Hydro Power

Gaiam.com, Inc  
Harris Hydroelectric Turbines, 2 Nozzle Turbine

Unlike wind and solar, hydro power has the potential to work 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you happen to have access to a good water source with lots of vertical fall, it is by far the least-expensive and most-efficient option available.

We recommend you look into the power of micro hydro systems. Learn more about hydro power in the 600-page renewable energy bible, the Solar Living Sourcebook.

(More books on this topic)

 

Hydro power products

The hydro power products we are offering are high-quality, long-life units. They are also easy to use and maintain.

Harris Hydroelectric 1 Nozzle Turbine icon
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Solar only generates power when the sun is shining; hydro generates power 24 hours a day. It only takes a small input to cumulatively add up to a large daily total. The generating component of the Harris turbines is an automotive alternator equipped with custom-wound coils appropriate for each installation. Field strength, and therefore output, is site-adjustable with a large rheostat. The built-in ammeter shows the immediate effects of tweaking the field. The rugged turbine wheel is a one-piece Harris casting made of tough silicon bronze. There are hundreds of these wheels in service, with no failures to date. The cast aluminum wheel housing serves as a mounting for the alternator and up to four nozzle holders. It also acts as a spray shield, redirecting the expelled water down into the collection/drain box. Expelled water depends on gravity to drain.

Harris Hydroelectric turbines are available with one, two or four nozzles to maximize the output of the unit. Having an extra nozzle or two beyond what is absolutely required makes it easy to change flow rates or power output for seasonal or household variations. Just turn different size nozzles on and off. The individual brass nozzles are screwed in from the underside of the turbine. They do wear with time, and will need eventual replacement. Any turbine delivering 20 amps or more (at whatever the system voltage is), needs the cooling fan option. USA.

All hydro turbines are custom-built to match particular operating conditions. We need to know flow rate, head, pipe size, and system voltage before ordering. Please call 800-919-2400 to speak with a real live technician.
Harris Hydroelectric Turbines, 2 Nozzle Turbine icon
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Solar only generates power when the sun is shining; hydro generates power 24 hours a day. It only takes a small input to cumulatively add up to a large daily total. The generating component of the Harris turbines is an automotive alternator equipped with custom-wound coils appropriate for each installation. Field strength, and therefore output, is site-adjustable with a large rheostat. The built-in ammeter shows the immediate effects of tweaking the field. The rugged turbine wheel is a one-piece Harris casting made of tough silicon bronze. There are hundreds of these wheels in service, with no failures to date. The cast aluminum wheel housing serves as a mounting for the alternator and up to four nozzle holders. It also acts as a spray shield, redirecting the expelled water down into the collection/drain box. Expelled water depends on gravity to drain.

Harris Hydroelectric turbines are available with one, two or four nozzles to maximize the output of the unit. Having an extra nozzle or two beyond what is absolutely required makes it easy to change flow rates or power output for seasonal or household variations. Just turn different size nozzles on and off. The individual brass nozzles are screwed in from the underside of the turbine. They do wear with time, and will need eventual replacement. Any turbine delivering 20 amps or more (at whatever the system voltage is), needs the cooling fan option. USA.

All hydro turbines are custom-built to match particular operating conditions. We need to know flow rate, head, pipe size, and system voltage before ordering. Please call 800-919-2400 to speak with a real live technician.

Stream Engine, Stream Engine-2 Nozzle icon
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For higher flow, lower head hydro sites

The highly adjustable Stream Engine uses a turgo-type runner wheel that can produce useful power from lower heads. The permanent-magnet generator has no brushes to wear out, and uses a clever adjustable air gap to compensate for differing flow rates. Output voltage is user-settable from 12 to 48 volts. Available in two- or four-nozzle turbines, the Stream Engine is supplied with universal cut-to-size nozzles of 1/8" to 1". Head can be from 5 feet to 400 feet, and flows of 5 gpm to 300 gpm can be used. Maximum output is approximately 800 watts. Call for performance details. Canada.
Low Head Stream Engine icon
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200 watts when the water only drops 3 feet! 1000 watts when you have 10 feet of head. Works with as little as 2 feet and 500 gpm - you need 1000 gpm with the 10 foot, 1000 watt output. Simple Installation, high efficiency, precision parts - brushless, low maintenance, and weatherproof. 5" diameter propeller turbine,12-48V DC and up.

Microhydro: Clean Power from Water


Book Description

Hydroelectricity is the world's largest source of renewable energy, but until now, there have been no books that cover smaller residential-scale hydropower — what the industry calls micro-hydropower. Highly illustrated and practical, Micro-Hydro covers principles, design and site considerations, equipment options, plus legal, environmental, and economic factors. Davis covers all you need to know to assess your site, develop a workable system, and get the power transmitted to where you can use it. 176 pages. Canada.

Micro-Hydro Design Manual: A Guide to Small-Scale Water Power Schemes


Book Description

This book has grown from Intermediate Technology's field experiences with micro-hydro installations and covers operation and maintenance, commissioning, electrical power, induction generators, electronic controllers, management, and energy surveys.

Reviews:

I'm a civil engineer involved in the design of large hydropower plants.
This book is a complete guide on the design of a micro-hydropower scheme, particularly well suited if the scheme is located in a developing country.
The books cover all subjects ranging from the preliminary studies to the final design of the civil works and of the EM equipment to the maintenance works.
It is well written and full of photos and examples.
Please buy it if you're involved in the design of small hydropower.
The only small suggestion I can do to the author is to introduce some more calculation examples.

A most concise and integral reference on MH applications,

This highly rated manual, covers just about every practical and tangible theoretical introduction to the full design and/up to implementation cycle of MH projects, all in about 370 pages. It is important that it was written and amply illustrated not only with detailed schematics, but also with actual pictures from original installations in developing countries, which makes a viable aid in comprehending the "actual picture". The chapters covered detail a syllabus in: Components and Design of an MH Scheme, Cost benefit estimations, Hydrology and site survey, Flow prediction, Civil works and operational parts (all aspects from Weirs to Penstocks), Commercial engineering, Turbines (including reverse pumps), Governing, Drive systems, a very thorough presentation of the -cumbersome- Electrical Power System aspects, along with Operational, Maintenance, Financial and Commissioning aspects. Should there be something more for an engineer to wish for, would be more info on turbines -something you would expect to find in a specialized book on the subject anyway. The book should provide a valuable asset not only to MH engineers, but to Renewable Energy Technology engineers as well, since it is progressively becoming apparent that a combination of RET along with Pumped Storage and MH, presents a highly attractive opportunity for both developed and developing.


Microhydro Power Video icon
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By Don Harris. This professionally produced video covers basic technology as well as hands-on applications. It includes easy-to-follow explanations of microhydro power, along with performance and safety issues. Harris, the owner of Harris Turbines, practically invented the remote microturbine, and has manufactured over 1,000 in the past 15 years. Tape runs 42 minutes. USA.