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Muqeem Ud Din
Umar Farooq

Supervised by:
Engr. Naveed Ullah

Final year project 2011-2012, submitted as a partial fulfillment for

the Degree of B.Sc in Mechanical Engineering





Muqeem Ud Din
Umar Farooq

Engr. Naveed Ullah
Project Supervisor

Prof. Saeed Javed Tajik





The total available hydro power potential in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa is about 30000MW
in which 18% has been harnessed. Local communities living in distant far and flung
mountainous areas are still in dark and lack resources and development. MHPPs could
bring revolutionary change in their lives and help in the development of society.
NGOs and local communities have installed MHPPs but most often with locally built
accessories and average expertise. The aim of this project was to analyze the already
installed MHPPs in KPK by considering a case study and to recommend for
improvement. In order to accomplish this objective, extensive literature review has
been carried out. For site selection and acquisition of data regarding MHPPs in KPK,
various GOVT. and Non-Govt. organizations have been consulted. Different sites
were visited and finally a 10 KW MHPP was selected in Dapor Maidan Dir (l). For
evaluation of the site, theoretical power output was calculated after finding site
parameters. Efficiency was calculated which was 21.76%. The much lower efficiency
than optimum range (60-75%) depicted shortcomings in civil structures and electro
mechanical components. Finally causes of limitations were identified and
recommendations were made for the improvement of efficiency.


Special gratitude to Engr. Navidullah, Semester Coordinator Mechanical Department

UET Peshawar, for his matchless support and guidance. We would like to thank Prof
Iftikhar, Director Undergraduate and Prof Saeed javid Tajik, Chairman Mechanical
Department for their support. We acknowledge the helping hand extend to us from
SHYDO( Sarhad Hydal Development Organization), PCRET( Pakistan council of
renewable energy and technology) and SRSP( Sarhad Rural Support Program).
Thanks to Asmatullah, our host in Maidan dir (l) who cordially helped us in arranging
visits to site and accompany us.

The objective of a hydro power scheme is to convert the potential energy of a
mass of water, flowing in a stream with a certain fall (termed the head.), into electric
energy at the lower end of the scheme, where the powerhouse is located.
The power of the scheme is proportional to the flow and to the head. Microhydro schemes produce power from streams and small rivers. The power can be used
to generate electricity, or to drive machinery. Micro-hydro can bring electricity to
remote communities for the first time, replacing kerosene for lighting, providing TV
and communications to homes and community buildings, and enabling small
businesses to start.
Micro-hydro schemes are already benefiting many remote communities and
hilly areas of Pakistan. In the developed world, micro-hydro schemes supply power to
existing mains electric grids.

Figure 1.1 Micro hydro power system



Hydropower is a renewable, non-polluting and environmentally benign source of
energy. Hydropower is based on simple concepts. Moving water turns a turbine, the
turbine spins a generator, and electricity is produced. Many other components may be
in a system, but it all begins with the energy in the moving water. The use of water
falling through a height has been utilized as a source of energy since a long time. It is
perhaps the oldest renewable energy technique known to the mankind for mechanical
energy conversion as well as electricity generation. In the ancient times waterwheels
were used extensively, but it was only at the beginning of the 19th Century with the
invention of the hydro turbines that the use of hydropower got popularized.
Small-scale hydropower was the most common way of electricity generating in
the early 20th century. The first commercial use of hydroelectric power to produce
electricity was a waterwheel on the Fox River in Wisconsin in 1882 that supplied
power for lighting to two paper mills and a house. Within a matter of weeks of this
installation, a power plant was also put into commercial service at Minneapolis. India
has a century old history of hydropower and the beginning was from small hydro. The
first hydro power plant was of 130 kW set up in Darjeeling during 1897, marked the
development of hydropower in the country. Similarly, by 1924 Switzerland had nearly
7000 small scale hydropower stations in use. Even today, Small hydro is the largest
contributor of electricity from renewable energy sources, both at European and world
level. With the advancement of technology, and increasing requirement of electricity,
the thrust of electricity generation was shifted to large size hydro and thermal power
stations. However, it is only during the last two decades that there is a renewed
interest in the development of small hydro power (SHP) projects mainly due to its
benefits particularly concerning environment and ability to produce power in remote
areas. Small hydro projects are economically viable and have relatively short
gestation period. The major constraints associated with large hydro projects are
usually not encountered in small hydro projects. Renewed interest in the technology
of small scale hydropower actually started in China which has more than 85,000
small-scale electricity Hydropower stations which will continue to play important role
throughout the 21st Century, in world electricity supply. Hydropower development
does have some challenges besides the technical, economic introducing, hydropower

plants environmental advantages it shares above other power generation (fossil fuel
based) technologies.
At the beginning of the new Millennium hydropower provided almost 20%
(2600 TWh/year) of the electricity world consumption (12900 TWh/year). It plays a
major role in several countries. According to a study of hydropower resources in 175
countries, more than 150 have hydropower resources. For 65 of them, hydro produces
more than 50% of electricity; for 24, more than 90% and 10 countries have almost all
their electricity requirements met through hydropower.


