Hydropower is a renewable, non-polluting and environment friendly source of energy. It is very simple, easy, super swift and simple concepts. Moving water turns a turbine, the turbine spins a generator, and electricity is produced. It all begins with the energy in the moving water. The use of water falling through a height has been utilized as a source of energy since a long time. It is perhaps the oldest renewable energy technique known to the mankind for mechanical energy conversion as well as electricity generation.
Running Water Energy – Hydro Power
Small-scale hydropower are the most common way of electricity generating which cheap and very simple to make you independent and attain lot of respect. One needs to be lucky enough to have running water creek India has a century old history of hydropower and the beginning was from small hydro. The first hydro power plant was of 130 kW set up in Darjeeling during 1897, marked the development of hydropower in the country. Though different countries have different criteria to classify hydro power plants, a general classification of hydro power plants is as follows
Large – Hydro
- More than 100 MW and usually feeding into a large electricity grid
Medium – Hydro
- 15 – 100 MW – usually feeding a grid
Small – Hydro
- 1 – 15 MW – usually feeding into a grid
Mini – Hydro
- Above 100 kW, but below 1 MW; either stand alone schemes or more often feeding into the grid
Micro – Hydro
- From 10kW up to 100 kW; usually provided power for a small community or rural industry in remote areas away from the grid
Pico – Hydro
- 0 to 10 KW and sutiable for offgrid house or building
Pico-hydro, or small-scale hydroelectric generation is a renewable energy technology that plays by slightly different rules. It uses the energy in nature’s water cycle: indirect solar energy in the form of falling raindrops.
The energy in this system (Hydro Power System) comes from the sun’s heat, which evaporates water to form clouds of water vapor – clouds that eventually rain back down. Water collects, and runs-off, following the path of least resistance, and as it flows it contains kinetic energy. In many ways, Pico-hydro is preferable to other forms of renewable energy: if you are lucky enough to own a property that gets plenty of sun, plenty of wind, and has a usable creek running through it, you’d be wise to build the Pico-hydro system first.
Pico-hydro system consists of:
- The intake, where water is diverted from the stream, creek, or river, and debris is screened out;
- The penstock, usually a pipe – the size of it will determine the amount of water flowing through the system;
- The turbine, which spins as a result of pressurized water flowing out of nozzles, creating electricity;
- The tailrace, through which water, having spent its kinetic energy, flows back into the body of water it originated from.
Note that the vertical drop from the intake to the turbine is referred to as the “head”. More on that, as well as flow, later.
Pico-hydro systems use the kinetic energy in falling water to turn a turbine, which spins a generator, which produces electricity. The distance the water falls is called the head of the system. The higher the head, the more pressure gravity will generate; the pressurized water jets through one or more nozzles, pushes the turbine around and, then devoid of energy, falls into the tailrace to make its way slowly back into the creek. The amount of water falling is called the flow of the system. The head multiplied by the flow tells you how much energy is available to turn the turbine, and thus how much electricity can be produced. A 5 foot head with a flow of 100 litters of water per minute can make roughly the same amount of energy as a 100 foot head with 5 litters of water of flow.