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We have everything you need to know about pico hydro generator units

Named by Dr. Nigel Smith of Sustainable Control Systems in Herefordshire, pico hydro generator units are devices that can generate water power of up to 5 kW. These devices are becoming more and more popular as a low cost solution for the energy problems of remote areas that have access to flowing water such as streams or rivers.

Just how low cost they are might actually surprise you. Very few people realise that it is cheaper to run a pico hydro unit than it would be to use kerosene lamps as a lighting source within a home or neighbourhood. Given how inexpensive kerosene is these days, that points to how efficient the pico hydro system is.

Although it has yet to become established as a mainstream alternative for "off the grid" locations, there is huge potential in the pico hydro technology that has led to countless industry insiders starting to sit up and take notice.

The devices are made up of six distinct parts. The first is the water intake valve, this takes the water from the stream and uses gravity in order to funnel it down the second part of the device, the pipe (otherwise known as the penstock). From the penstock the water reaches the water turbine which powers the electrical generator. The resulting electrical current then makes its way to the electrical distribution system and is piped out in order to provide power to the home or town that the device has been set up for.

The potential of pico hydro electricity is certainly not in doubt, especially given how safe it is, but whether or not it will ever become a mainstream source of energy remains to be seen.

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