Hydro power projects are generally categorized in two segments i.e. small
and large hydro. Different countries are following different norms keeping the upper
limit of small hydro ranging from 5 to 50 MW. The world over, however, there is no
consensus on the definition of small hydropower. Some countries like Portugal, Spain,
Ireland, Greece and Belgium, accept 10 MW as the upper limit for installed capacity.
In Italy the limit is fixed at 3 MW (plants with larger installed power should sell their
electricity at lower prices) and in Sweden 1.5 MW. In France the limit has been
recently established at 12 MW, not as an explicit limit of MHPP, but as the maximum
value of installed power for which the grid has the obligation to buy electricity from
renewable energy sources. In the UK 20MW is generally accepted as the threshold for
small hydro. Though different countries have different criteria to classify hydro power
plants, a general classification of hydro power plants is as follows:

Table 1.1 Hydro power plants classification



Large- hydro

More than 100 MW and usually feeding into large electricity grid


15-100 MW usually feeding a grid


1-15 MW usually feeding into a grid

Mini- hydro

Above 100KW but below 1MW;either stand alone schemes or

more often feeding into the grid


From 5KW up to 100KW;usually provided power for small

community or rural industry in remote areas away from grid


From a few hundred watts up to 5KW

Apart from the above classification, some of the other terms in vogue
nowadays when describing very small hydro power plants are Pico Hydro (less than
5 kW) and Tiny Hydro (less than 1kW).Small hydro plants are also classified
according to the Head or the vertical distance through which the water is made to
impact the turbines. The usual classifications are given below:

Table 1.2 MHPP classifications on basis of Head


Head range

High head

100m and above

Medium head


Low head

2- 30m

These ranges are not rigid but are merely means of categorizing sites.
Schemes can also be defined as:Run-of-river schemes
Schemes with the powerhouse located at the base of a dam
Schemes integrated on a canal or in a water supply pipe

Most of the small hydro power plants are run-of-river schemes, implying that
they do not have any water storage capability. The power is generated only when
enough water is available from the river/stream. When the stream/river flow reduces
below the design flow value, the generation ceases as the water does not flow through
the intake structure into the turbines. Small hydro plants may be stand alone systems
in isolated areas/sites, but could also be grid connected (either local grids or
regional/national grids). The connection to the grid has the advantage of easier control
of the electrical system frequency of the electricity, but has the disadvantage of being
tripped off the system due to problems outside of the plant operators control.


Power generation from water depends upon a combination of head and flow.
Both must be available to produce electricity. Water is diverted from a stream into a
pipeline, where it is directed downhill and through the turbine (flow). The vertical
drop (head) creates pressure at the bottom end of the pipeline. The pressurized water
emerging from the end of the pipe creates the force that drives the turbine. The turbine
in turn drives the generator where electrical power is produced. More flow or more
head produces more electricity. Electrical power output will always be slightly less
than water power input due to turbine and system inefficiencies.
Water pressure or Head is created by the difference in elevation between the
water intake and the turbine. Head can be expressed as vertical distance (feet or
meters), or as pressure, such as pounds per square inch (psi). Net head is the pressure
available at the turbine when water is flowing, which will always be less than the
pressure when the water flow is turned off (static head), due to the friction between
the water and the pipe. Pipeline diameter also has an effect on net head.
Flow is quantity of water available, and is expressed as volume per unit of
time, such as gallons per minute (gpm), cubic meters per second (m3/s), or liters per
minute (lpm). Design flow is the maximum flow for which the hydro system is
designed. It will likely be less than the maximum flow of the stream (especially
during the rainy season), more than the minimum flow, and a compromise between
potential electrical output and system cost.


To know the power potential of water in a stream it is necessary to know the
flow quantity of water available from the stream (for power generation) and the
available head. The quantity of water available for power generation is the amount of
water (in m3 or liters) which can be diverted through an intake into the pipeline
(penstock) in a certain amount of time. This is normally expressed in cubic meters per
second (m3/s) or in liters per second (l/s). Head is the vertical difference in level (in
meters) through which the water falls down.
The theoretical power (P) available from a given head of water is in exact proportion
to the head and the quantity of water available.
P= Q H e 9.81 (kW)


P = Power at the generator terminal, in kilowatts (kW)
H = the gross head from the pipeline intake to the tail water in meters (m)
Q = Flow in pipeline, in cubic meters per second (m3/s)
e = the efficiency of the plant, considering head loss in the pipeline and the efficiency
of the
Turbine and generator, expressed by a decimal (e.g. 85% efficiency= 0.85)
9.81 is a constant and is the product of the density of water and the acceleration due to
This available power will be converted by the hydro turbine in mechanical power.


Basic components of a typical micro-hydro system are as follows:
Civil works components (headwork, intake, gravel trap with spillway, headrace
canal, forebay and distilling basin, penstock pipe, powerhouse and tailrace)
Powerhouse components (turbines, generators, drive systems and controllers)
Transmission/distribution network



The three types of waterway routes shown below are examples of possible
layouts of micro-hydropower system. The short penstock option, in most cases, is
considered the most economic scheme, but this is not necessarily the case.

