13 January 2005
Whatever floats your volts
It's called "Pico Hydro," and it means pretty much what you think it does: hydroelectric power on a very small scale. James at the Alternative Energy Blog explains:
The streams at the bottom of the valleys are powering a low-tech grid for the people of Da Bac [province in northern Vietnam].
Pico Hydro units need only a constant water supply and a slope with a one-metre drop. This produces a flow rate that can drive a turbine fast enough to generate electricity, providing houses with a direct power supply.
In some villages nearly every household has one. Imported 300-watt turbines cost about US$20, and have proved to be the most popular.
Certainly you're not going to run a modern American home on 300 watts, but it's enough for a few lights into the night, and maybe the radio. About 120,000 Pico Hydro units are installed in Vietnam, says James, and while they're not incredibly reliable obviously you're not getting mil-spec for twenty bucks they're easy, and cheap, to fix.
TrackBack: 11:58 PM, 14 January 2005
» Daily linkage from BatesLine
Here's a spot-on parody of National Review's group blog, "The Corner". (Hat tip: Overtaken by Events, which also has news about the tsunami relief effort led by their church, St. Gabriel's United Episcopal Church in Springdale, Arkansas.) Don Danz reme......[read more]