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Hydro - FAQ
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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.