Figure 1.2 Channel and penstock options


In this case, the penstock is short but the channel is long. The long channel is
exposed to the greater risk of blockage, or of collapse or deterioration as a result of
poor maintenance. Installing the channel across a steep slope may be difficult and
expensive. The risk that the steep slope may erode makes the short penstock layout an
unacceptable option, because the projected operation and maintenance cost of the
scheme could be very expensive, and it may outweigh the benefit of initial purchase


In this case, the penstock follows the river. If this layout is necessary,
because the terrain would not allow the construction of a channel, certain precautions
must be taken. The most important consideration is to ensure that seasonal flooding of
the river will not damage or deteriorate the penstock. It is also important to calculate
the most economic diameter of penstock; in the case of a long penstock, the cost will
be particularly high.


The mid-length penstock may cost more than the short penstock, but the cost of
constructing channel that can safely cross the steep slope may also be avoided. Even
if the initial purchase and construction costs are greater in this case, this option may
be preferable in case there are signs of instability in the steep slope.


The large majority of small hydro schemes are of the run-of-river type, where
electricity is generated from discharges larger than the minimum required to operate
the turbine. In these schemes a low diversion structure is built on the streambed to
divert the required flow whilst the rest of the water continues to overflow it. When the
scheme is large enough this diversion structure becomes a small dam, commonly
known as a weir, whose role is not to store the water but to increase the level of the
water surface so the flow can enter into the intake. Sometimes, in remote hilly
regions, where annual flooding is common it may be prudent to build temporary weir
using local resources and manpower. The temporary weir is a simple structure at low
cost using local labor, skills and materials. It is expected to be destroyed by annual or
bi-annual flooding. However, advanced planning has to be done for rebuilding of the
weir. The intake of a MHPP is designed to divert only a portion of the stream flow or
the complete flow depending upon the flow conditions and the requirement. MHPP
schemes use different types of intakes distinguished by the method used to divert the
water into the intake. For MHPP schemes, intake systems are smaller and simpler.
The following three types of intakes have been described here: side intake with and
without a weir and the bottom intake.
Side intake with weir: The weir used in this arrangement can be partly or
completely submerged into the water.
Bottom intake: At a bottom intake the whole weir is submerged into the
water. Excess water will pass the intake by flowing over the weir.


In the case of side intake, following Case (a) or Case (b), whichever is higher, is

a. Weir height (D1) determined in relation to the bed elevation of the scour gate of the
Intake weir
D1 = d1 + hi


b. Weir height (D2) determined by the bed gradient of the settling basin
D2 = d2 + hi+ L (ic ir)


d1: height from the bed of the scour gate to the bed of the inlet (usually 0.5 1.0 m)
d2: difference between the bed of the scour gate of the settling basin and the river bed
at the same location (usually around 0.5 m) hi : water depth of the inlet (usually
determined to make the inflow velocity approximately 0.5 1.0 m/s)
L: length of the settling basin ic: inclination of the settling basin bed (usually around
1/20 1/30) ir: present inclination of the river

Figure 2.1 Sectional view of side intake and weir


A Tyrolean intake where water is taken from the bottom assumes that the front of the
weir is filled with sediment and, therefore, the weir height is determined by Case D2
for side intake.
D2 = d2 + hi + L (ic ir)



Figure 2.2 Sectional view of Tyrolean intake and weir

Figure 2.3 Tyrolean Intake


The power channel or simply a channel conducts the water from the intake to
the FBT. The length of a channel depends upon the topography of the region and the
distance of powerhouses from the intake. Also the designing of the MHPP systems
states the length of the channel sometimes a long channel combined with a short
penstock can be cheaper or required, while in other cases a combination of short
channel with long penstock would be more suitable. Generally power channels are
excavated and to reduce friction and prevent leakages these are often lined with
cement, clay or polythene sheet. Size and shape of a channel and material used for
lining are often a dictated by cost and head considerations. During the process of
flowing past the walls and bed material, the water loses energy. The rougher the

material, the greater the friction loss and higher is the elevation difference needed
between channel entry and exit. In hilly regions it is common that the power channel
would have to cross small streams. In such situations it is often prudent to build a
complete crossing over the channel, as during rainy season, flash floods and/or
rocks/mud may block the channel or worse still, wash away sections of the channel.
Sometimes just the provision of a drain running under the channel (in case of very
small streams along stable slope) is usually adequate.


Headraces, that have a function to covey water from intake to forebay/head
tank, are classified into pressure waterways and non-pressure waterways. In term of
hydraulics, non-pressure waterways are open channel and the pressure waterway is a
conduit. The headrace structures are open canal, covered canal, culvert, tunnel,
aqueduct, inverter siphon, etc. Because of the generally small amount of water
conveyance, the headrace for a small-scale hydropower plant basically adopts an
exposed structure, such as an open channel or a covered channel, etc. In general, the
construction cost of open channel is the most economical.


