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Mini Hydroelectric, ideal for buildings without a connection to the network but with a water availability that proves sufficient to meet the electricity needs. By now in Italy, as in almost all of Europe, it is difficult to find those who are isolated from the network but let's think of small isolated communities, to certain farms and mountain huts, to farmhouses.
Maybe we often pass by without ever wondering if it is thanks to micro hydroelectric power stations powered by small streams that there is electricity. The mini hydroelectric it is a fascinating alternative and much closer to our reality than many high altitude shelters, it has dedicated incentives and other very smart innovations such as the mini kit that I will present to you.
Mini Hydroelectric: domestic
The Mini Hydroelectric works on a smaller scale than the mini, it is therefore to be considered as a further sub-category that includes systems intended only for the self-consumption of isolated users, smaller than 5 kW. We can also baptize him "pico hydroelectric“, Going to discover the incentives dedicated to renewable sources that interest him. It deserves them all as it has a limited environmental impact and does not modify the watercourse from which it produces energy.
Mini Hydroelectric: costs
A Mini Hydroelectric it can cost approximately from 1,500 to 3,000 euros per kW installed but the estimate of the price is not immediate: case by case, any intake channels and necessary barrier works must also be taken into account, which can also constitute 50% of the cost.
In general, we can reason following the logic of economies of scale: the larger the Mini Hydroelectric the less it costs, for kW installed, but if we look only at the hydroelectric pico, the opposite is true and we can be pleasantly surprised by cases in which the plant is so simple at the plant level and with low-power turbines that it is extremely convenient.
Mini Hydroelectric: Incentives
Who produces energy with a Mini Hydroelectric can benefit from the incentive mechanism of the all-inclusive tariff or as an alternative to the service of Exchange on the spot. The latter is reserved for hydroelectric plants up to 500 kW of power, and allows you to produce electricity and feed it into the grid to then take it and consume it later, when needed.
It is a particular form of on-site self-consumption. The all-encompassing road, on the other hand, currently provides for tariffs equal to € 0.210 for each kWh of net electricity produced and fed into the electricity grid by systems below 250 kW, € 0.195 from systems between 250 and 500 kW and € 0.150 from systems between 500 and 1000 kW. L'incentive it is paid for a period of 20 years.
Taking into account costs and incentives, the payback time for a Mini Hydroelectric they are estimated around 15-20 years for power plants between 10 and 100 kW. For the smaller ones, below 10 kW, we go below 10 years.
It should be noted, for the sake of completeness, that these are systems that can last even half a century and do not require frequent checks and maintenance. Other advantages are for example the provision of continuous electricity and non-intermittent and the possibility of exploiting surplus energy, to power electric resistances capable of heating hot water for sanitary and heating uses.
Mini Hydroelectric: producers
Among the major producers of Mini Hydroelectric we find AC - Elektronik, Turbinenbau Troyer, Energ Tech, Irem and Edileurope but more and more realities are interested in them, denying those who say that it is a niche. The turbines most used in micro and mini hydro are the Pelton and the Banki or Cross-Flow because they are more suitable for limited water flows.
In fact, the manufacturers of systems of this type are well aware that special requirements are necessary for the Mini Hydroelectric: a sufficient water jump and a water flow rate that is fairly constant and not excessively conditioned by seasonality.
Mini Hydroelectric Kit
The smart “gem” of Mini Hydroelectric is a hydroelectric kit capable of charging smartphones, GPS and LED lamps while hiking or camping. It's called Blue Freedom, it fits in a backpack as it consists of a micro turbine with a diameter of 12 centimeters, a 5W generator and an internal 5000 mAh lithium battery.
It is convenient for those who love to walk in silence and independently, it is obvious that it is necessary to be close to a water course to position the turbine and activate the device. L'energy produced comes at the base of the mini kit and can also be stored there for later use.
Mini Hydroelectric: video of an installation by the Albini Energia company
This Mini Hydroelectric it is increasingly fascinating, not only for those who manage an isolated mountain refuge. So let's leave ourselves with a spectacular installation dedicated to this technology a low environmental impact but with a high green impact.
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