An Electric Current Is Constituted By The Flow Of Alternative Energy Sources Like Small Hydro Can Sustain Small Communities

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Alternative Energy Sources Like Small Hydro Can Sustain Small Communities

There are different types of alternative energy sources and for each source, you can also expect different types of power plants that can generate power. This is also true for the hydroelectric option; There are at least three types of power plants. And the basis of classification of these plants is their energy potential. The most basic is small-hydro and is usually adopted for small communities that need its power. Or it can be installed by industries and large businesses to meet business demands. As mentioned, hydropower plants are classified based on their power output. A small or small hydro plant is expected to deliver up to 10 megawatts or megawatts. And depending on the location, this definition can be different. For example, in the United States, a plant that can generate 30 MW can still be considered small hydro. In Canada, the definition has been expanded to include 50 MW of installed capacity.

There are sub-categories for this type of plant and these include mini hydro generating less than 1000 kW and micro hydro generating less than 100 kW. These ‘micro’ plants are best used to meet the needs of small businesses and communities. These small hydro systems can be connected to the grid and used to deliver electricity. Or it can be installed independently (this is the de facto practice in many parts of the world).

How hydropower works and how it is generated

No matter how small or large the power plant capacity is, all of them generate electricity by tapping the power of flowing water. Like its larger siblings, small hydro will require a constant flow of water, and that source must fall from a reasonable height. Here’s how the system works. The flowing water passes through the pipe to the turbine. The higher the pressure of the flowing water, the faster the turbine blades will rotate. This rotating shaft is actually connected to an electrical generator and effectively converts the motion into electricity. In most cases, it is installed where there are existing dams. Other entrepreneurs and developers would also find abandoned hydro sites, purchase the property and develop these sites into new hydro plants. The choice is ultimately up to the developer based on a cost-benefit analysis.

Why turn to small hydro?

Access to this option is becoming possible, especially in remote areas. Researchers, developers and policy makers are weighing several reasons why this option should be given the go-signal. The main reasons are the minimal environmental and licensing steps required, the equipment required for power generation is simple, and the construction of small hydro requires less time and minimal effort. Add to that the fact that this type of power generator offers multiple uses, and you have the perfect formula for a reliable and future-proof source of renewable energy for small-scale applications.

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