Which Micro-Hydro Turbine to Choose?
If you already know which style of turbine you need, click the category above and see what models we have available! If you’re new to hydro power concepts, read below to learn more about all the options:
Advantages of micro-hydro power
If you have the right water source, a micro-hydro turbine can produce power for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. No other alternative energy source is as reliable as hydro power. However, to get the most production out of your water source, it’s important to match your available resources to the right style of water turbine.
The two main variables for choosing a water turbine are the ‘head’ and ‘flow’ of your water source. Head is how far the water drops from beginning to end through your hydro system. Flow is the volume of water per minute that passes through the system. In short: The higher head you have available, the less flow your system needs. Conversely, the greater flow you have, the less head your system needs.
Here is an overview of the micro-hydro turbines we carry, describing what install location parameters work best with each one:
Hydro-Kinetic (run of river) Turbines
These are the simplest of all micro-hydro options. Think of these like underwater wind turbines: The turbine is submerged in a river, and the power of the river flow spins the generator rotor. If you live next to a river flowing at 1.5m/s (3.6mph) or faster, with a water depth of 3 feet or deeper, our New Energy Corp. hydro-kinetic turbines may be the perfect solution for your home power needs. Starting at 5kW output rating, these turbines can easily power your entire home.
Kaplan (propeller) Turbines:
These turbines work with low head and high flow water sources. If you can install a dam or weir to direct 400gpm (or more) of water flow to the turbine, a Kaplan-style turbine could work for you. The propeller is located at the exit of the dam/weir structure, and the water flows through the turbine and down an exit pipe with between 3-16 feet of vertical drop with a dam or weir to harness the water flow, a Powerspout LH propeller turbine may be ideal for your location.
This turbine style also works for installs with relatively low head, but high water flow rates. A crossflow design builds up water pressure by diverting water through a pipe leading up to the impeller. If you can divert 295+ gallons per minute of water from 15 to 35 feet downhill, leading to your turbine location, a Scott Hydro crossflow turbine could be the best choice. Again, these micro-hydro turbines can easily power your entire home, with the right installation.
If you have a relatively low-flow water source, but can install your inlet pipe down a significant drop, and impulse turbine could be your best option. These work like the crossflow turbines, but are effective at much lower flow rates. For a Turgo turbine, you will need 7+ feet of head, and 127+ gpm water flow. For a Pelton turbine, you need 10+ feet of head, and flow volumes starting at just 1 gallon per minute. In both cases, your potential output improves with more water volume or more head distance, but if you have a stream running downhill, we can almost certainly design an impulse turbine installation that will work for you.