In this day and age of data generation and tracking, it can be beneficial to have an understanding of how your micro hydro system is performing.
These systems perform several key functions with regard to your micro hydro system.
- For a standalone system, a controller can keep the motor fully loaded by turning on and off a series of ballast loads. The loads are rapidly switched on and off to maintain the proper turgo turbine rpm and output voltage and/or frequency. This only applies for larger (~3kW and up) direct AC systems. Most small stand alone systems are controlled by their connection to a battery bank which evens out supply and demand and helps regulate turbine speed.
- For grid connected systems to prevent the system from islanding. This is a critical function that has requirements set by the utility you are connecting to. It prevents your system from putting electricity on a grid that is supposed to be down for utility workers to safely work on the lines.
- Another great thing a micro hydro controller can do is to monitor intake water level (head). This is accomplished by keeping the pipe full by opening and closing nozzles via electrically controlled ball valves or and electric actuated spear valves.
- Last but not least is a micro hydro control system can monitor system statistics. Providing a dashboard of information to display, voltage, hz, RPM etc… depending on the setup and remote access capabilities may also be included.