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Small hydropower plants are always made to measure, i.e. are designed differently in terms of size and to suit the available volume of water and the local topographical conditions.

Planning a small hydropower plant involves a variety of specialists: while hydrologists assess the effectively available flows, structural engineers are responsible for ensuring that the components are able to withstand extreme events such as floods and earthquakes. Mechanical engineers choose the most suitable type of turbine and peripheral equipment, and electrical engineers are responsible for control mechanisms and connection to the grid.

The range of equipment available on the market is also very comprehensive: in view of the rapid developments in this sector, it is almost impossible to present a complete overview, so ultimately the choice has to be made on the basis of the experience of architects and planners.

Related documents

Introduction to the construction and operation of micro hydropower plants
Contact: Martin Bölli
Last update: 11.09.2009

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