During the 1st EnDev East Africa Micro Hydro Workshop which was held in 2009 a field visit was done to see the Greenpower Project Kirangurwe near Mount Kenya.
Video of the Turbine Arriving at Kirangurwe
During the field visit the turbine arrived.
-> You can see a youtube video about this exiting event at Kirangurwe turbine video.
Experts Observations and Recommendations to the Project Developers
The field trip was accompanied by serval Micro Hydro Experts. There impressions of the project site and setup were share in a expert panel discussion. Here is a summary of their statements:
Civil works: water intake: no trash rack installed
- trash rack is required to prevent debris transported by the water flow entering the turbine(s)
- gate for flushing sediments just in front the forebay not installed
- no provision made for taking out debris from the reservoir nor from the forebay
Mechanical works: tubular poles (for transmission lines)
- no fixing points for grounding/earthing (protection) are provided. They are necessary in case live conductors (under tension) are in contact with metal parts of the distribution system to prevent danger for human beings and the system when connected to the grounding/earthing system
- the same risk applies due to missing spring- or feather-rings at the turbine/gen-set
- welding points on screws for fixing the distribution-line insulators on the tubular poles not galvanized
- no earthing bars and respective outlets could be detected in the foundation of the power house where metal parts of the turbine/gen-set and other metal parts or housings have to be connected
- the frame of and the front doors themselves of the turbine hall is not provided with connection possibility for the grounding/earthing system
- the frame for the turbine/gen-set in the turbine hall has not been anchored with bolds into the concrete foundation; due to vibrations during operation loosening of the frame seems likely
- a catchment area is an essential part of a (mini) hydro scheme. Due to the retention function as a kind of water reservoir for a more or less steady water flow towards the reservoir and intake it must be maintained carefully. No tree-cutting is allowed under any circumstances in the catchment area.
- it is to be ensured, that appropriate trees are planted which are unavoidable for water retention purposes; eucalyptus trees are not appropriate as their water demand is excessive and may “steal” water required for electricity generation by the turbine(s)
- GreenPower's institutional arrangement is a key potential problem area in the implementation of the project. In particular the complexity of the set-up is likely to cause problems.
- It is important that GreenPower remain as flexible as possible with regard to insitutional arrangements, adapting thier set-up according to local needs, preferences and realities.