We have some funding to build a ‘cheap’ (in price not quality) pico hydro (<5kw). Can this be done? My conceptions before really looking into it are
- What is cheap? Is this per KWp installed or is this KWh over its life?
- Does cheap mean inefficient?
- Does cheap mean a lot of future maintenance? Durability?
- With the new FiT rate for sub 100kw hydro so low does it still make sense?
- Will the consenting process be a disproportionate % of the overall spend (eg 1.5kw stream engine is £1500 and so is an abstraction licence) but the abstraction licence cost is the same for a £15m hydro
Thanks to some secured funding from a donation we are looking at developing a Pico hydro at one of our office sites to reduce costs, create a small amount of income but also to demonstrate the viability or not of a pico hydro. In theory in the hilly bits it should produce 4 x more energy per Kwp annum than a PV system.
In essence we are looking for help to test the case? Is it a mater of simply engaging an engineer to design and commission and we do the middle bit? Do we go to the builders merchants for the middle bit in terms of material? can we make the weir and intake out of timber? do we pre-fab? can we use multiple 63mm pipe and then live with the efficiency drop?
we would really like to work with some volunteers who either want to put their expertise in or to gain some understanding from the process. We have some ideas! We need more! Let us know if your interested?