Small hydro is the definition given to electrical installations that use the potential energy of a water drop to produce an amount of electricity commensurate with the flow rate and height of the drop.
The system entails using minimal water conveyance and drainage structures with low environmental-landscape impact.
Although there is a definition of installations according to dimensions, there are no definitions according to the power limit, although in Europe a value equal to 10MW installed power is taken as reference.
The undeniable advantages of designing small hydroelectric plants for energy production consist basically in low initial investment and management costs, low environmental and hydro-geological impact, with minimum impact on the landscape, and the use of a renewable energy source.
ICIM provides certification for standard machines and off-standard systems against the following standards:
- EN IEC 61116. Electromechanical equipment guide for small hydroelectric installations
- EN IEC 60041. Field acceptance tests to determine the hydraulic performance of hydraulic turbines, storage pumps and pump-turbines
- EN IEC 60193. Hydraulic turbines, storage pumps and pump-turbines. Model acceptance tests
- EN IEC 60994. Guide for field measurement of vibrations and pulsations in hydraulic machines (turbines, storage pumps and pump-turbines).