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Micro Hydro Generator

What is a Micro Hydro Generator?

Micro hydro generators convert the energy of moving water to electricity (up to 100 KW). They are most commonly used by homeowners and small business owners, as they provide enough power for a large home, farm, ranch, small to medium resort, etc.


Components of a Micro Hydro Generator System

Each micro hydro generator system consists of:

  • a turbine
  • a generator
  • an appropriate controller for the size and output of the system

Basics of Micro Hydro

Hydropower or hydroelectric power is an essential, reliable, and renewable source of clean energy. It refers to the conversion of energy from flowing or fast-running water into electricity.

People have been harnessing the force of moving water for more than 2000 years. Today, it is still one of the most efficient and (thanks to new technology) most environmentally-friendly sources of power.

Micro-hydro systems are run-of-the-river operations which do not involve building massive dams or water storage reservoirs. As such, they create very little to no impact on local flora and fauna.


Benefits of Micro Hydro

Small run-of-the-river micro hydro systems are gaining so much popularity because they require minimal construction and do not affect the flow of the river in a disruptive way.

In addition, there are numerous sites for run-of-the-river power generation including those with existing man-made structures.

Furthermore, a modern hydro generator can convert over 90% of the energy that the available water source carries and transform it into electricity. This is more efficient than any other means of power generation.

Some of the most notable advantages of small-scale hydro power generators include:

  • Sustainability
  • Long-term cost-effectiveness
  • High energy conversion efficiency (80–90%) compared to ~37% for coal and oil-fired plants
  • High capacity factor (~31.7%)
  • 24-hour-generation, i.e., unlike solar power generators, it works at night
  • Environmentally friendly when placement is carefully planned; professionally-made schemes ensure safety
  • Robust construction (systems can easily last for 50 years with low maintenance, and more if well maintained; many installations are close to 100 years old)

Different Site Layouts

Generally, sites that are suitable for micro-hydro installations vary greatly. They include lowland areas with wide rivers and hilly or mountainous locations where fast-flowing, steep mountain streams are to be found.

In some cases, reconstruction or alteration of potentially dangerous nature formations might be necessary as to ensure the safety and proper working of the construction. This would not affect the site in a negative way, however.


Hydro Facts

Global warming, air pollution, and water contamination have led governments to take measures to alleviate the effects of human activity on climate.

Renewed by snow and rainfall, hydropower has proved to be one of the few truly clean ways to acquire electricity. With little to no emissions of greenhouse gases, hydro energy is a step in the right direction for a cleaner and safer world. Moreover, the world’s dependence on fossil fuels is highly reduced by hydropower.

It meets demands when other renewable sources of energy, such as wind, rain and solar power, are not available.

Additionally, it is worth mentioning that hydro stations consume no water, unlike coal or gas plants. Once built, hydroelectric facilities cost very little to operate, and produce no direct waste, thus contributing to combating climate change.

If hydroelectricity were replaced by fossil-fuel-fired generation, the emissions of greenhouse gasses (carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitric oxide (N2O), etc.) would skyrocket by up to 4 billion tonnes.

More than 2 million people are directly employed by the hydropower industry, which is indicative of its multidimensional importance to society.

Currently, 150 countries produce hydroelectric power. It generates around 17% of the world's total electricity and 70% of all renewable electricity.


Planning a Micro Hydropower System?

If all the information provided above resonates with your views on a cleaner world, and a more efficient way of living, then investing in a micro hydro generator and building your own hydropower system is the next logical step.

If you are not sure whether a micro-hydro system is the right choice, the following information will help you decide.

Obviously, the first requirement is to have a suitable water source, i.e., a stream or river on your property.

To see whether or not a micro hydropower system will work for you, you need to determine the amount of power that you would be able to obtain from the falling water on your site. This includes determining the head (the vertical distance of the water) and the flow rate (how much water flows per second).

Only then, having done the necessary calculations, would it be time to invest in micro hydro, thus making not only your, but also the lives of others, happier, easier and healthier.



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Dependable Turbines Ltd. – 17930 Roan Place – Surrey, B. C. Canada V3S 5K1
Phone (604) 576-3175 – Fax (604) 576-3183 – Email:


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