Homestead Hydropower

Harness the power of hydropower; flowing water for clean, sustainable home electricity.

  • Microhydro
    Hyrdopower is a clean way to harness the energy of the Earth.
    Illustration courtesy Len Churchill
  • Hydropower
    A good shelter for your machinery will protect it from the environment.
    Photo courtesy MOTHER EARTH NEWS
  • Turbine
    A Powerpal low-head AC turbine like this one can provide up to 1 kilowatt of power. Water rushes down the manmade aqueduct, then drains into a pipe that’s connected to a turbine near the boy in the striped shirt.
    Photo courtesy Asian Phoenix Resources
  • Waterpower
    Pelton turbine generates power when the jet of water strikes the cupped runner along its circumference.
    Photo courtesy Corri Loschuck
  • bystream
    author of Microhydro: Clean Power from Water, has decades of experience with microhydro technology. Beside him a stream flows at about 20 gallons per minute — just the right size for a small microhydro system. 

  • Microhydro
  • Hydropower
  • Turbine
  • Waterpower
  • bystream

Home-scale hydroelectric power systems offer an opportunity for humans to forge an intelligent and sustainable partnership with sunshine, rain and running water. Sometimes dubbed “microhydro,” this approach uses low-impact mechanical systems to harness moving water to generate clean, reliable electric power. Unlike the intermittent power from wind or solar systems, hydroelectric power can flow night and day from year-round streams.

A hydroelectric system converts the force from flowing water into electricity. You take the kinetic energy of water flowing downhill from a stream or river and direct it onto a wheel in a turbine that converts the rotational energy to electricity. The amount of power produced depends on the volume of water flowing onto the turbine and the vertical distance it falls through the system. Equipment costs range from about $1,000 for the smallest, to $20,000 for a system large enough to power several modern homes.

“Many microhydro systems generate 75 to 350 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month,” Scott Davis explains in his book, Microhydro: Clean Power from Water, a new title in the MOTHER EARTH NEWS “Books for Wiser Living” series. Davis is a renewable energy developer with decades of microhydro experience. In fact, it’s his life’s work, and he’s gathered all his knowledge, experience and enthusiasm into this concise, easy-to-understand manual. His book covers the entire subject, from the essentials of site selection to the nitty-gritty of hardware choices and installation.

The Basics

To implement a successful microhydro system, you will need the following basic

Davy Dove
10/25/2012 2:13:02 PM

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11/4/2008 5:35:16 PM

this is a great sourch of information! read the mags in my teens til my 30's. Thank you!



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