Solutions Inspired Ltd

Creative solutions with over 25 years of experience

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Small Scale Hydro Electric

What Are Hydro Electric Installations?

Small Scale Hydro Electric installations convert potential stored energy in water to kinetic energy. This movement energy is used to turn a turbine that produces electricity. A Solutions Inspired Ltd advisor will explain how a useful amount of power can be produced from even a small water supply. Small Scale Hydro Electric is one of the Microgeneration Technologies that are being heavily promoted and incentivised at present via:

  • Energy Saving Grants
  • Carbon Trust Loans
  • Enhanced Capital Allowance
  • Energy Saving Legislation
  • Carbon Reduction Commitment

A small scale hydro plant is classified as being below 100kW and can be installed by our electricians certified under the micro generation scheme. As a result of vast improvements in technology small scale hydro systems are an ideal way of producing your own electricity. The small scale hydro systems range from providing an output of 100-500 watts in a domestic situation to a minimum level of 25kW for commercial applications. Microgeneration certified electricians provide domestic and commercial installations. Request an energy saving installation.

Small Hydro Plant Applications

Small hydro plants are a low-cost renewable energy source that can be connected to the electrical grid. Small scale hydro electric installations may be completed in isolated areas where it is not cost effective to be served by the electrical network, or in areas where there is no grid connection. Compared to large hydro electric projects they have a relatively low environmental impact as they utilise small reservoirs and minimal construction work is undertaken. The applications for this technology can be discussed with one of our advisors.

Small Scale Hydro Installations in Domestic Properties

Small scale hydro installations will need the water source to be near where the power shall be utilised. Small scale hydro systems can be linked to the main electrical grid or can be a part of an off-grid generation system. If we connect the system to the grid, any electricity generated and subsequently not utilised can be sold back to the energy companies. The low carbon economy website has more information on feed-in tariffs for selling electricity back to the grid.

Our electricians can install off grid small scale hydro electrical installations where electricity is supplied directly to the appliances or devices, which are powered through the integration of a battery bank and inverter. The advisor will demonstrate the use of a back-up power system, which will assist in the seasons when water flow is lower.

The prospect of having significantly reduced electricity bills and selling electricity to the grid via feed-in tariffs is a big motivation for both domestic and commercial customers.

Size of the Systems

As we all know water flows throughout the UK every day but the water flows at different rates. The energy that is available for conversion in the water depends on the flow rate speed and the height at which the water falls. In short, the effectiveness of the system depends on how efficiently the electrical power is generated from the water flow. Our advisor will confirm that small scale hydro installations can achieve a maximum efficiency of over 90%. In reality 50% efficiency is more realistic.

Will Hydro Meet My Energy Requirements?

First and foremost, this is dependent on your energy requirements and the water resources that you have available. In domestic properties with no mains connection, a good hydro system can generate a reliable electricity supply. Correctly installed by our electricians hydro power works with other renewable technologies to provide you with a good micro generation source. In an off-grid installation by a Solutions Inspired Ltd, the electricity generated is utilised for lighting and electrical appliances.

Impact on the Environment

The turbines look a little ugly and will produce noise, but the main problem is the maintenance of the river's natural state given the restriction of the water flow that is diverted through the turbine.

Planning authorities should be consulted during the design process to make sure everything is acceptable prior to any installation by our electricians.

As another of the micro generation technologies, small scale hydro power is a good opportunity for you to generate your own renewable energy. Request an energy saving installation or more information by contacting us today.

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