The size of cross section and slope should be determined in such a matter that
the required turbine discharge can be economically guided to the head tank.
Generally, the size of cross section is closely related to the slope. The slope of
headrace should be made gentler for reducing head loss (difference between water
level at intake and at head tank) but this cause a lower velocity and thus a lager cross
section. On the contrary, a steeper slope will create a higher velocity and smaller
section but also a lager head loss.
Generally, in the case of small-hydro scheme, the slope of headrace will be
determined as 1/500 1/1,500. However in the case of micro-hydro scheme, the slope
will be determined as 1/50 1/500, due to low skill on the survey of leveling and
construction by local contractor.
The cross section of headrace is determined by following method:
Method of calculation:
Qd= A R 2/3SL 1/2 n


Qd: design discharge for headrace (m3/s)
A: area of cross section (m2)
R: R=AP (m)
P: length of wet sides (m) refers to next figure.
SL: longitudinal slope of headrace (e.g. SL= 1/100=0.01)
n: coefficient of roughness


The water diverted from the stream and carried by the channel usually carries
a suspension of small particles such as sand that are hard and abrasive and can cause
expensive damage and rapid wear to turbine runners. To get rid of such particles and
sediments, the water flow is allowed to slow down in settling basins so that the sand
and silt particles settle on the basin floor. The deposits are then periodically flushed.
The design of settling basin depends upon the flow quantity, speed of flow and
the tolerance level of the turbine (smallest particle that can be allowed). The
maximum speed of the water in the settling basin can thus be calculated as slower the
flow, lower is the carrying capacity of the water. The flow speed in the settling basin
can be lowered by increasing the cross section area. The settling basin must have a
structure which is capable of settling and removing sediment with a minimum size
which could have an adverse effect on the turbine and also a spillway to prevent
excessive water inflow into the headrace. The basic configuration of a settling basin is
illustrated below.

Figure 2.4 Basic component of Settling Basin


Each of these sections has the following function.

Conduit section: Conduit section connects the intake with the settling basin.
It is necessary that the conduit section should be curtailing its length.
Widening section: This regulates water flow from the conduit channel to
prevent the occurrence of whirl pools and turbulent flow and reduces the flow
velocity inside the settling basin to a predetermined.
Settling section: This section functions to settle sediment above a certain size
and its required length (l) is calculated by the following formula based on the
relation between the settling speed, flow velocity in the settling basin and
water depth.
The length of the settling basin (Ls) is usually determined so as to incorporate a
margin to double the calculated length by the said formula


l: minimum length of settling basin (m)
hs: water depth of settling basin (m)
U: marginal settling speed for sediment to be settled (m/s) usually around 0.1 m/s for
a target grain size of 0.5 1 mm.
V: mean flow velocity in settling basin (m/s) usually around 0.3 m/s but up to 0.6 m/s
is tolerated in the case where the width of the settling basin is restricted.
V = Qd/(Bhs)


Qd: design discharge (m3/s)

B: width of settling basin (m)
Sediment pit: This is the area in which sediment is deposited

Spillways along the power channel are designed to permit overflow at
certain points along the channel. The spillway acts as a flow regulator for the channel.
During floods the water flow through the intake can be twice the normal channel
flow, so the spillway must be large enough to divert this excess flow. The spillway
can also be designed with control gates to empty the channel. The spillway should be

designed in such a manner that the excess flow is fed back to the river without
damaging the foundations of the channel.
Spillway drains the submerged inflow which flows from the intake. The sizes of
spillway will
be decided by following equation.
Qf= CBsphsp1.5 hsp={Qf /(CBsp)}1/1.5


Qf: inflow volume of submerged orifice (m3/s, see Figure 2.4)
C: coefficient =1.80
hsp: water depth at the spillway (m, see Figure 2.4)
Bsp: width of the spillway (m, see Figure 2.4)


The FBT serves the purpose of providing steady and continuous flow into the
turbine through the penstocks. Forebay also acts as the last settling basin and allows
the last particles to settle down before the water enters the penstock. Forebay can also
be a reservoir to store water depending on its size (large dams or reservoirs in large
hydropower schemes are technically forebay).
A sluice will make it possible to close the entrance to the penstock. In front of
the penstock a trash rack need to be installed to prevent large particles to enter the
penstock. A spillway completes the FBT.


The head tank capacity is defined the water depth from hc to h0 in the FBT length L
as shown in Figure

Figure 2.5 Picture of head tank capacity


Head tank capacity

Vsc = AsdscBLdsc


As: area of head tank
B : width of head tank
L: length of head tank
dsc: water depth from uniform flow depth of a headrace when using maximum
discharge (h0) to critical depth from top of a dike for sand trap in a head tank (hc)
In oblong section, uniform flow depth:


SLe: slope of tail end of the headrace

critical depth:
hc= {(Qd2) (gB2)}1/3


: 1.1 g : 9.8


The head tank capacity should be determined in consideration of load control method
and discharge method as mentioned below.
In case only the load is controlled: The case only control load (demand)
fluctuation is considered, a dummy load governor is adopted. A dummy load
governor is composed of water-cooled heater or air-cooled heater, difference
of electric power between generated in powerhouse and actual load is made to
absorb heater. The discharge control is not performed. The FBT capacity
should be secured only to absorb the pulsation from headrace that is about 10
times to 20 times of the design discharge (Qd). A view showing a frame format
of load controlled by a dummy load governor is shown in figure 2.5

Figure 2.6 Pattern diagram of dummy load consumption


In case both load and discharge is controlled: In the case of controlled both
load and discharge, it used for load control a mechanical governor or electrical
governor. These governors have function of control vane operation to optimal
discharge when electrical load has changed. Generally a mechanical governor
is not sensitive response to load change; FBT capacity in this case should be
secured 120 times to 180 times of Qd. On the other hand, an electrical
governor will response of load change, therefore FBT capacity is usually
designed about 30 times to 60 times of Q d.

