How to make a hydro power station

Estimate amount of power

Use our online calculator to understand feasibility of the project. To do that, you shold know hydraulic head and flow rate - learn how to measure them.

Select type of generator

- Pelton or Low Head

Pelton turbines are the most popular on the hydro generators market and work on net heads from 3m to 100m, producing up to 1.2 kW per unit (1.6 kW possible in some cases with high power version).

Low Heads are advisable for net heads from 1m to 5m; they produce up to 1.5 kW per unit.

Of course you can multiply output installing more generators (and receiving discount for sites up to 15 kW).

In most cases your requirements will be satisfied with Pelton turbine - PowerSpout BE - standard, battery enabled version, without MPPT controllers (MPPT - maximum power point tracking).
At MPPT Enabled and Grid Enabled generators please, have a look here .

Choice of Generator version

Cable length

Cable length is the distance from generator to the batteries (or load). It can have a significant impact on the installed system cost, which can be reduced by increasing the system voltage, but this can affect who is allowed to install the system:

  • If you are living off grid and cable cost for your hydro is affordable (e.g. the cable costs less than the hydro turbine cost) then you should use the BE version (at 12, 24 or 48 V DC) direct to your battery bank. The BE turbine may be installed by the owner.
  • If you are living off grid and cable cost for your hydro is a major part of your overall cost then you should use the appropriate ME version at up to 250 V DC with a Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) function regulator to alter the voltage and harvest optimum power (while charging your battery at 12, 24 or 48 V DC). In countries that have 120 ELV laws the ME 75/100/120 turbine can be installed by the owner. ME 140 and ME 250 need to be installed by a registered electrician.
  • If you are living on the grid/network you may use the ME version where the maximum input voltage of the inverter does not exceed 100/120/140 or 250 V DC depending on ME version. Most clients will use the GE 400 version that is designed for grid-tied situations via inverters that commonly operate at up to 400 V DC. The GE 400 must be installed by a registered electrician.

Each hydro generator also has a High Power (HP) version which can generate up to 25% more than the regular turbines. Hence if the calculator suggests more than one ā€˛regular? turbine, it could also be worth trying the HP version. In some cases using HP turbines can reduce the number of turbines required, hence reducing total cost. There is no advantage to a HP turbine if you do not have a site that needs more that one normal turbine.

Design water supply system

This simply refers where you install generator(s) and how (how long, diameter) you locate pipes. You can prevent hydro pipe losses, selecting diameter depending on water flow.

To make things easier, manufacturer of hydrogenerators made online calculator for your hydro power station. Click here to make hydro power calculations.