About this course

This 1 hour course teaches the basic system components and site requirements of a micro-hydro electric systems. The majority of hydropower produced in the US is produced in large-scale facilities that generate in excess of 30 megawatts (MW). Small-scale hydropower systems are those that generate between .01 to 30 MW of electricity. Hydropower systems that generate up to 100 kilowatts (kW) of electricity are often called microhydro systems.
Most of the systems used by home and small business owners would qualify as microhydro systems. In fact, a 10 kW system generally can provide enough power for a large home or small resort.

Types of turbines
Eco-friendly "Run-of-the-river" systems
Determination of field-tested flow conditions
Power Output estimation
Determination of head
Reverse use of a pump as a turbine

Intended Audience: It is intended for engineers interested in learning about small-scale and microhydro electric systems. Upon completing this course, the student will be able to evaluate site conditions for the feasibility of a small-scale, or microhydro electric systems.

Publication Source: US Dept. of Energy

1 hour
Certificate of completion
Beginner level
No prerequisites
No preparation required
1 year access


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Browse course content
1 Text
1 Quiz
1 hours
Section 1.
Study Guide
Section 2.
SHS Quiz
12 questions
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Cadistics Courseware / INSTRUCTOR
Engineering Marketplace Coordinator

Cadistics is an engineering content development company offering quality courseware in a wide variety of engineering disciplines. With a library of over 400 course titles available, topics include: civil, mechanical, environmental, powergen and renewables, structural, transportation, geotechnical and earth sciences, biological, land development, ethics, HSW, water resources, and more. Cadistics offers a Board of highly qualified Instructors, available anytime to interact with the student on all subject matter offered. Instructors come from a variety of backgrounds in public, and private sectors of engineering academia and practice. Visit us at: to view our credentials.

Harlan Bengtson, PhD, PE / AUTHOR

Dr. Bengtson has B.S. and M.S. degrees from Iowa State University and a PhD from the University of Colorado, all in Chemical Engineering. He is now retired after 30 years in engineering education, in teaching and administrative positions. His areas of expertise are environmental engineering, hydrology, engineering science and renewable energy. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Missouri. He did consulting work while in academia and had prior industrial experience. Dr. Bengtson has authored numerous publications, presentations and technical reports, and is presently active as a technical writer.