Flowing and falling water has potential energy that can be converted into electricity through hydroelectric systems. The fall of rivers generates huge electricity to supply to thousands of households through large hydropower hubs; similarly, small rivers, streams, and the flowing and falling water formed by gushing springs can also build micro-hydropower systems (referred to as micro-hydropower) to meet the electricity needs of specific users.
Micro-hydropower is generally defined as a system that generates less than 100KW of power. Micro-hydro can provide power solutions for mountain households, national parks, resorts, schools, military camps, road maintenance stations, machine stations and other camps for field work where micro-hydro resources are available. Micro hydropower with 0.1KW power can solve the most basic needs such as lighting, watching TV, charging cell phones, using electric blankets, etc. Micro hydropower with more power can allow families or villages to use various household appliances, electric cooking, electric bathing, electric heating, etc. and enjoy the comfortable life provided by cheap electricity.
Micro-hydro power system not only can solve the problem of power supply in areas without electricity, but also is an important clean and renewable energy source. In areas where there is a power grid, micro-hydro power and power grid can be mixed to obtain economic, environmental and social benefits.
Human beings have a long history of utilizing hydropower, and hydropower development has evolved from micro to large and mega, but with the increasing emphasis on renewable energy utilization technologies and distributed power supply technologies, the use of the latest achievements in modern engineering technologies to develop and utilize micro-hydropower resources is increasingly favored by users.
The benefits of using micro-hydro power systems are:
1) Although it is usually more expensive to build a micro-hydro system than to generate electricity from fossil fuels or natural gas or to connect to utility power, once a micro-hydro system is set up, it is essentially free to operate and generate electricity. Micro-hydro systems are smooth and prevent price increases. This is because the cost of generating electricity from rivers and streams is unlikely to increase, but the cost of using fuel for other systems will continue to increase with each passing year. Even when using utility power, the unit price of electricity increases year by year.
2) A micro-hydro system does not require long transmission lines because its users are nearby.
3) The life span of a micro-hydro system is more than 20 years, which is longer than any other type of power generation system. Relatively speaking, the construction period for a small project such as a micro-hydro system is very short. Because it utilizes a renewable resource, micro-hydro systems do not rely on oil, coal or other fossil fuels for their operation. Because the development of a micro-hydro system is a smaller system, it promotes self-sufficiency while eliminating the negative environmental and social impacts of large power generation systems; at the same time, the use of micro-hydro systems may also qualify for financial incentives from the government.