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Hydro - FAQ

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Revision as of 10:30, 18 June 2010 by ***** (***** | *****)

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What use can a hydropower installation satisfy?

  • Direct drive of machinery
  • Electricity production for local use
  • Electricity feed into grid for revenue


How many people can be supplied?

  • Available share per household (hh) depends on local hydro potential and type of use (lighting, TV, machinery, ...)
  • Required power for lighting depends on no. and type of lamps used (3 - 5 Watt energy saving lamps are existing)
  • Machinery needs usually several kW (often machinery's power is given in HP (metrical Horsepower) 10 HP = 7.36 kW)
    A motors starting power can be 50% higher than its regularly stated power. There are technical possibilities to address these (soft start).
  • Electrical heating requires very high power. E.g. has a typical water heater ~ 3 kW. Within an isolated grid, electrical heating / cooking / oven  is usually not practicable. Hot water can be produced centrally from the ballast load.
  • Electrical cooling is possible. 
  • Electrical fan ~ 200 Watt.
  • Radio / DVD ~ 10 W / 2 W
  • Water pump  ~ 1 kW
  • TV 50 -150 W (depending on type and size)


What are typical difficulties

  • financial coverage
  • remote location
  • specific conditions
  • uncertain outcome


  • Price range: depends on size of potential site, ranges from 2000 - 5000 USD/kW
  • Material needed: Turbine, generator, controller come from a specialist  
  • Suitable geographic area: usual hilly and all year round water flow, also irrigation canals can have good hydropower potential
  • Required competencies: Experience in mhp feasibility for pre-study and planning, patience in cooperation with the local entities
  • How Long does it take: Ideally flow measurements should be taken over several years to ensure safe data. A must is the measurement of the minimal flow during dry season. From there on a mhp plant can be installed within one year. Accessibility of remote location, delivery times for turbine and generator and social setup usually take longer than estimated. 


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