The penstock is the pipe which conveys water under pressure from the FBT to
the turbine. Penstock is a significant component of the MHPP scheme and needs to be
designed and selected carefully as it represents a major expense in the total budget
(for some high head installations this alone could cost as much as 30% of the total
costs). Here the main aspects to consider are head loss and capital cost. Head loss due
to friction in the pipe decreases dramatically with increasing pipe diameter.
Conversely, pipe costs increase steeply with diameter. Therefore a compromise
between cost and performance is considered for design and selection of pipe diameter
and material.
While designing penstocks, the first principle is to identify available pipe
options and then to decided upon acceptable head loss (5% of the gross head is
generally considered). The details of the pipes of various materials and diameters with
losses close to this target are then tabulated and compared for cost effectiveness. A
smaller penstock may be lighter on pocket, but the extra head loss may account for
lost revenue from generated electricity each year.


The factors to be considered while deciding upon the material to be used for a
particular penstock are:
soil type
weather conditions
Weight and ease of installation,

accessibility of the site

likelihood of structural damage availability
surface roughness,
design life and maintenance
method of jointing design pressure
Relative cost.
The following materials can be considered for use as penstock pipes in micro hydro
wooden planks or tree bark (for very small installations)
Spun ductile iron
GI Pipes
mild steel,
unclassified polyvinyl chloride (UPVC),
high density polyethylene (HDPE),
asbestos cement,
Pre stressed concrete,
Glass reinforced plastic (GRP).
Mild steel, UPVC and HDPE are the most common used materials.


The minimum thickness of steel pipe of penstock is determined by following formula


T0: minimum thickness of pipe
P: design water pressure i.e. hydrostatic pressure + water hammer (kgf/cm2), in
Micro-hydro scheme P=1.1hydrostatic pressure.
For instance, if the head (Hp, refer to following figure) which from FBT to

Turbine is 25m, P=2.51.1=2.75 kgf/cm2.

d: inside diameter (cm)
a: admissible stress (kgf/cm2) SS400: 1300kgf/cm2
: welding efficiency (0.850.9)
t: margin (0.15cm in general)


The diameter is selected as the result of a trade-off between penstock cost and
power losses. A simple criterion for diameter selection is to limit the head loss to a
certain percentage. Loss in power of 4% is usually acceptable. A more rigorous
approach is to select several possible diameters, computing power and annual energy.
The present value of this energy loss over the life of the plant is calculated and plotted
for each diameter. In the other side the cost of the pipe for each diameter is also
calculated and plotted. Both curves are added graphically and the optimum diameter
would be that closest to the theoretical optimum. Actually the main head loss in a
pressure pipe are friction losses; the head losses due to turbulence passing through the
trashrack, in the entrance to the pipe, in bends, expansions, contractions and valves
are minor losses. Consequently a first approach will suffice to compute the friction
losses, using for example the Manning equation




Pipes are generally available in standard lengths (it is easier for transportation
also) and have to be joined together on site. There are several methods of joining


penstock pipes and the factors to be considered when choosing the best joint system
for a particular scheme are:
pipe material,
whether any degree of joint flexibility is required,
ease of installation
skill level of personnel,
Generally, the pipes are joined by one of the following four methods:
spigot and socket,


Penstock pipelines can either be laid upon the surface or buried underground.
This generally depends upon the material of the pipe, the nature of the terrain and
environmental and cost considerations.
While burying a penstock, it is very important to ensure proper installation
because any subsequent problems such as leaks are much harder to detect and resolve.
In case vehicles are likely to cross over the buried pipelines, they must be buried at
least 750 -1000 mm below ground level. Burying the pipeline carefully and correctly
enhances the life of the MHPP scheme and greatly reduces the chances of disruption
in power generation especially in hilly terrain with heavy landslides.
If the natural terrain does not permit burying the penstock then the penstock is
run over ground. In such conditions piers, anchors and thrust blocks are needed to
stabilize the pipeline (especially if these happen to be very long) to withstand the
weight of the pipes plus water and expansion and contraction of the pipe (due to
changing temperature).
Support piers are used basically to bear the weight of the pipes plus water
being carried. Anchors are large structures fixed along the length of a penstock,
restraining all movements (horizontal or vertical) by anchoring the penstock to the
ground. For a bend or contraction in the pipeline, a thrust block is used to oppose the
specific force generated by the bend or contraction. All of these structures are usually

built of rubble masonry or cement concrete. Sometimes, the anchor blocks may need
steel reinforcement (for long pipelines).


After passing through the turbine the water returns to the river trough a short
canal called a tailrace. Impulse turbines can have relatively high exit velocities, so the
tailrace should be designed to ensure that the powerhouse would not be undermined.
Protection with rock riprap or concrete aprons should be provided between the
powerhouse and the stream. The design should also ensure that during relatively high
flows the water in the tailrace does not rise so far that it interferes with the turbine
runner. With a reaction turbine the level of the water in the tailrace influences the
operation of the turbine and more specifically the onset of cavitations. This level also
determines the available net head and in low head systems may have a decisive
influence on the economic results.


