Micro hydraulics: everything you need to know

Everything about hydraulic microturbines: what they are and how they work, where they can be installed and their advantages, examples of installations.

With this technology, you can generate energy 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Micro hydraulic turbines: what are they and how do they work?

Traditionally, hydraulic turbines have been classified according to their turbine; Kaplan Turbine, Pelton Turbine, Francis Turbine, Ossberger Turbine, etc. All of them were designed to produce large amounts of energy (hundreds or thousands of kilowatts). Currently, there are technologies to produce less energy, which gives rise to the emergence of micro hydraulic turbines. They are nothing more than turbo-hydraulic machines that take advantage of the pressure of a fluid (usually water) to drive an electric generator and produce electricity.

Micro hydraulic turbines: what are they and how do they work?

Among the existing technologies in the generation of microhydraulic energy, the pumps known as turbines or PAT for its acronym in English (pump as turbines) stand out. A pump consumes energy from the electrical network and, through an internal rotational movement, transfers it to the water in the form of higher pressure. On the other hand, pumps such as turbines capture hydraulic energy from water by a reverse rotational movement, to convert it into electrical energy.

Una de las main ventajas del uso de las bombas como turbina frente a las turbinas convencionales es su reducido coste, ya que aprovecha la producción en cadena de las bombas y permit ofrecer una amplia gama de soluciones hidráulicas, siendo su uso extendido en la mayoría de the countries.

With the energy produced, two types of installations can be created:

  • Installation isolated from the network or from the English “off-grid”. These are systems completely disconnected from the conventional electricity grid and completely independent systems that use batteries to store excess energy. They are often used in remote areas without network access.
  • Network connected installation or from the English “on-grid or grid-linked”. These are the systems connected to the conventional electricity grid. With the energy produced, you can consume it yourself in your own installation or sell it to the electricity company.

Hydraulic microturbines: where can they be installed? advantage

Hydraulic microturbines: where can they be installed?  advantage

The search for alternative, renewable and non-polluting energies is increasingly common. At present, there are populations in which the steep slopes of the streets can generate large pressure surges, therefore, in the supply networks of these populations, pressure reducers are installed, reducing the pressure in some areas avoiding the possibility of pipe breaks. An alternative to these valves is the use of microturbines, which in addition to fulfilling the same function, it is possible to recover energy.

Another example where there are possibilities for electricity generation is at the entrance of water tanks where valves are placed to shut off the water because if it arrived with such force it would break the tank. With the installation of hydraulic turbines, it would be possible to stop the water and also to take advantage of this energy by converting it into electricity.

Finally, we must highlight a sector like agriculture, which is a large consumer of water, where they have millions of kilometers of pipelines with excessive water pressure and at the same time they have installations without electricity, they must therefore install powerful generators or generators, which produce electricity in exchange for the consumption of diesel. With the installation of a microturbine, they can generate clean energy without installing powerful generators and without needing to consume oil, doing humanity a great favor in its fight against climate change and the adverse effects that he has.

7 advantages hydraulic microturbines

  • Made with high quality materials
  • Lifespan greater than 25 years.
  • Easy installation by personnel who do not need specific knowledge in the matter.
  • Low maintenance cost, similar to that of a conventional pump.
  • Power generation capacity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
  • Low installation amortization periods, less than 5 years in installations connected to the network or immediate in installations disconnected from the network.
  • It can be combined with other renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic or wind power.

Hydraulic microturbines: examples of installations

If you want to see real examples of installations that are both isolated from the power grid (off-grid) and connected to the grid (on-grid), visit our Blog.