Welcome to RockyHydro, the web's premium source of micro-hydro information, complete systems, kits, and components...
RockyHydro specializes in carefully matching a turbine and generator to provide the most efficient system possible for your stream. There is no "one size fits all" in micro-hydro, which is why we have over 400 different systems to choose from; one is right for you. We only use durable and high-quality components in our systems, such as brushless permanent magnet generators. Brushes cause sparks, noise, major maintenance issues, and a loss of efficiency. We simply refuse to sell them. To learn more about generators and other concepts of producing electricity from flowing water, please view our MICRO-HYDRO BASICS page. If you understand the basics but need a little help measuring your streams potential output, please view our GETTING STARTED PAGE.
Matching your site to the correct system is critical. Impulse turbines work most efficiently when spinning at 48% of the velocity of the water jet hitting them. This is the "Target RPM". The generator needs to produce the amount of energy that your stream is capable of producing at that RPM.
Our first system started many years ago with a small PVC pipe laying in a streambed. We purchased a small gas-powered generator that we had plans to remove the engine and power it with some simple gearing attached to a turbine. It wasn't long before that generator was up for sale. The pipe was too small for our flow, and the generator was too large. Our next attempt we purchased a better style of generator, but again it was not quite the best fit for our site. We did not fully understand the power curves the generator was producing. This generator too went up for sale, and we were out a lot of money and time.
It is RockyHydro's desire to save our customers time and money by offering them the best generator and turbine option possible. The elevation drop of the hydro site determines the head pressure. Pipe lengh, diameter, and flow determine friction losses and Net Head. Turbine pitch diameter and net head determine the target RPM. Net head and flow determine your potential output. Generator output needs to match your potential output, at the target RPM. If this doesn't match up, the system will run inefficently, and you won't ever see the output you should. This is a lot of calculating!
We are glad to do this calculating for you! All we need to know is your elevation drop, your flow (gallons per minute) and the lengh of your pipe and we can recommend the perfect generator, turbine, and pipe size. We have over 400 different combinations of turbines and generators at our disposal to provide you with a great and efficent system. You'll save a great deal of time and money by not experimenting but rather doing things right the first time.
We used to offer the turbines and generators for sale ourselves, but we were forced to have significant mark-ups to cover our costs and high credit card fees were not helping. Now we simply let you know which generator and turbine model would work best for you, and give you all the contact information of the direct supliers! Instead of paying us hundreds of dollars in margin, we only ask a small $50 fee for our service to you.
For the $50 fee you will recieve-
A Micro-Hydro Calculator - used to calculate:
Power or watts your stream can produce
Necessary pipe diameter for your penstock (based on Hazen-Williams pipe-friction formulas)
Amount of money you'll save by generating your own electricity
Number and size of nozzles
Nozzle angle and placement
Supplier Lists - For direct purchasing of generators, turbines, rectifiers, charge controllers, and inverters. We'll you provide you with their websites, and other contact info so you can make all your purchases without a middle man!
Personal contact information - With this you can provide us with your head or elevation drop, flow, and pipe length. We'll provide you with unbiased, honest information about which generator and turbine would work the best, and give you a recommendation on pipe size so you can get the most power out of your site!
A Downloadable Contruction Manual - Concerning how to put your complete system together, from the penstock to the generator and turbines with charge controllers and inverters.
Before you make the purchase - here's a little tip: (Elevation drop in feet) X (Flow in GPM) / 10 = Watts you can produce. Run this quick calculation to see if you'll get enough power to make it all worth it.
We would also suggest checking out the rest of our website first too. It provides lots of information and gives you an idea of what you're investing in, and prices you can expect to pay. One you're ready to proceed, click on the "Buy Now" button below! Thanks for learning about this precious resource!