Streaming Hydro systems are often referred to as Run of River systems, because the river continues to run rather than being held back by a dam as with Reservoir systems. Although we use the term Streaming Hydro here, Run of River is still a widely accepted term for this type of hydro-power system.

The diverted water flows down a pipeline (known as a penstock), passing through a turbine to generate electricity, and then recombining with the original stream. As we discussed earlier, this pipeline is used to contain the water to build high pressure at the bottom where it enters the turbine.

In effect, Streaming Hydro systems “borrow” a portion of the stream’s water to produce power, returning it to the stream after the energy is extracted. Unlike the Reservoir system, Streaming Hydro does not change the natural course of the stream or store water for future use.

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