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28 August, 2010

DIY Hydroelectric Power For the Homesteader

I have always been intrigued by microhydro electricity. Be advised: in addition to what you will see below, there are even more diverse possibilities.

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FCIV 'S- Homesteader's Notebook: "Large scale hydroelectric power has been used worldwide for a long time to generate huge amounts of power from water stored behind massive dams. Small scale hydropower has been used for hundreds of years for manufacturing, including milling grain, sawing logs and manufacturing cloth. However, it can also be used without a dam to generate electricity for home scale remote power systems. These so-called micro-hydro installations can be a very good complement to a solar power system, as they produce electricity 24 hours a day..."

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Homestead Hydropower: "Home-scale hydroelectric power systems offer an opportunity for humans to forge an intelligent and sustainable partnership with sunshine, rain and running water. Sometimes dubbed “microhydro,” this approach uses low-impact mechanical systems to harness moving water to generate clean, reliable electric power. Unlike the intermittent power from wind or solar systems, hydroelectric power can flow night and day from year-round streams.

A hydroelectric system converts the force from flowing water into electricity. You take the kinetic energy of water flowing downhill from a stream or river and direct it onto a wheel in a turbine that converts the rotational energy to electricity. The amount of power produced depends on the volume of water flowing onto the turbine and the vertical distance it falls through the system. Equipment costs range from about $1,000 for the smallest, to $20,000 for a system large enough to power several modern homes..."


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