Microhydropower System Cost

  • By: Preetam
  • Date: August 21, 2022
  • Time to read: 7 min.

Are you looking to change your energy source? Then you no doubt wonder, how much does a microhydropower system cost? 

A microhydropower system costs between $3,800 and $8,200 per kilowatt installed. The more kilowatts you install the cheaper the price per kilowatt.

But that’s just the beginning of the microhydropower system building process. What other features should you have in mind? 

Take a look at the rest of this article that will answer those questions.

How Much Does a Hydro Turbine Cost?

Hydropower systems have an expensive initial cost but they begin to pay themselves off after just a few years. 

This makes them a really great investment. But perhaps you are new to the hydropower world. If so, you will need information on the pricing of the different elements of the system. 

How much should you spend on a hydro turbine?

A hydro turbine costs roughly $10,000,000. Now, that seems like a lot, so let’s find out what is wrapped up in this price. 

Together with the hydro turbine, for $10,000,000 you will get a generator, control box, and everything you need to install the turbine. 

This is an estimated price for a 5KW hydro turbine.

Now, we’ve spoken a lot about estimated prices here. Why’s that? Well, the price of your hydro turbine will change according to its specifics. 

What specifics do we mean? Here is a list of some of them:

  • The measurements of your water head. The higher the water head the more expensive your turbine will be.
  • The size of your water flow. The larger the water flow the more expensive your turbine will be. 
  • The output power. The higher the output power the more expensive your turbine will be.

Can a Water Turbine Power a House?

Hydroelectricity is a great option for powering your home. But perhaps you have a few doubts about installing such a pricey system. How effective will it really be? Can a water turbine power a house?

Rest assured as a water turbine most certainly can power a house. 

A hydroelectric system can provide your home with enough power for you to run your electrical devices as you would normally. 

If there is a stream or river near you with the right flow and head, it could be suitable for electricity generation. 

Take a look at some of the benefits of a water turbine at home:

  • Reduced costs of heating and hot water. Water turbines drastically reduce the cost of your home utility bills. 
  • Cut your carbon footprint. Hydroelectricity is a type of renewable energy. You’ll be doing something for the planet and saving yourself some money by installing this system.
  • All-day operation. Unlike solar energy that you have to store during the day to use at night, hydro energy keeps on running 24/7. 
  • Perfect for off-the-grid homes. Installing a hydro electric system is cheaper than having a grid installation for isolated homes. 

What are the requirements for a home water turbine? There are two main factors that are really important. 

The first is having the right amount of water flow. There needs to be the right amount of water flowing per second even in the summer. 

The second is the head. There needs to be the right height of water over a reasonably small distance. 

The higher the head the better the flow.

Is Hydropower Expensive or Cheap?

Are you keen to install a hydropower system on your property or business? Then the initial cost of the project might have you thinking twice. 

Yes, hydropower is expensive to install. But what about after the installation of the system? How soon can you expect to start saving money? Let’s take a closer look at some of the details that will answer these questions.

First of all, let’s consider the initial price of hydropower. How much you will pay depends on a couple of factors. 

The first is the water head measurements. A higher water head will be more expensive than a lower one. 

But the higher the water head, the faster the water flow. This will generate more energy and you will be able to pay the system off faster. 

Next, let’s talk about the size of the water flow. The larger the water flow the bigger your hydropower system will be. 

Bigger units, naturally, are more expensive. But although you will be paying more money to start off with, you will be able to begin saving faster. 

You will also be able to power more with a larger system.

So what can we conclude? Hydropower is expensive to install but the nature of the site determines how pricey the system will be. The bigger the water flow and higher the head the more you will pay. 

But with all of this said, the system can last at least 40 years and has very low maintenance costs. 

So, you should begin to save money within just a few years.

Is Hydropower Expensive to Build?

Hydropower is a great source of renewable energy. When installed in the right place, it will give you enough energy to power the average-sized home with all of your normal electrical goods. 

It is expensive to install but very effective. Some argue that it is even more reliable than solar energy as it is always operating. 

But just how expensive is it? Let’s run through some costs.

Power Output in KilowattsPrice Per KilowattTotal Cost
1 KW
25 KW
100 KW
250 KW

Looking at the above mentioned numbers it is clear that the more hydropower kilowatts you install the cheaper the price per kilowatt. 

But there is more to the price of hydropower than this. Installation fees and labor make hydropower more expensive. 

The other things that make it more pricey are the cost of the materials and having them shipped to you. 

Hydropower can turn out to be more expensive than we bargained for because of the nature of the site. 

Hydropower needs a certain water speed and height in order for it to be profitable. But if the body of water is large or has a big head, it will be more expensive for you to build a hydro system there. 

But the more you pay out initially, the quicker you will make your money back. 

Why Is Hydroelectric Power Cheap?

Let’s imagine that you live near a significant body of water. This river is constantly flowing and at one point, it drops and there is a massive cascade of water. 

A body of water like this that is constantly flowing generates a lot of energy when it falls. The higher the drop, the faster the water flows generating more energy. 

Hydroelectric power is becoming increasingly popular. More and more households are looking into this source of power for their homes. 

It is especially popular with off-the-grid and isolated homes. Hydroelectric power is cheap because it is a reliable and constant source of energy. 

Why can we say that? Here are a few reasons.

  • Hydroelectric power keeps working no matter the weather. Unlike solar energy which is interrupted when the weather is overcast, hydroelectric energy keeps flowing regardless of the weather. The only real threats to its running are droughts in the summer and frost in the winter. 
  • Hydroelectric power runs all through the night. Solar power has to be stored so that you can use it after the sun goes down. Hydroelectric power on the other hand runs its course all night long. 
  • The hydroelectric power source is free. The water will continue running at no cost to anyone. The source of the energy here is free. 
  • Hydroelectric power has low maintenance costs. Although it is expensive to install, hydroelectric power is very cheap to maintain. That is why it is pretty much all revenue after you have had the system installed. The structures are made from simple equipment that could last 50 years on your property. Some estimates say that a hydroelectric system could last up to 100 years if it is properly maintained. But it is worth noting too that the maintenance of the system will increase with age.

Final Thoughts

Hydroelectricity is a fantastic source of renewable energy. It helps you to save money in the long run and is great for the environment and what’s more, the source of the energy is free of charge. 

But that said, it is expensive to install. You might wonder, how much does a microhydropower system cost?

This article has shown us that a microhydropower costs a minimum of $3,800 per kilowatt. But depending on how many kilowatts you install, the price could go up to $8,200. 

Although this energy source has a high initial cost, it only takes a few years for you to begin to save money. 

And because hydropower is renewable energy you’ll instantly be helping the planet.

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