The Electric Side of Hydro Power: Page 3 of 3

Power Transmission & Regulation Considerations
Intermediate

Inside this Article

Turbine from Canyon Industries
One of the smaller turbines from Canyon Industries, this 16 KW Pelton unit powers 120 and 240 VAC loads directly without batteries or inverters.
Turbine from Alternative Power & Machine
Alternative Power & Machine manufactures a variety of turbines that produce up to 3.3 KW and transmit up to 480 volts AC or DC.
Harris Hydro Pelton Turbine
The Harris Hydro Pelton turbine uses a permanent-magnet alternator to produce up to 2.5 KW and transmits at 12, 24, or 48 VDC.
Nautilus Francis-style Turbine
The Nautilus Francis-style turbine is designed for low-head applications and produces up to 3.4 KW. It can be used with a variety of generators and voltages.
Hi Power Hydro Unit
The Hi Power hydro unit matches a Harris Pelton turbine to an induction motor to generate wild three-phase AC at up to 480 V, and 3.6 KW.
Energy Systems & Design Turgo Turbine
Energy Systems & Design turgo turbines use permanent-magnet alternators to produce up to 1 KW at 12 to 240 VDC.
OutBack’s Flexmax MPPT Controller
MPPT controllers, like OutBack’s Flexmax, can step down high-transmission voltage to match the nominal battery voltage.
Morningstar’s TriStar Diversion Controller
Diversion controllers, like Morningstar’s TriStar, divert excess energy to a dump load when batteries are at full charge.
Diversion Loads
Diversion loads are usually electric heating elements to dump excess energy in the form of heat to air (left) or water (right).
Transformer/Rectifier Unit
Transformer/rectifier units convert high-voltage, wild three-phase AC hydro turbine output to lower-voltage DC for battery charging. This package, manufactured by Hi Power, includes overcurrent protection, an amp meter, and terminal strips for system wiring.
Turbine from Canyon Industries
Turbine from Alternative Power & Machine
Harris Hydro Pelton Turbine
Nautilus Francis-style Turbine
Hi Power Hydro Unit
Energy Systems & Design Turgo Turbine
OutBack’s Flexmax MPPT Controller
Morningstar’s TriStar Diversion Controller
Diversion Loads
Transformer/Rectifier Unit

The Best Approach for Your Site

There are a lot of design options to consider when it comes to the electric side of your hydro-electric system. Every site is different, and many pitfalls and unnecessary expenses can be avoided by getting some expert help when the time comes. Most hydro manufacturers are willing to work hand-in-hand with the customer or a professional installer to design a safe, durable, and efficient system that will not only work, but also work hard for years to come.

Access

Jerry Ostermeier owns Alternative Power & Machine in Grants Pass, Oregon (541-476-8916 • www.apmhydro.com). He has been designing and installing microhydro and off-grid power systems since 1979. He also manufactures a user-friendly residential-scale microhydro turbine.

Joe Schwartz, Home Power’s CEO and editor, lives off grid outside of Ashland, Oregon. While PV currently supplies all the electricity for his homestead, there’s a hydro site, with 140 feet of vertical drop (and an 1,800-foot transmission distance), waiting to be developed.

Hydro Turbine Manufacturers:

Alternative Power & Machine • www.apmhydro.com

Canyon Hydro • www.canyonhydro.com

Energy Systems & Design • www.microhydropower.com

Harris Hydro • 707-986-7771

Hi Power • www.hipowerhydro.com

Diversion Controller Manufacturers:

Morningstar Inc. • www.morningstarcorp.com

Xantrex • www.xantrex.com

MPPT Controllers with Auxiliary Output Functionality:

Apollo Solar • www.apollosolar.com

OutBack Power Systems • www.outbackpower.com

Xantrex • www.xantrex.com

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