Premium Membership ♕

CYBER WEEK OFFER 💥 Save 20% on PRO Membership Plan and Video Courses with the coupon CYM23 (Expires in 2 days).

Home / Technical Articles / 7 reasons to fail with small hydro-power development
7 reasons to fail with small hydro-power development
7 reasons to fail with small hydro-power development

What to do to fail?

The main reasons for lack of success with small water power development are:

  1. Failure to realize how important full field data is for proper design.
  2. Failure of homemade equipment made with junked parts.
  3. Over-estimating the amount and constancy of the stream flow.
  4. Penstocks or flumes that are too small to allow the plant to operate at full capacity.
  5. Failure to anticipate the expense of keeping trash racks clear and machinery in good repair.
  6. Failure to design and plan for winter ice buildup.
  7. Overestimation of a proposed plant’s capability. The average home has demand peaks varying from 4 to 12 kilowatts.

Careful planning is necessary if a successful and economical power plant is to result. State water laws and environmental concerns must be determined.

Precise field data must be gathered to compare the amount of power that can be expected from a hydroelectric installation to the electrical requirements of the home or farm. Then detailed plans that consider both construction and maintenance can be drawn up.

Perhaps the greatest mistake made when considering small hydroelectric installations is the overestimation of a proposed plant’s capability. One of the first steps in planning is to measure the power potential of the stream.

The amount of power that can be obtained from a stream depends on:

  • the amount of water flow
  • the height which the water falls (head)
  • the efficiency of the plant to convert mechanical energy to electrical energy.

Reference: Small Hydroelectric Plants – The Northeast Regional Agricultural Engineering Service

Premium Membership

Get access to premium HV/MV/LV technical articles, electrical engineering guides, research studies and much more! It helps you to shape up your technical skills in your everyday life as an electrical engineer.
More Information

Edvard Csanyi

Electrical engineer, programmer and founder of EEP. Highly specialized for design of LV/MV switchgears and LV high power busbar trunking (<6300A) in power substations, commercial buildings and industry facilities. Professional in AutoCAD programming.


  1. Norbert Minut
    Mar 14, 2022

    I wanted to do a proposal for a mini hydro power plant in a village that can supply neighboring villages too. Give me some hints on what fundamental information I will need first.

  2. orvar andersson
    Apr 17, 2014

    Vanliga jordade vägguttag med lock, för utomhusmontage, har alla i katalogen IP44 klass?
    Det är ju utan ansluten kontaktdon?

    Vad händer med IP-klassen när jag sätter i stickproppen?

Leave a Comment

Tell us what you're thinking. We care about your opinion! Please keep in mind that comments are moderated and rel="nofollow" is in use. So, please do not use a spammy keyword or a domain as your name, or it will be deleted. Let's have a professional and meaningful conversation instead. Thanks for dropping by!

5  +  two  =  

Learn How to Design Power Systems

Learn to design LV/MV/HV power systems through professional video courses. Lifetime access. Enjoy learning!

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter

Subscribe to our Weekly Digest newsletter and receive free updates on new technical articles, video courses and guides (PDF).
EEP Academy Courses - A hand crafted cutting-edge electrical engineering knowledge