Microhydro systems are pretty easy to install. In fact, people with modest plumb­ing and electrical skills can install most of a system without much trouble. However, battery banks, inverters, and other controls typically used in offi-grid systems require a higher degree of expertise than many do-it-yourselfers possess. Grid-connected systems require a high level of electrical expertise too. My advice is that it’s always a good idea to hire a professional to help you out or to do the job for you. Experienced professionals know the tricks of the trade and can save you a lot of time, trouble, expense, and frustration. I’ve always been amazed when working with experts on wind and solar systems, for instance, how little tricks of the trade make the job go so much easier!

A professional installation will cost more, but the added expense could very likely be well worth it. Not only will you probably get a better system, you’ll have someone to call in case something goes wrong and you can’t fix it.

To locate a professional, contact a local renewable energy society or, if there is none, call a manufacturer or Real Goods and ask for references in your area.

Updated: September 27, 2015 — 2:35 am