Hydro Power Systems
Why Install a Hydro Energy System?
The cost of generating hydro electricity can also be reduced with State, USDA and federal government renewable energy credits. Hydropower is a relatively low-cost, renewable source of electricity that can be used on a small or large scale. In some cases, hydropower meets the demand for peaking power and minimizes overall power production costs.
Some of the advantages that hydropower has over electrical sources are:
- High level of reliability
- Proven technology
- High efficiency, very low operating and maintenance costs
- The ability to easily adjust to load changes
- Does not produce waste products that contribute to air quality problems, acid rain, and greenhouse gases
Hydropower projects often provide water, flood control, and recreation benefits because many hydropower plants are located in conjunction with reservoirs.
How Hydropower Generation Works
The Hydrologic Cycle: By a vast global cycle, water evaporates from rivers, lakes and oceans, forms clouds, precipitates as rain or snow, and then the water flows back to the ocean. The energy of this water cycle is driven by the sun and is tapped most efficiently with hydropower.
Seasonal rain and runoff from snow pack generates the annual hydrologic, or water cycle which produces hydroelectricity. The runoff collects in streams, rivers and lakes and flows downstream to dams. The water flows through a dam, into a powerhouse and turns a large wheel called a turbine. The turbine turns a shaft that rotates a series of magnets past copper coils in a generator to create electricity. The water then returns to the river. From the powerhouse, transmission lines carry electricity to communities.
Making Hydro Power Affordable
The cost of Hydro Electric energy generated by a micro hydro power turbine can also be reduced with state, USDA and federal government renewable energy credits. Along with the credits, the utility companies have setup production based incentive programs of up to 60% of the installed system cost over 10,15, or 20 years.