Consider ways to increase self reliance and reduce your power bill by using alternative means of powering appliances.

The efficiency of most micro-hydro generators ranges from 30–70%. They are viable as small-scale electricity generators that can provide electricity to a building or property.

The main requirements are that the micro-hydro system has sufficient water head and flow rate and access to a regular water source (stream or spring). 3

This little unit is only used in the winter, as it runs off of a culvert that flows during the rainy season.

Here you’ll need sufficient power to recharge a bank of 6 x 12 volt batteries.

Our first priority is to power our freezer. We have the home-kill butcher prepare our meat. So we have a completely full freezer and in an extended power-cut would possibly lose it. Alternative power supplied to our freezer would make us independent in this most critical area. See below what one family have done to increase their self reliance.

Micro hydro 1

Micro hydro 2

And then he extended it to this…

Micro hydro 3

This is a different one.

Micro hydro 4

Its best to use it to charge batteries then use the power stored overnight.

References & photo credits

1. Feature photo 1 by Nolroz http://www.flickr.com/photos/nolroz/2548980288/in/photostream/

2. Photo of micro hydro power generator used by the university in winter by Nolroz http://www.flickr.com/photos/nolroz/2548157207/in/photostream/

3. Micro-hydro systems use flowing water to turn a water turbine that generates electricity in an alternator http://www.level.org.nz/energy/renewable-electricity-generation/micro-hydro-systems/