Hydropower is a great resource for those living off grid. It doesn’t have to be hydroelectric either, water power provides constant power and his high torque – you just need to ensure your stream has the right combination of flow and head and your turbine is designed to maximize the energy contained in the water.
Basic Information Multi Purpose Power Unit with Horizontal Water Turbine is a PDF from the CD3WD set and discusses a proven setup used in multiple villages to run mills and oil expelling presses for community agriculture.
A water mill provides constant power that does not require electricity or petrochemicals to run. It can be retasked for other purposes, and can also be used to create electricity when not being used as a mechanical power source.
This Horizontal Water Turbine is a more than just a great concept, as it is a proven design. I know that when I was searching for my homestead property, flowing year round water was a primary concern of mine.
My little stream does on have enough head to power such a large turbine, but it can easily run a couple of the small 12 volt turbines pictured above.