Hydro-Electric Energy

In suitable locations, a small scale hydro-electric scheme, which is the harvesting of power through a water turbine, can be an effective and reliable method of electricity production.

There are two main factors to initially take into account when considering installing a hydro-electric scheme, i.e. the ‘head’ and ‘flow’ of the water resource. It has to be determined if the resource would have an adequate ‘flow’ of water per second, combined with a sufficient height differential (‘head’) over a relatively short distance, to produce enough kinetic energy to turn a turbine.

The viability of a project is often determined by the minimum flow during the summer months, when less water is available to turn the turbine.

In the South West and many other areas of the country the impact of the introduction of a hydro-electric scheme on local fish stocks often causes concern, especially where trout and salmon rivers could be put at risk. When considering such a scheme specialist advice is vital to ensure that you choose the type of hydro-electric generator that has a minimal impact on the water resource.