How it Works

There are two basic models which fit two different needs. The stream engine is designed to take advantage of sites with higher head while the LH1000 is designed for sites with low head and high flow. Both models are designed for battery-based power systems, with electricity generated at a steady rate and stored in batteries for later use. When AC power is desired an inverter is used to convert the stored energy. In grid tie applications, the machines are usually used to generate high voltage DC that is compatible with grid tie inverters.  Our machines can also feed the utility grid.

Our machines are designed to make use of a natural source of running water. Water from the stream is channelled into a pipeline to gain enough head (vertical drop the water falls) to power the system. The water passes through a nozzle, where it accelerates, strikes the turbine wheel and turns the generator shaft. The amount of power produced will depend on the head and flow from the water source. A simplified explanation of the basics behind micro hydro machines can be found here.

Stream Engine

The stream engine is designed to take advantage of sites with higher head.

The design above shows the basic set-up for a stream engine machine. Water is channelled into a pipeline and then sent downstream through the piping where it passes through the turbine and then returns back to the source of water. The stream engine can operate at heads of about 3 metres (10 feet) and upward.

The general formula for watts of output is head (in feet) times flow (gallons/minute) divided by 10. In metric, head (in metres) times flow (litres/second) times 5. Our machines tend to outperform this calculation but this will provide a good starting point.

Find out more about the stream engine on the product page.