*Introduction to hydropower*To know the power potential of water in a river it is necessary to know the flow in the river and the available head.

The flow of the river is the amount of water (in m

^{3}or litres) which passes in a certain amount of time a cross section of the river. Flows are normally given in cubic meters per second (m

^{3}/s) or in litres per second (l/s).

Head is the vertical difference in level (in meters) the water falls down.

Components of a typical high head hydro installation.

(click for enlargement)

If P is measured in Watts, Q in m

^{3}/s and H in meters, the gross power of the flow of water is:

**Different sizes hydropower installations**

name | description |

Large | all installations with an installed capacity of more than 1000 kW (according to some definitions more than 10,000 kW) |

Small | general term for installations smaller than 1000 kW (or < 10,000 kW). Also used for installations in the range between 500 and 1000 kW. |

Mini | capacity between 100 and 500 kW |

Micro | hydropower installations with a power output less than 100 kW (or less then 1000 kW) |

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