Microhydro: Clean Power From Water
Clean Power From Water
by Scott Davis is written at a sixth grade reading level...and that's a
good thing. I'm far from ready for an installation guide;
instead, I just wanted to know if microhydro is feasible on our farm.
Although most people
with an interest in alternative energy go straight to solar cells,
can be a much more economical option if your terrain is right.
I've read estimates suggesting that consumer-level microhydro systems
are between 5 and 40 times as cost effective as photovoltaic systems,
in large part because water is much less intermittent than the sun so
you don't need as many batteries.
Scott Davis divides
microhydro systems into five levels, only two of which are of interest
to me. The bare essentials level will run lights and small
appliances (like a microwave, radio, telephone, blender, stereo, and
laptop) while the modern conveniences level adds in efficient
refrigerators, freezers, and well pumps. A microhydro system
running the bare essentials can be put together for as low as $2,000
(or possibly even less if you scrounge some parts) while the modern
conveniences level can cost two to three times that much.
Finally, an alternative energy source that wouldn't put us into debt!
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