You live in a rural area or you have a farm. Probably you’ve thought sometimes to settle a small water turbine to generate your own electricity. In this post you will have three previous questions you have to make about Height, Flow and Power.
Look closely at the table below (courtesy of http://www.saltosdelpirineo.com/) the concepts that appear in the corners.
Net Fall H (Height) .- It is the height in meters from the top of the water level to the turbine. There are turbines that operate at low altitudes, for example from 5 m, with high flow rates. Others work with higher elevations (10 to 180 m in this table) with much lower flow rates. So the first question is: What is the maximum height I can get from my waterfall?
Flow rate Q (l/s) .- It is the flow of water that can supply the waterfall continuously. If you have very little water available, you should need high altitude. On the contrary, if you have plenty of water to circulate, then very low height is required. The second question is: How many liters per second flow is my waterfall?
Electrical output P (kW).- If your power needs are low, in this case below 10 kW, you will look on the left side of the table. Continuing with this example table, if you need 10 to 80 kW, available turbines are on your right. Third question: What is my need for power?
Selecting the most appropriate turbine .- Depending on the answers to three questions you will look for, in tables similar to this one that offer different manufacturers or distributors, the models that best suit your needs to generate your own electricity, realistically with the conditions of fall and flow of the waterfall. Three examples:
Q= 3 l/s H=80 m P=2 kW Turbine Pelton AC2
Q= 75 l/s H=10 m P=5 kW Turbine Banki AC4-F1-1
Q= 30 l/s H=30 m P=5 kW Turbine Pelton AC4-75M
I’m no expert on the subject; I just pretend to disclose information about micro-hydro power that may be useful for farmers and rural population. If you are an expert, your comments are very welcome, thank you!
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