Powerhouse can be classified into the above ground type, the semiunderground type and the underground type. Most of small-scale hydropower
plants are of the above ground type, The dimensions for the floor of powerhouse as
well as the layout of main and auxiliary equipment should be determined by taking
into account convenience during operation, maintenance and installation work, and
the floor area should be effectively utilized. Various types of foundation for
powerhouse can be considered depending on the type of turbine. However the types of
foundation for powerhouse can be classified into for Impulse turbine (such as Pelton
turbine, Turgo turbine and Cross flow turbine) and for Reaction turbine (Francis
turbine, Propeller turbine)


In case of impulse turbine, the water which passed by the runner is directly
discharged into air at tailrace. The water surface under the turbine will be turbulent.
Therefore the clearance between the slab of powerhouse and water surface at the
afterbay should be kept at least 30-50cm.


hc: water depth at after bay (m)
Qd: design discharge (m3/s)
b: width of tailrace channel (m)
The water level at the after bay should be higher than estimated flood water level.
Then in case of impulse turbine, the head between the center of turbine and water
level at the outlet became head loss.

Figure 2.7 Foundation of Powerhouse for Impulse turbine


In case of reaction turbine, the head between center of turbine and waterlevel can be use for power generation. Then it is possible that turbine is installed
under flood water level on condition to furnish the following equipment:
a. Tailrace Gat

b. Pump at powerhouse


Figure 2.8 Foundation of Powerhouse for Reaction turbine


We have selected a Run of river site in the hilly area of district Dir (L).the
MHPP is located on the stream which is fed by snow melt and small sprigs. The
stream flows from a narrow Canyon. The MHPP is made at the entrance of the
Canyon. The following Hydraulic structures present at the site.
Weir: a temporary weir is made. All the water of the stream is diverted to the
Headrace canal by simply putting some stones at the front of the stream.
Headrace canal: the headrace canal is an open earth channel which conveys
water from intake to the FBT .The length of the channel is 200 meter. A lot of
flow is lost due to leakages from the channel.
Spill way: a spillway is made near the weir i-e at the beginning of the
headrace canal.
FBT: a FBT is made at the end of headrace canal. The FBT is situated at
wrong position so a lot of head is lost.
Penstock: A locally made penstock of 30 inches diameter is installed at wrong
position to FBT. The penstock is not jointed well so a lot of water is lost on
the way. A trash rack is fixed at the opening of penstock .The trash rack is not
well designed.
Foundation for Impulse CFT turbine: an above ground type concrete
foundation for CFT is made.
Tailrace: the tailrace is an open channel which conveys water back to the


Turbine is the main piece of equipment in the MHPP scheme that
converts energy of the falling water into the rotating shaft power. The selection of the
most suitable turbine for any particular hydro site depends mainly on two of the site
characteristics head and flow available. All turbines have a power-speed
characteristic. This means they will operate most efficiently at a particular speed, head
and flow combination. Thus the desired running speed of the generator or the devices
being connected/ loading on to the turbine also influence selection. Other important
consideration is whether the turbine is expected to generate power at part-flow
conditions. The design speed of a turbine is largely determined by the head under
which it operates. Turbines can be classified as high head, medium head or low head
machines. They are also classified by the operating principle and can be either
impulse or reaction turbines. The basic turbine classification is given in the table
Table 3.1 Turbine types

High Head

Medium Head

Low Head

Impulse turbines


Multi-jet Pelton


Reaction turbines




The potential energy in the water is converted into mechanical energy in the turbine,
by one of two fundamental and basically different mechanisms:
The water pressure can apply a force on the face of the runner blades, which
decreases as it proceeds through the turbine. Turbines that operate in this way
are called reaction turbines. The turbine casing, with the runner fully
immersed in water, must be strong enough to withstand the operating pressure.
The water pressure is converted into kinetic energy before entering the runner.
The kinetic energy is in the form of a high-speed jet that strikes the buckets,
mounted on the periphery of the runner. Turbines that operate in this way are
called impulse turbines. As the water after striking the buckets falls into the
tail water with little remaining energy, the casing can be light and serves the
purpose of preventing splashing.


Impulse turbines are more widely used for micro-hydro applications as
compared to reaction turbines because they have several advantages such as simple
design (no pressure seals around the shaft and better access to working parts - easier
to fabricate and maintain), greater tolerance towards sand and other particles in the
water, and better part-flow efficiencies. The impulse turbines are not suitable for low
head sites as they have lower specific speeds and to couple it to a standard alternator,
the speed would have to be increases to a great extent. The multi-jet Pelton, cross
flow and Turgo turbines are suitable for medium heads.


