Even a small stream can generate consistent, clean, dam free, renewable electricity at a price per Watt lower than solar or wind. A single PowerSpout at a site good enough to generate 1kW can produce enough electricity for a typical house for a year (>8,000 kWh/yr). The small (18 inches wide), all-weather PowerSpout PLT is one of the most reliable, cost-effective generators around because the people at PowerSpout (http://www.powerspout.com) have spent a decade making this micro-hydro unit efficient and affordable.
The PowerSpout LH is a Low Head unit that is designed for high flow rates but low levels of fall. (similar to the old waterwheel setup).
PowerSpout LH (Low Head) Video
For Installation of your PowerSpout you will need several people with expertise in the following areas:
- Designing the system. From water capture to return. Design plays a critical part in overcoming issues around system reliability and robustness. Flooding of the river is one of the biggest risks.
- Consents. Most rivers will be protected and you will probably need to apply to local council for permission to extract water for any use.
- Building the system. Earthworks, construction and permitting may be a part of the building process.
- Connection to your power system. Cabling and connection needs to be installed according to the Electrical Regulations and signed off with a COC by a registered electrician (if the system is of sufficient voltage)
The process of installing a micro-hydro generation plant is more complex than many first imagine, however the rewards are worth the effort if your river or stream has the right attributes. Free power for years to come!