Green energy, is fast becoming the must have, especially in New Zealand where we love our clean green image. Micro Hydro, renewable energy is one way New Zealanders are using to get that effect. Micro Hydro as the name suggests uses water to produce power. This is ideal for people who live near a water source.
It is also used in third world countries as a way to get energy. It is used normally in conjunction with a normal energy company but the company generally “subsidises” the output from the micro hydro. Maintenance is minimal and easily done. There are many options to go along with micro hydro, you can store the excess energy, you can invert the energy or even in some cases sell the energy back to the company grid.
How does a micro hydro generally work? First water is diverted from the source along a channel and dropped into a cross flow turbine, the rotating mechanical power is converted into electricity. Power is then fed into the electrical grid and the water directed back to the source. Micro hydro is an electricity generator which uses a turbine and generator to convert waters kinetic energy to electricity. Water needs to flow from a specific height with enough quantity to drive a turbine. This turbine produces kinetic energy. Which produces power.
Many people are starting to want to live “off the grid” or have their power bills reduced and Micro-Hydro is a very popular choice since New Zealand is an island and water sources common. There are generally three sizes of micro-hydro, up to 5kW, between 5kW and 20kW and 20kW and 10MW. For a domestic one expect to pay between $10,000 to $15,000. There is some maintenance involved in keeping the system running, the water way needs to be free of leaf litter and other debris and the equipment also needs maintenance. You need to check if you will need a consent to build one, this is especially if you need to build a dam or the like.
So as we have seen New Zealand is an ideal country for the option of a micro-hydro system so why not check out if it is possible for you.