Homestead Hydropower

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Issue # 208 — February/March 2005 Homestead Hydropower Harness the power of flowing water for clean, sustainable home electricity. By Steve Maxwell Home-scale hydroelectric power systems offer an opportunity for humans to forge an intelligent and sustainable partnership with sunshine, rain and running water. Sometimes dubbed “microhydro,” this approach uses low-impact mechanical systems to harness moving water to generate clean, reliable electric power. Unlike the intermittent power from wind or solar systems, hydroelectric power can flow night and day from year-round streams. A hydroelectric system converts the force from flowing water into electricity. You take the kinetic energy of water flowing downhill from a stream or river and direct it onto a wheel in a turbine that converts the rotational energy to electricity. The amount of power produced depends on the volume of water flowing onto the turbine and the vertical distance it falls through the system. Equipment costs range from about $1,000 for the smallest, to $20,000 for a system large enough to power several modern homes. “Many microhydro systems generate 75 to 350 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month,” Scott Davis explains in his book, Microhydro: Clean Power from Water, a new title in the Mother Earth News “Books for Wiser Living” series.avis is a renewable energy developer with decades of microhydro experience. In fact, it’s his life’s work, and he’s gathered all his knowledge, experience and enthusiasm into this concise, easy-to-understand manual. His book covers the entire subject, from the essentials of site selection to the nitty-gritty of hardware choices and installation. The Basics To implement a successful microhydro system, you will need the following basic requirements: Left: Scott Davis Right:, author of Microhydro: Clean Power from Water, has decades of Page 1 of 6 Homestead Hydropower 24/09/2006 ..
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experience with microhydro technology. Beside him a stream flows at about 20 gallons per minute — just the right size for a small microhydro system. • At least 2 gallons per minute of flowing water, and a lot of drop; or 2 feet of drop and 500 gallons per minute of water flow. • A proper turbine, alternator and shelter from bad weather. • Permission from the relevant authorities, even if the project is entirely on your own land. • A water intake and enough pipeline or “penstock” to divert water to the turbine and return it to the stream. • A transmission line to move the power from the alternator to the point of use. • Batteries and a power inverter subsystem to convert the electricity to an alternating current (AC), and a controller for the electrical system. Site Assessment
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This note was uploaded on 05/05/2011 for the course FC gj, taught by Professor Glokgh during the Spring '97 term at Punjab Engineering College.

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