Definition: Micro/Nano Hydro
A very small type of hydroelectric power conversion, created by harnessing free-flowing water.
- Micro hydro is a type of hydroelectric power that typically produces from 5 kW to 100 kW of electricity using the natural flow of water. Installations below 5 kW are called pico hydro. These installations can provide power to an isolated home or small community, or are sometimes connected to electric power networks, particularly where net metering is offered. There are many of these installations around the world, particularly in developing nations as they can provide an economical source of energy without the purchase of fuel. Micro hydro systems complement solar PV power systems because in many areas, water flow, and thus available hydro power, is highest in the winter when solar energy is at a minimum. Micro hydro is frequently accomplished with a pelton wheel for high head, low flow water supply. The installation is often just a small dammed pool, at the top of a waterfall, with several hundred feet of pipe leading to a small generator housing.