Pelton turbines are impulse turbines where one or more jets impinge on a
wheel carrying on its periphery a large number of buckets. Each jet issues through a
nozzle with a needle (or spear) valve to control the flow (figure 3.1). They are only
used for relatively high heads. The axes of the nozzles are in the plane of the runner to
stop the turbine. e.g. When the turbine approaches the runaway speed due to load
rejection- the jet may be deflected by a plate so that it does not impinge on the
buckets. In this way the needle valve can be closed very slowly, so that overpressure
surge in the pipeline is kept to an acceptable minimum. Any kinetic energy leaving

the runner is lost and so the buckets are designed to keep exit velocities to a
minimum. The turbine casing only needs to protect the surroundings against water
splashing and therefore can be very light.

Figure 3.1 Pelton runner


The Turgo turbine is an impulse turbine designed for medium head
applications. These turbines achieve operational efficiencies of up to 87%. Developed
in 1919 by Gilkes as a modification of the Pelton wheel, the Turgo has certain
advantages over Francis and Pelton designs for some applications. Firstly, the runner
is less expensive to make than a Pelton wheel while it does not need an airtight
housing like the Francis turbines. Finally the Turgo has higher specific speeds and at
the same time can handle greater quantum of flows than a Pelton wheel of the similar
diameter, leading to reduced generator and installation cost. Turgo turbines operate in
a head range where the Francis and Pelton overlap. Turgo installations are usually
preferred for small hydro schemes where low cost is very important.
Turgo turbine is an impulse turbine where water does not change pressure but
changes direction as it moves through the turbine blades. The water's potential energy
is converted to kinetic energy with a penstock and nozzle. The high speed water jet is
then directed on the turbine blades which deflect and reverse the flow and the water
exits with very little energy. Like all turbines with nozzles, blockage by debris must

be prevented for effective operation. A Turgo runner looks like a Pelton runner split
in half. For the same power, the Turgo runner is one half the diameter of the Pelton
runner, and so twice the specific speed. The Turgo can handle a greater water flow
than the Pelton because exiting water doesn't interfere with adjacent buckets.

Figure3.2 Turgo impulse turbine


Also called a Michell-Banki turbine a cross flow turbine has a drum-shaped
runner consisting of two parallel discs connected together near their rims by a series
of curved blades. A cross flow turbine always has its runner shaft horizontal (unlike
Pelton and Turgo turbines which can have either horizontal or vertical shaft
orientation). Unlike most water turbines, which have axial or radial flows, in a CFT
the water passes through the turbine transversely, or across the turbine blades. As with
a waterwheel, water enters at the turbine's edge. After passing the runner, it leaves on
the opposite side. Going through the runner twice provides additional efficiency.
When the water leaves the runner, it also helps clean the runner of small debris and
pollution. The cross-flow turbines generally operate at low speed.


Figure 3.3 CFT

CFTs are also often constructed as two turbines of different capacity that share
the same shaft. The turbine wheels are the same diameter, but different lengths to
handle different volumes at the same pressure. The subdivided wheels are usually
built with volumes in ratios of 1:2. The subdivided regulating unit (the guide vane
system in the turbine's upstream section) provides flexible operation, with , or
100% output, depending on the flow. Low operating costs are obtained with the
turbine's relatively simple construction. The water flows through the blade channels in
two directions: outside to inside, and inside to outside. Most turbines are run with two
jets, arranged so that the two water jets in the runner will not affect each other. It is,
however, essential that the turbine, head and turbine speed are harmonized. The
turbine consists of a cylindrical water wheel or runner with a horizontal shaft,
composed of numerous blades (up to 37), arranged radially and tangentially. The edge
of the blades is sharpened to reduce resistance to the flow of water. A blade is made in
a part-circular cross-section (pipe cut over its whole length). The ends of the blades
are welded to disks to form a cage like a hamster cage and are sometimes called
"squirrel cage turbines"; instead of the bars, the turbine has trough-shaped steel


Figure 3.4 Horizontal/vertical inflows in CFT

The water flows first from the outside of the turbine to its inside. The
regulating unit, shaped like a vane or tongue, varies the cross-section of the flow.
These divide and direct the flow so that the water enters the runner smoothly for any
width of opening. The guide vanes should seal to the edges of the turbine casing so
that when the water is low, they can shut off the water supply. The guide vanes
therefore act as the valves between the penstock and turbine. The water jet is directed
towards the cylindrical runner by a fixed nozzle. The water enters the runner at an
angle of about 45 degrees, transmitting some of the water's kinetic energy to the
active cylindrical blades. The turbine geometry (nozzle-runner-shaft) assures that the
water jet is effective. The water acts on the runner twice, but most of the power is
transferred on the first pass, when the water enters the runner. Only of the power is
transferred to the runner when the water is leaving the turbine.
The cross-flow turbine is of the impulse type, so the pressure remains constant
at the runner. The peak efficiency of a CFT is somewhat less than a Kaplan, Francis
or Pelton turbine. However, the CFT has a flat efficiency curve under varying load.
With a split runner and turbine chamber, the turbine maintains its efficiency while the
flow and load vary from 1/6th to the maximum.
The CFTs are mostly used in mini and micro hydropower units less than 2
MW and with heads less than 200 m, since it has a low price and good regulation.
Particularly with small run-of-the-river schemes, the flat efficiency curve yields better
performance than other turbine systems, as flow in small streams varies seasonally.
The efficiency of a turbine is determined whether electricity is produced during the
periods when rivers have low heads. Due to its better performance even at partial
loads, the CFT is well-suited to stand-alone electricity generation. It is simple in
construction and that makes it easier to repair and maintain than other turbine types.


