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Micro Hydro


1 cubic ft / sec = 450 USGM = 28.3 liters/sec
1 psi = 2.31 feet of head = 0.7 meters of head

A good approximation of the Power available to a battery charging micro hydro system is given by:

Power = [Watts]
Net Head [ft] x
Flow [USGM]


Hydro turbines & generators for AC only micro hydro systems are more efficient, so the above power equation needs to be modified:

Power = [Watts]
Net Head [ft] x
Flow [USGM]


Example Battery System
The total distance between where we wish to draw the water from the creek and where the turbine will be located is 600 feet. Thus the length of the pipeline (LP) must be 600 feet long. Along this 600 foot pipeline there is a drop in elevation of 80 feet. Thus the static head (HS) is 80 feet. The flow (F) available from the creek is measured to be 48 US Gallons per minute.

= Length of pipeline = 600 feet
= Static Head = 80 feet
= Flow = 48 USGM

From the Pipe Friction Table, friction losses for 2 inch PVC pipe at 48 USGM are 2.7 feet per hundred feet.

= Friction head = 2.7 feet/100 feet x 600 feet
= 16 feet
= Net Head = HS - Hf = 80 feet - 16 feet
= 64 feet

Total Power =

64 feet x

= 219 watts

Power generated would be approximately 219 watts. Over 24 hours just over 5 kWh of energy would be produced.

In a nominal 12 volt system the turbine and generator would deliver approximately 15 amps continuously or 360 amp-hours per day.

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