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Hydro Energy- electricity created by water

Hydro systems work in the same way as wind turbines. The difference between hydro and wind is replacing aerodynamic turbines with water turbines. That way the flow of water can be used. Hydro systems or for households micro hydro systems can only be used when a stream or river flows through the property which generally only happens in rural areas. 

The water drives the water turbines which spin the rotor. The rotor is attached to the main shaft and driving the generator.

Image by Anthony Da Cruz

Water is the most reliable resource in New Zealand regarding electricity generation as it is the most consistent. Also, it is available day and night. It is not as reliable in certain drought regions.

A flour mill from the village I come from has put in a micro hydro system to power its' production. It is fully running all electric equipment- since 1850. For 250 years prior to that the hydro system ran equipment for a monastery. So, what are the pros and cons for hydro electric systems?

Advantages of hydro electric systems:

  • Water is the most reliable renewable resource, creating the most consistent amount of electricity around the clock

  • As the technology improved, cost decreased, making them more affordable

  • Micro hydro systems can protect the homeowners from power outages

Disadvantages of hydro electric systems:

  • There is even with small water electric turbines and no dams a potential of wildlife changes due to the disturbance

  • Hydro electric systems have a high initial financial outlay, only paying back over time

  • Droughts. Water shortages will cut down or altogether stop electricity production

water fall power
Image by Gabriel
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