What to Expect from the Small Hydroelectric Generator
There is a growing trend and interest on small-scale power generation. And this involves the use and the adoption of small and micro hydroelectric power plants in many areas, including the areas that are considered as off the grid or too far from the mainline.
These small hydropower systems do come in cheaper if compared to other systems, but you have to keep in mind that the small hydroelectric generator will deliver a small amount of energy as well. But the small amount of electricity that can be produced by the small generator will not matter if the main intent is on hydro electric power for home use. But if the intent is to supply electricity to a large community or an industrial area, well that is another thing.
If you are looking for these kinds of generators, then you are in luck. There are a number of providers online that offer micro hydroelectric power. You will be offered with a good variety of small hydro generators, and these are available in AC and in DC output.
The DC types are designed to be available in 12, 24 or even 48 volt battery chargers, and they have the capability to operate using a small amount of water. For these small and micro generators, the power is drawn from the battery. And as little as 100 gallons of water per minute is enough to power the generator and supply electricity to a small household. And for areas where there is a long rainy season and there is a constant stream of water, the small hydro generator can also work with the solar modules that charge the same battery. Simply put, the small hydroelectric generator is designed to work off the grid.
This is in contrast with the larger generators that are not practical for use by households since these generators require constant and large amount of water (amounting to thousands of gallons of water per minute). But at least the production is more than enough, which can reach to 120/240 VAC power.
The other drawback for the larger generators is that the small scale water turbines for these generators will need larger pipe diameters as well and pricey regulating systems which can be used to maintain the right frequency and voltage at all times.
How much power is expected from the generator?
The power that can be expected from the generator will be dependent on a number of factors including the dynamic head, the amount of water flow and also the efficiency of the small hydroelectric turbine. There is a simple formula in computing for the expected power that can be delivered by small generators. What you should do is to multiply the head in feet times the flow in GPM and the result should be multiplied by 0.18 and the result to be multiplied once again by efficiency. What you get is the projected power of the generator in watts. The power of the small hydroelectric generator may vary, what remains the same is its help in supporting off-grid households and communities.