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Low head pico hydro off-grid networks

Low head pico hydro off-grid networks

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A research in developing an efficient pico hydro powered network.
A research in developing an efficient pico hydro powered network.

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Published by: Engineers Without Borders UK on Mar 26, 2013
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03/26/2013

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Panel Presentation: EnergyAuthor: Sam WilliamsonInstitution: University of Bristol
Low
+
Department of *Departm
Abstract
 This paper describes the initial stages of off-grid electrical network. The grid is sugenerate up to 1kW of electrical power. Uchosen for further study based on exhibitturbine types available in operation. TheFuture work will include the development
Keywords:
 
Pico Hydro, Low Head, Turgo
Introduction
There is a distinct link between poverty atheir productivity and their income throuIn urban areas of developing countries, tcost of connection to the grid. In rural lodensity population centres. Therefore locFigure 2 shows a study published by thegeneration methods. It should be noted tdiesel generator and pico hydro. Nevertheffective way of generating off-grid electr
Figure 2
– Projected operating cost in 2All renewable technologies require a partilocations in close proximity to rivers, whiMany pico hydro installations are 1kW orlow head pico hydro turbines can be instthe units can be used to for income genehydro network would also provide redundone or more units without interruption toPico-hydro sites are divided up into higheffective, with a small amount of water b
0Pico HydroWindPV Wind HybridSolar PVDiesel/GasolineGenerator
   G  e  n  e  r  a   t  o  r   T  y  p  e
EWB-UK National Resear
head pico hydro off-grid networks
Sam Williamson
+
Supervisors: B.H Stark
+
, J.D.Booker*lectrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Brint of Mechanical Engineering, University of Bristolresearch project that investigates the developmentplied by water turbines that operate within a head rasing a quantitative and qualitative selection criteria aing the highest potential to satisfy the project requireurgo turbine is modelled and a test rig is built to valiof a plug and play controller to connect a turbine to
 , Off-Grid Network 
 nd access to modern energy sources. With electricity,h better use of their time, which allows them to raise percentage of the population with access to electriations, however, access is limited due to the high colised off-grid electrification is an attractive alternativWorld Bank [1] detailing the projected life-time costhat taking into account the net present value would nless, the data clearly shows that pico hydro systemsicity.15 for electrical energy generators under 5kW [1].cular source of energy to be available. This restrictsh reduces the potential sites significantly comparedless, which is not normally able to support income gelled along a river and, if connected together, then thration activities during the day and domestic loads inancy in the system, allowing for failure of a generatithe electricity supply.ead and low head. High head sites are normally coneing consumed by the turbine, and so smaller and les
204060
US Cent/kWh
h & Education Conference 2011
‘Our Global Future’ 
4
th
March 2011
33stolof a pico hydro powerednge of 0.5 - 3.5m, andpproach, a Turgo turbine isments among 13 potentialidate the system model.n off-grid network.people are able to improvethemselves out of poverty.ity is high, due to the lowt of extending grids to lowe for provision of electricity.f five electrical energyarrow the gap betweenrepresent the most cost-he use of pico-hydro too solar or wind power.neration activities. Severalcombined power from allthe evenings. This picog unit or maintenance of idered to be the most costs expensive equipment is
80
 
Panel Presentation: EnergyAuthor: Sam WilliamsonInstitution: University of Bristolrequired. High head systems require a lawhich are often a long distance from anyand therefore require a larger and moreare far more numerous, and more likelythis research.
Application and Specification for Low
Figure 3 shows Bhanbhane village in centalong a 3km length of river, each supplyihouseholds and businesses spread geograpplications, such as lighting, radios, telethe locality.
Figure 3
– Potential impleUsing the pico hydro off-grid network conoperate over a range of flow rates and hand flow availability at the site, which casite 8 there is enough head to cascade 3connected to form a grid with a maximusupport income generation activities, sucirrigation for fields. The local school can
EWB-UK National Resear
ge drop of water, and therefore suited to very hilly opopulated areas. By contrast, low head sites consumxpensive turbine. As the site needs just a few metreo be closer to populated regions [2]. These low head
Head Pico Hydro Off-Grid Network
ral Nepal. The villagers currently operate five propell
 
ng between 10 and 15 households. There is no distinphically across the transmission area. The current sivisions and mobile phone charging. There is the poteentation site for low head pico hydro off-grid networcept, both the old and new sites can utilise a single tads. At each location, one or more turbines are instaleach produce a nominal power of 1kW at rated flowunits vertically and enough flow to place 2 units side-power generating capacity of 17kW. The increasedh as grain processing, a local wood workshop and salso use the power to provide computers for students
h & Education Conference 2011
‘Our Global Future’ 
4
th
March 2011
34mountainous regions,e a larger quantity of waterdrop, suitable locationssystems are the subject of r turbines at four sitest load centre, with thees power only domesticntial for four further sites ink in Nepal [3].rbine design able toled, depending on the headand head. For example, atby-side. All the turbines areower will be able tomill and improvedand villagers.
 
 
Panel Presentation: EnergyAuthor: Sam WilliamsonInstitution: University of BristolThe specification for the pico hydro systestakeholders. The key attributes the cho
 
Power: 1kW generation at 3.5m
 
Head range: 0.5 – 3.5m;
 
High reliability;
 
Modular design allowing unskille
 
Plug-and-play capability of a ge
 
Low cost.It is initially assumed converter betweentherefore the turbine will have to generat
Turbine Selection
Table 1 summarises the 7 main turbine t.
Turbine TypeHi
ImpulsePelMulReaction
Table 1
- Widely accepted use of turbineThis suggests that the most suitable typecommercially available turbines at low hecan be used at low heads [4], but thereare alternative selection criteria that are imay become more appropriate for the sitquantitative and qualitative analyses to sFollowing this methodology, a number of 
 
Portability (Quantitative) – HowAssessed using a power density
 
Rated Flow Efficiency (Quantitati
 
Part Flow Efficiency (Qualitative)
 
Civil Works (Qualitative) – How
 
Modularity (Qualitative) – Whatidentification and servicing?
 
Maintainability and ServiceabilitThe scores from each of the analyses weexample set of combined results at 2.5m
EWB-UK National Resear
m was derived from the original project brief throughsen pico hydro system is to possess are as follows:head;d labour to diagnose faults and replace modules as reerator unit to form a network;the chosen turbine and the grid interface is approxime 1.3kW at 3.5m head.pes used over the different head ranges
Headh (>50m) Medium (10-50m)
ton, Turgo,ti-jet PeltonCrossflow, Turgo, Multi-jetPeltonFranciss at head ranges [2].for the above specification would be a propeller turbiads for pico hydro are propeller turbines. However, hire drawbacks with the size of the machine and speedimportant, such as cost, ease of manufacture or mainuation. To include these criteria here, a selection metelect a turbine type [5].priority criteria (type of criteria given in brackets) weeasy is the unit to transport in an area of limited tranfunction.ve) – What is the efficiency of the system at its rated– How does the system efficiency change when the f uch civil works need to be constructed to realise thmodules can the system be divided up into to aid tra(Qualitative) – How easy is it for unskilled labour toe combined at each of the different heads within thehead is shown in Figure 4.
h & Education Conference 2011
‘Our Global Future’ 
4
th
March 2011
35discussions with projectquired;ately 75% efficient,
Low (<10m)
CrossflowFrancis, Propeller, Kaplanne, and indeed mostigh head impulse turbinesof rotation. Where theretainability, these turbineshod was devised usingre devised:sport infrastructure?conditions?low rate is less than rated?system?sportation, faultmaintain the system?range of 0.5m to 3.5m. An

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