BENEFITS OF MICRO HYDRO

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Although hydroelectricity is one of the world’s leading sources of renewable energy, many people seem to be entirely unaware of the vast benefits available through micro hydro. This is despite the fact that micro hydro is one of the most basic and consistent types of renewable power. Micro hydro is hydroelectric power on a smaller scale. Even in small streams, a micro hydro unit can generate up to 100 kW of electricity with little more than the everyday flow of water. As energy.gov says a 10 kW system is capable of powering a large house, a small resort or a farm used for supplemental income or enjoyment purposes, one single micro hydro system can be a stable source of renewable power for a long time to come.

Some of the other benefits of micro hydro are:

  • The waterwheel design works 24 hours a day, seven days a week, unlike solar panels which require the sun’s light and wind turbines which require at the very least a strong breeze
  • The ability to produce zero emission energy (with the right equipment)
  • Clean generation of energy, even in rivers or streams with low water retention and flow
  • Minimal start-up costs, particular when you opt for waterwheel inspired designed like the HeliosAltas patented PowerBall or PowerWheel
  • It offers a quicker return on investment than wind or solar energy, due to its higher capacity factor (utilization)
  • Individuals and communities in first-world countries, as well as those in developing nations, can all gain access to the renewable energy generated through strategically-placed micro hydro units.

As with most sources of renewable energy, traditional micro hydro can have its downsides as well. Construction costs, environmental impact, and overhead expenses often quickly add up.

Fortunately, HeliosAltas has come up with an eco-friendly solution. Its individual PowerBall units can be used in existing rivers and streams, as well as along most aqueducts and waterways, without having to add additional infrastructure. Unlike some micro hydro units which impede or divert aquatic passage, a PowerBall unit acts in harmony with the surrounding environment. Debris, silt and period of extreme or low flow will not impede functionality and power can be generated in as little as two inches of water.

Basic units can generate between 100 W and 4 kW, whereas the company’s PowerWheel units are capable of generating between 5 kW and 30 kW of renewable power. Companies, corporations and local governments interested in larger capacities can have unit custom-built.

On the whole, micro hydro is considered far more consistent and reliable than other sources of renewable energy. Just think about how much could be gained from being able to tap into existing resources and infrastructures rather than having to build new dams and hydroelectric plants, or mar the landscape with solar and wind farms. Using what’s already in existence makes the HeliosAltas micro hydro system and extremely viable, hydroelectric power source.