In our West Coast climate, our largest power consumption occurs in the winter months, when there is an abundance of running water. The electrical output of a micro-hydro system is based on the head (vertical drop) and the flow of your water source. These two measurements and the efficiency of the system are necessary to calculate the energy potential of your stream.
Micro-hydro turbines are available in both DC and AC configurations. These turbines act much like an alternator in a vehicle. The water flowing through the turbine produces electricity. DC turbines are setup to charge a battery bank. The power is taken from the battery bank and converted to household AC electricity by using an inverter. AC turbines are generally much larger in scale, and are run through a special generator to produce AC output.
As energy becomes more costly, businesses with water processes and municipalities are installing micro hydro turbines as a means of energy recovery - even on potable water systems. Not only does the energy offset reduce operating costs, but the system provides an excellent marketing opportunity as well. As with all of our power systems, monitoring devices can be installed to track and communicate your energy savings.
TerraTek provides feasibility studies, system design and full installation services for the following micro-hydro systems:
A Turbine charges a battery bank using a controller. An inverter converts that power into usable household electricity. Unique to wind and micro-hydro systems, when the battery bank is fully charged, the excess power that the turbine will continue to produce must be used by some form of a Dump Load. Common Dump Loads are heating elements for both water and/ or air.
Grid Tie with/without Battery Backup
A turbine charges a battery bank using a controller. A special inverter is used to not only convert the power into household electricity, but also to allow surplus electricity that is not used, to be fed back into the grid. Battery Backup can be added so the inverter also uses the electricity stored in a battery bank for backup situations when the power is out. Typically, a limited number of loads are run by this battery bank.
If you have a seasonal stream or river, combining a micro-hydro system with a solar-electric system can supply you with year round power. Depending on your site, a variety of options are available. TerraTek realizes that hydro sites and end users' needs vary greatly. We design, supply and install a wide range of equipment and system configurations to properly match your site and your needs.