When it comes to the earth’s natural resources, we can rely on just about anything to give us energy if we know how to harness it.
There is solar from the sun, wind energy from turbines, and hydropower that uses water’s natural force to generate electricity, each having their advantages to the everyday homeowner.
What is a hydroelectric power plant then and can you build one for yourself?
These small systems work on a miniature scale of large hydropower plants that use the power of running or falling water to create energy, and with the right supplies and technical knowledge, it is possible to build one for yourself.
However, with already assembled mini-plants available for purchase, it may work out cheaper and more effective to buy one already made.
With a mini hydroelectric power plant running at your house, you can save a lot of ongoing electricity costs and be assured you’re doing your part for the planet.
We’re going to investigate what hydropower is all about and how you could build your own mini-plant with the right know-how.
What Is a Hydroelectric Power Plant?
A hydroelectric power plant is a specific type of plant that produces electricity just by harnessing the power of water.
The pressure of falling or running water is used to turn the propellers of a turbine which then turns a metal shaft housed inside a generator.
This generator has a motor that creates electricity which can then be sent to a power bank or grid and accessed by homes and businesses.
Hydroelectric power plants come in all sizes ranging from micro plants that provide up to 100 kilowatts of energy for homes and farms, to large hydropower facilities that can create more than 30 megawatts of power.
Depending on a home or business’ power needs, you can have one installed that provides you with all or some of your electricity, so you don’t have to rely on carbon-producing alternatives.
What Are the Benefits of a Mini Hydroelectric Power Plant?
Any time we swap our regular electricity consumption to natural energy sourced from the earth, we’re providing so many benefits to ourselves and the planet.
Here are some of the benefits of having your own mini hydroelectric power plant or building one for yourself.
- Saving money on your electric bill and reducing your reliance on carbon-emitting electricity sources.
- Using a clean fuel source like water reduces the amount of pollution it creates to bring you energy.
- Hydroelectric power is considered a domestic source of energy which means every state can run its own plants without needing other international fuel sources like coal.
- Hydropower is a renewable and reliable power source that will never deplete if the water continues to run.
- Depending on the setup, some hydroelectric power facilities can create full power in minimal time and be valuable at providing widespread backup power during electricity outages.
- Knowing that you have your own source of clean, natural energy to rely on and self-sufficient home that doesn’t require any fuel sources to run.
Can You Build a Hydroelectric Power Plant?
Although, it does take some basic knowledge of hydropower and the right supply of water at home to make it work. Projects like this can take years to complete, so if you’re after a quick solution it’s probably not going to be ideal.
Creating your own hydroelectric power plant requires various stages including excavation to find the groundwater supply, installation of piping and turbines, and the building of motors to generate electricity.
The entire process can take years to build and requires legal permits and other regulations to be met, so expect to spend some time and effort on the project.
In most cases, building your own hydroelectric power plant is a detailed project to undertake if you have the right skills, but it might not be sufficient enough to provide energy to your home in the time that you require.
There are ready made mini power plants available for purchase that may be more effective than making your own, so you’ll have to weigh up which is the better choice.
The Legalities of Building Your Own Plant
Any time you decide to generate your own electricity at home, there are going to be legal ramifications to consider.
Whether you want solar installed or a generator, there are regulations to adhere to, and this is especially true with even the smallest hydroelectric power plant.
The right to generate your own power is allowed by common law as it’s a way of making productive use of their property and home.
However, things like air emissions, noise, and land issues all have to be considered, so before you attempt to build a hydropower plant in your own backyard, you’ll need it to be legally surveyed.
With these finer details in mind, it’s recommended to speak to a professional about hydropower and what’s allowed in your state and region.
They’ll be able to advise you on things like mandates, economic incentives, and protections in place that may prevent you from using your hydroelectric power plant, so all be considered before you start the job.
The Cost and Effort of Small Hydroelectric Power Plants
The cost-effectiveness of hydroelectric power plants is considered to be the best of all the renewable energy sources.
This clean form of electricity is reliable and consistent which makes it a great choice for the home, and because it can be structured to meet different loads and peak demands, it can suit any individual’s needs.
To have a mini hydroelectric power plant installed, varying costs are depending on the water source and setup you choose.
A standard 10-kilowatt micro-hydropower system will deliver enough energy for a standard home and can cost anywhere between a few thousand dollars and up to $10,000.
The best way to assess whether it would work for your home is to look at your electricity usage and costs and compare bills from the last few years.
If purchasing and installing a hydropower system at home will end up saving you money and help you do your part for the environment, it’s recommended as the best natural energy source.
Natural Power of Water
There are so many options out there today for natural energy sources to choose from with hydropower being one of the most popular.
Considering that 20 percent of the world’s electricity is generated from hydropower, why not use it for your home as well with one of these microsystems.
Just like other natural energy sources, you can choose one that suits your household specifically and ensure that it’s the most energy-efficient choice.
While it can be a fun project to tackle making one for yourself, it’s often better to purchase a system ready-made and have it installed correctly, to be sure that it’s working at its best.
Whichever option you take, you’ll be doing amazing things for your home and the planet by making the switch to hydropower.
This natural energy source is powerful, consistent, and economical, so it ticks all of the boxes for what we should look for in a sustainable and renewable energy source.
Hydroelectric power plants might seem like complex systems but at their most basic, they use the power of water to generate energy.
If you have further questions about hydropower and these plants, we’ve answered some of the common ones that could give you more insight into how they work.
What’s the Advantage of Hydropower?
Having a hydroelectric power plant means you’re relying on a renewable and carbon-free source of energy.
Water is a free resource that most people have access to and other than the cost of the land and system, it will run for years providing you with free electricity.
How Long Does a Hydroelectric Power Plant Last?
Depending on the quality and manufacturer of the power plant, you can expect this hardware to last for up to 25 years.
Some even create turbines that work for 50 years without needing replacement but it depends entirely on the quality of its construction and the materials used to build it.
Will We Ever Run Out of Hydropower?
This is a renewable energy source that doesn’t require any other resources or materials to generate it and will be in existence provided there is water to be used.