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MicroGrid Hydro Power

Hydro power ranks up there as one of the best energy sources to run a Microgrid power system.  The advantage of hydro power is that it is continuous and reliable, thus making it perfect for providing a steady charge to a battery bank.

There are two big drawbacks with hydro power, however.  First off, very few people have access to good hydro power and so for this reason alone it fails to gain widespread use.  You will need a year round creek or river with adequate flow, and there’s just only so many of these properties around.

Secondly, the overbearing government at every level is increasingly frowning upon any activities which may impact our waterways.  Folks will have to check with their local regulations, and be sure to configure their installation in a method that is both low impact and not obvious.

If one can overcome these challenges, then you will have at your fingertips a highly strategic component to a hybrid microgrid power installation.  Even though many users may think they do not have the flows and elevation changes in their creeks to generate a tremendous amount of energy, the value of an around the clock trickle charge to a battery bank should not be under estimated.

Imagine if your hydro generator was manufacturing 50 watts of electricity.  Do the math for round the clock operation, 50 watts x 24 hours = 1.2 kilowatt-hrs of daily generation.  This is the same as having a couple of good sized solar panels in your system. 

A hydro + solar power hybrid system is an excellent off grid power combination.  When the weather turns sour or nightfall sets in, the hydro turbine continues with baseline operation.  Spend some time studying the different types of turbines that might work in your flow range.

A few power estimates for small hydro turbine installations:

10 gpm
50 gpm
100 gpm
5 ft Head
10 watts
30 watts
65 watts
10 ft Head
20 watts
65 watts
130 watts
20 ft Head
40 watts
130 watts
260 watts

* Turbine-generator efficiency of 70%

MicroGrid Living

- MicroGrid Power Systems
- Benefits of the MicroGrid
- Running on DC Electricity
- Things to Think About
- Sizing Your Microgrid Power System
- Energy Conservation Strategies
- Hybrid Power Systems

MicroGrid Solar Power

- Solar Power Applications
- Photovoltaic Solar Panels
- Increasing Solar Panel Performance
- Mounting PV Solar Panels
- Solar Power Tracking Systems
- One Axis Solar Panel Tracking (Passive)
- Solar Power Cost & Payback
- Sizing your Solar Power System

MicroGrid Power Devices

- Wind Turbines
- Wood Burner Systems
- Thermal Power Systems
- DC Thermal Generators
- Hydro Turbines

MicroGrid History

- Nikola Tesla Source of Human Energy
- Nikola Tesla Energy from the Medium
- James Watt & the Steam Engine
- Marcellus Jacob Wind Turbine

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