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Hydroelectric Possibilities

We have creeks here that give possibilities to install hydro power, but not a lot of them that flow year round (through winter) though, but a few. Generally you have to be pretty high in the mountains to get this to work, but it is possible.

The Hydro Installs that I’ve seen for the most part are low powered, 12 Volt Systems, utilizing creeks or springs that are far above the property, providing a lot of pressure to a small plant, a lot of them using regular automotive alternators, a nice inexpensive way to make power.


Water that flows slow, in a creek or river, won’t provide enough pressure to run a hydroelectric installation UNLESS the water is dammed, backed up, like Grand Coullee Dam. It is possible to install a set of gears on a wheel, with an alternator, to make it work, but you’re not allowed to block anyone’s access for going up or down the river. Also, if you do use a river, you have to be VERY aware of the river rising or lowering, and especially dangerous, BIG ice floes in springtime that will literally destroy anything in the river. (Picture next to this is on the St Maries River in January)


There is a ton of information on Hydroelectric setups available online now; biggest thing to keep in mind is flow & drop needed, and how long does the creek flow in summer, if not year round. A typical 10 or 20 acre parcel won’t have much chance of making decent hydro, pretty much limited to larger acreage parcels, at least in our area.


 



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