The Micro Hydro Library offers a variety of books about this clean energy generating technology. Micro hydro refers to the small scale generation of hydro-electric power in areas where an active stream is present. Water is diverted from the stream through a pipe to a micro-hydro turbine that generates electricity. After flowing through the turbine the water is returned to a lower point in the stream.
The amount of power that can be generated depends upon a number of variables including the diameter and length of pipe as well as the vertical drop in feet. To a lesser degree, the pipe material and type of turbine and nozzle configuration also affect power output.
One of the big advantages to micro hydro is its lower system cost when compared to wind or solar systems with similar output. Since streams flow 24/7 power can still be generated at night or when the wind stops blowing. Stable off-grid generation systems often combine micro hydro with wind or solar to compensate for slower stream flow in the dryer months.
The biggest challenge to successful micro hydro is to locate a piece of property that has ample stream flow rate and sufficient vertical drop to generate electricity cost effectively. Steeper mountainous terrain is more apt to offer such options as compared to lower level terrain with just a few hills.
There are many different factors to consider when designing a such a system. The Micro Hydro Library provides a great source of books that should answer most of your questions...
If you would like to get a better understanding of how micro hydro power generation works please visit our Micro Hydro page. Given flow rate, vertical drop and the size of pipe you plan to use we'll show you how to calculate the amount of electricity that you can expect your system to produce.