The Guide to Hydropower

Introductory Overview

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Canyon Hydro has developed this Guide to Hydropower to help you gain a basic understanding of how "home power" micro-hydro systems work, and what goes into the design. We’ve tried to keep the content objective and hype-free, so you won’t see information about specific Canyon Hydro systems. (But we do hope you keep us in mind when you’re ready to build your hydro system.)

If you’re just starting out, we think you will find this information extremely helpful.  If you’re already a senior hydro engineer, you may be more interested in Canyon’s Utility/IPP Systems.

We’ve divided our Guide to Hydropower into three major sections:

  • Hydro Systems Overview, a discussion of how hydro power works, and a look at the major components that make up a hydro system.
  • Planning Your Own Hydro System, including how to measure Head and Flow, adjusting for pipeline losses, and computing power output.
  • Evaluating Turbine Systems and Suppliers, including tips for evaluating quality, reliability and customer service.

You won’t learn everything you need to know to design your own system, but our engineers will be happy to help you when you’re ready. All we ask is that you have accurate measurements of your Head and Flow, and we’ll take it from there. This Guide will show you how.

I hope you find this information useful. If you have comments or suggestions about the content within this Guide, please let us know at

Daniel A. New