Guide Microhydro: Clean Power from Water (Wise Living)

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Microhydro: Clean Power from Water (Wise Living) [Scott Davis, Corrie Laschuk] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Hydroelectricity is the.
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In contrast, a small 10 MW run-of-the-river plant in a hilly location can use as little 2. Flooding land for a hydroelectric reservoir has an extreme environmental impact: In many instances, such as the Three Gorges Dam in China, entire communities have also had to be relocated to make way for reservoirs [ 3 ]. Dammed reservoirs are used for multiple purposes, such as agricultural irrigation, flood control, and recreation, so not all wildlife impacts associated with dams can be directly attributed to hydroelectric power.

However, hydroelectric facilities can still have a major impact on aquatic ecosystems.

For example, though there are a variety of methods to minimize the impact including fish ladders and in-take screens , fish and other organisms can be injured and killed by turbine blades. Apart from direct contact, there can also be wildlife impacts both within the dammed reservoirs and downstream from the facility. Reservoir water is usually more stagnant than normal river water.

As a result, the reservoir will have higher than normal amounts of sediments and nutrients, which can cultivate an excess of algae and other aquatic weeds. These weeds can crowd out other river animal and plant-life, and they must be controlled through manual harvesting or by introducing fish that eat these plants [ 4 ].

In addition, water is lost through evaporation in dammed reservoirs at a much higher rate than in flowing rivers.

In addition, if too much water is stored behind the reservoir, segments of the river downstream from the reservoir can dry out. Thus, most hydroelectric operators are required to release a minimum amount of water at certain times of year.

If not released appropriately, water levels downstream will drop and animal and plant life can be harmed. In addition, reservoir water is typically low in dissolved oxygen and colder than normal river water. When this water is released, it could have negative impacts on downstream plants and animals.

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To mitigate these impacts, aerating turbines can be installed to increase dissolved oxygen and multi-level water intakes can help ensure that water released from the reservoir comes from all levels of the reservoir, rather than just the bottom which is the coldest and has the lowest dissolved oxygen. Such emissions vary greatly depending on the size of the reservoir and the nature of the land that was flooded by the reservoir.

Small run-of-the-river plants emit between 0. Life-cycle emissions from large-scale hydroelectric plants built in semi-arid regions are also modest: However, estimates for life-cycle global warming emissions from hydroelectric plants built in tropical areas or temperate peatlands are much higher. After the area is flooded, the vegetation and soil in these areas decomposes and releases both carbon dioxide and methane.

The exact amount of emissions depends greatly on site-specific characteristics. However, current estimates suggest that life-cycle emissions can be over 0. To put this into context, estimates of life-cycle global warming emissions for natural gas generated electricity are between 0. Environment versus the legacy of the Pharaohs in Amazonia. Renewable Electricity Futures Study.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Relaxing in the bath with the image of a huge pile of coal next to one was enough to make us want to give up hygiene altogether! And so we started looking at ways of reducing our consumption.

Micro-Hydro Turbine Station – Harnessing Water Power

With switching to cooking on gas, changing the light bulbs, tossing the television out when we started to only enjoy the advertising we realized that the TV had to go.. But that was not enough for us and luckily our property is on a gentle slope, we have a dam and access to canal water so….

It has taken us four years from mid to May to get a turbine running. This is due to the fact that we decided that developing local capacity was the best move, in this case it turned out to be a very expensive and exasperating mistake. We paid a large chunk of money to the Clackson Power Company from Nelspruit who claimed to have all the expertise that we required.

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Three and a half years later and four failed turbines that looked like bad prep school projects patched together with re-spray painted bits and pieces all we had was the pipe from our dam, some cable and a turbine house. We searched the internet and eventually decided on an Italian turbine however hard we tried we could not get hold of the actual manufacturers of the Chinese turbines and after our Clackson experience we had a lot of questions that we wanted answers to before laying out more cash.

In October we ordered our micro-hydro turbine from Sandro Fattore in Italy. We are looking forward to the day that we can replace our Yaris with an electrical car, which will mean we are effectively filling up on canal water.

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With the current escalation in electricity prices we will pay off the investment in our system within a few years. The micro-hydro email group has been an invaluable source of info and guidance for us. If water fires you up then join them! The building that houses the turbine is built out of sandbags citrus fruit bags filled with sand from the site.