With the rise of energy costs and the importance of having a green planet, more and more people are looking for alternative ways to create heat and electricity.
Important steps to having a "Green" home are first and foremost, cutting down on wasted electricity, such as turning off lights when no one is in a room, and unplugging wall chargers (You cannot believe how much energy they use even when no device is being charged!), also making sure all light bulbs are energy smart compact fluorescent light bulbs (This in and of itself can save you $$$ on your energy bill.), and of course, making sure your house is well insulated.
Micro Hydro Generation is the process of making power with water. Kinzua and Hoover dam are both forms Large Scale Hydro-Electric Power Plants. Micro-Hydro is a much scaled down version although, can still be quite powerfull. Sometimes big enough to power a few houses or a very small remote town but, don't get me wrong, you need to have quite the water supply and a great site for that.
If you have a running stream, creek or river on your property, you may be a great candidate for Micro-Hydro Generation. There are a few different types of generators designed for small scale plants and choosing which unit depends solely on the amount of water flowing in gallons per minute and the head.Before I explain what the head is, you must learn some basics about the whole system first.
For most systems, you need to be able to divert and filter a section of the water upstream from your plant. The more gallons per minute, the better. Then that water runs down a pipe down to your generator. This fall downhill creates pressure in the tube. This fall is called the head. The more head you have, the more pressure you will make. A lot of head also allows you to use a smaller diameter pipe. For areas that do not have very much head, you will have to use a larger pipe to eliminate friction from the water falling.
I think you can now see the basics of how this works. The high water pressure shooting out the end of the pipe hits a turbine wheel which is connected to a generator. Sounds simple right? Well, kind of but not really. The key to an efficient system is surveying your layout first.
Doing all the calculations first will keep you from buying the wrong type of equipment. Properly measureing your Flow Rate and Head is key to building an efficient Micro-Hydro Electric Plant.
Once you have figured out your landscape and what type of flow rate you have, picking the proper Hydro unit is next. For home use, there are 3 basic types. One type uses a special turbine called a Pelton. Another one is called a Turgo which is simular to a Pelton except it has half size blades as the Pelton. It's a very effeicent wheel but is not as strong as the Pelton. With super high pressure, most Turgo's wont last.
Using solar power for your home can have a positive effect on your carbon foot print. Using the sunlight to power and or charge batteries is an option many people choose. Most areas have great sunlight potential! One thing to keep in mind is that, creating power from sunlight takes a lot of Solar Cells and is not always feasible for one to expect to run a whole house just on Solar. Cells can be expensive and the sun isn't always out.
One of the best ways to utilize Solar Panels is to have them charge a bank of DC batteries. Charging batteries allows the use of the batteries' reserve power when the sun dissapears. This way also allows you to tie other types of devices to the battery bank. Then you would use a device called an inverter to convert the DC energy to 110 Volts AC. (The type of power most devices in your house run on) We will talk more about this in a different section.We will be selling solar equipment. Keep checking back to see what products we have available.