Pico hydro is water power up to 5 kW. It was given the name “pico” by Nigel Smith because it needs some different ways of thinking to micro, mini and larger hydropower. There are thousands of sites where people have a source of falling water but do not have electricity. For these rural communities, pico hydro is the lowest-cost technology for generating electricity. Lighting from this source is cheaper than using kerosene lamps, and safer, too. For more facts and figures on pico hydro for lighting, there is an article in Boiling Point (May 2007). On the News page is an interesting cost comparison, taken from a report prepared for the World Bank. It shows that Pico hydro is potentially the lowest cost technologyfor off-grid electrification.

This web site includes information on ways to design, manufacture and install the various parts of pico hydro projects. It includes documents that you can download to assist in the process.

The main parts of the system, as shown in the picture, are: intake from stream or river, pipe (known as the penstock), water turbine, electrical generator, electronic controller, electrical distribution system.

Read More at: http://www.picohydro.org.uk/

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