In some cases, a home or business can generate power from surrounding natural resources like a stream, waterfall, or river.
Small-scale micro hydro power is both an efficient and reliable form of energy. With the right research and skills, micro hydro can be an excellent method of harnessing renewable energy from small streams.
For people with a good source of year-round running water, one or two water turbines may be all they need to power their homes. However, for those with seasonal, winter-only streams available, a small water generator may be the perfect back up for a solar system's off-peak season.
Construction details of a small hydro generation system depend entirely on the site but the common elements of all hydroelectric systems include
Water: a mountain stream, or a river, sometimes a mill pond can be used
An Intake Structure: usually a pipe or channel with some gate or screen to protect against fish and debris.
A generator: a turbine to turn the motion into electricity.
A valve: Some method of control is needed to prevent overflow.
A connect: some sort of utility interface such as an inverter or disconnect switch is needed.
Although a micro-hydro system can take on many forms, it is an enjoyable way to use natural resources to generate energy for your home or business.
Photo: Department of Energy,EERE