Hydro - FAQ
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Questions and Answers
What demand 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 by a mhp station?
Available share per household (hh) depends on local hydro potential and type of use (lighting, TV, machinery, ...). Calculate no. of required appliances. The consumers have to be connected towards the mhp station by a transmission line.
Energy = power * time. Energy [Watt hours (Wh)]; Power [Watt(W)]; time [hours(h)]
- Required power for lighting depends on no. and type of lamps used. Fluorescence lamps require so called blind power. It may affect the system if they the only consumers.
- 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. Within an isolated grid, electrical heating / cooking / oven is usually not practicable. Hot water can be produced centrally from the ballast load.
What's typical Wattage of appliances?
- Water heater ~ 3-5 kW.
- Electric cooler ~ 300 W
- Freezer ~ 0.5 - 1kW
- Air condition ~ 0.7 - 1 kW
- Electrical fan ~ 200 Watt.
- Radio / DVD ~ 10 W / 25 W
- TV 50 -150 W (depending on type and size
- Bulb (CFL) ~ 3 - 10 W; conventional bulbs ~ 25 - 40 W each
- Standby power for VCR / DVD / Stabilizer / satellite dish receivers / TV - ranges around 5 - 15 W each
- Electric drill ~ 300 W
- Water pump ~ 1 kW
What are typical difficulties in setting up mhp?
- financial coverage of installation costs have to be covered upfront
- remote location requires long travels for specialists
- mhp equipment is not available everywhere for low costs
- specific conditions require special know how
- uncertain outcome till a pre-feasibility study is done
Price range of mhp installations?
Costs depend on size of potential site. They usually range from 2000 - 5000 USD/kW
Special material required?
- Turbine, generator, controller come from a specialist producers
- Pipeline and civil works can be done by companies not necessarily specialised in mhp. Whereby experience is always an advantage.
Suitable areas for mhp:
- Hills and all year round water flow provide good hydropower conditions
- Waterfalls are typical indicators for mhp potential
- A river which cascades down on a short distance can be suitable for mhp
- Irrigation canals can have good hydropower potential if there is some drop in height
- mhp feasibility (pre-) study
- mhp planning
- construction supervision
- installation electromechanical equipment
- social setup
How Long does it take to finish a mhp installation:
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.