Micro Generation –Hydro Power

Micro generation
Micro Generation is useful for homes where the total electrical energy equipment rating is less than 25A (i.e. 5.75 kw maximum) if it is single phase supply and 16 A (i.e. 11 kw maximum) if it is a three phase supply.

If you are concerned about the rising energy cost of your home, environmental impact of increased emissions of CO2 of power generation, climate change or simply fed up with the high handed policies of fossil fuel producers, a micro generation system may be your answer. The importance of this scheme that is just coming in to being is the ability to export to the grid what low voltage electrical energy you produce in excess for your home needs.
Further more since the generation is practically at the point of usage micro generation helps to save approximately 7 % of energy lost in transmission in the ESB grid.
It is also is a plus factor in working out the BER for your home which has it’s own benefits like HES grants, higher building resale value etc.

The implementing of export of micro generated electricity
While almost all renewable energy systems may be eligible for this scheme (subject to the complying with the above equipment ratings) in Ireland, the Commission for Energy Regulation(CER) is entrusted with the implementing this buy back arrangement and is due to announce soon the utility companies who would be involved.

Hydro power in micro generation
Records of recent years indicate over 6% of Irelands energy is produced through Hydro Power and to date it is the country’s largest renewable energy generated power source for nearly a century!
Micro generation of power is nothing new. Pelton wheel operated DC power plants were a common site wherever a suitable water stream existed many decades ago. Today with the fuel crises micro generation of power is again in vogue and the export to the grid mains is becoming a reality the interest has been heightened even at domestic or small business level. In spite of the high capital investment, after the pay back period it will be practically free energy with hydro electricity with the added benefit of selling back the excess to the utility company.

What you should have
• A site with good potential water resource.-A minimum head of 2m water is required. The power generated in kw will be approximately equal to 6 X water head in (m) X Flow in m3 /sec. (which means a flow rate measurement if the waterway is necessary. Simple basic methods have been devised to get a preliminary idea in this regard)
• A research planning and license requirement- (which is currently not required by many local authorities in micro generation but better make sure before proceeding beyond)
• Consider the environmental impact- It is necessary to maintain the water ways ecology by regulating the proportion of water through the turbine.
• Proximity of the Distribution Grid mains – If the low voltage distribution of the grid mains is distant it will not be feasible to lay long cable lines to export the generated power in micro generation.
• Economics of the Micro Generation plant – Complete estimate of the cost and the cost of production per kwh is a must at initial planning stage.

There is an abundance of small water ways all over in Ireland. And your home may be easily powered by a Hydropower micro generation set up. Make your home energy efficient which will enable you to export a good portion of the generated power which is up to 11 kw if three phase.

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