other equipment should be placed, and we’ll calculate how many watts of electricity that you can produce. We’ll also provide answers about other issues, such as:
- Converting DC to AC
- Storing power in batteries
- Integrating a system with grid power
- Balancing seasonal fluctuations with solar applications
Advantages of Micro-Hydro Power
Although rainfall and temperatures affect water levels, these fluctuations are generally easier to predict than the inconsistencies in sunshine and wind that limit solar panels and wind generators. Micro-hydro’s primary advantage is that it’s always on, even at night. As long as flowing water is present, it produces power consistently.
A consultation with a professional from Magic Solar will inform you about the best options for producing renewable energy on your property. Our expertise encompasses solar panel installation and maintenance as well as micro-hydro power. Contact us at our office in South Buhl, ID, to explore your options today.