Another advantage is that the CFTs gets cleaned as the water leaves the runner
(small sand particles, grass, leaves, etc. get washed away), preventing losses. So
although the turbine's efficiency is somewhat lower, it is more reliable than other
types. Other turbine types get clogged easily, and consequently face power losses
despite higher nominal efficiencies.


The more popular reaction turbines are the Francis turbine and the propeller
turbine. Kaplan turbine is a unique design of the propeller turbine. Given the same
head and flow conditions, reaction turbines rotate faster than impulse turbines. This
high specific speed makes it possible for a reaction turbine to be coupled directly to
an alternator without requiring a speed-increasing drive system. This specific feature
enables simplicity (less maintenance) and cost savings in the hydro scheme. The
Francis turbine is suitable for medium heads, while the propeller is more suitable for
low heads.
The reaction turbines require more sophisticated fabrication than impulse
turbines because they involve the use of larger and more intricately profiled blades
together with carefully profiled casings. The higher costs are often offset by high
efficiency and the advantages of high running speeds at low heads from relatively
compact machines. Expertise and precision required during fabrication make these
turbines less attractive for use in micro-hydro in developing countries. Most reaction
turbines tend to have poor part-flow efficiency characteristics.


The Francis turbine is a reaction turbine where water changes pressure as it moves
through the turbine, transferring its energy. A water tight casement is needed to
contain the water flow. Generally such turbines are suitable for sites such as dams
where they are located between the high pressure water source and the low pressure
water exit.
The inlet of a Francis turbine is spiral shaped. Guide vanes direct the water
tangentially to the turbine runner. This radial flow acts on the runner's vanes, causing
the runner to spin. The guide vanes (or wicket gate) are adjustable to allow efficient
turbine operation for a wide range of flow conditions. As the water moves through the

runner, its spinning radius decreases, further delivering pressure acting on the runner.
This, in addition to the pressure within the water, is the basic principle on which the
Francis turbine operates. While exiting the turbine, water acts on cup shaped runner
buckets leaving without any turbulence or swirl and hence almost all of the kinetic or
potential energy is transferred. The turbine's exit tube is shaped to help decelerate the
water flow and recover the pressure.
Francis turbines can be designed for a wide range of heads and flows and
along with their high efficiency makes them one of the most widely used turbines in
the world. Large Francis turbines are usually designed specifically for each site so as
to gain highest levels of efficiencies (these are typically in the range of over 90%).
Francis turbines cover a wide range of head from 20 meters to 700 meters, and can
be designed for outputs power ranging from just a few kilowatts to one Gig watt.

Figure 3.5 Francis Turbine


The Kaplan turbine has adjustable blades and was developed on the basic
platform (design principles) of the Francis turbine by the Viktor Kaplan in 1913. The
main advantage of Kaplan turbines is its ability to work in low head sites which was


not possible with Francis turbines. Kaplan turbines are widely used in high-flow, lowhead power production.
The Kaplan turbine is an inward flow reaction turbine, which means that the
working fluid changes pressure as it moves through the turbine and gives up its
energy. The design combines radial and axial features. The inlet is a scroll-shaped
tube that wraps around the turbines wicket gate. Water is directed tangentially
through the wicket gate and spirals on to a propeller shaped runner, causing it to spin.
The outlet is a specially shaped draft tube that helps decelerate the water and recover
kinetic energy.
The turbine does not need to be at the lowest point of water flow, as long as the
draft tube remains full of water. A higher turbine location, however, increases the
suction that is imparted on the turbine blades by the draft tube that may lead to
cavitations due to the pressure drop. Typically the efficiencies achieved for Kaplan
turbine are over 90%, mainly due to the variable geometry of wicket gate and turbine
blades. This efficiency however may be lower for very low head applications. Since
the propeller blades are rotated by high-pressure hydraulic oil, a critical design
element of Kaplan turbine is to maintain a positive seal to prevent leakage of oil into
the waterway.
Kaplan turbines are widely used throughout the world for electrical power
production. They are especially suited for the low head hydro and high flow
conditions mostly in canal based MHPP sites. Inexpensive micro turbines can be
manufactured for specific site conditions (e.g. for head as low one meter). Large
Kaplan turbines are individually designed for each site to operate at the highest
possible efficiency, typically over 90%. They are very expensive to design,
manufacture and install, but operate for decades.

Figure 3.6 Kaplan turbine



Centrifugal pumps can be used as turbines by passing water through them in
reverse. The potential advantages are the lower costs due to mass production (also
local production), the availability of spare parts and the wider dealer/support
networks. The disadvantages are that their performance characteristics have not been
studied extensively and these poor part-flow efficiencies. Pumps as turbines have
been used at several locations but the technology still remains unproven.


Selection of an appropriate turbine to a large extent is dependent upon the
available water head and to a lesser extent on the available flow rate. In general,
impulse turbines are used for high head sites, and reaction turbines are used for low
head sites. Kaplan turbines with adjustable blade pitch are suitable for wide ranges of
flow or head conditions, since their peak efficiency can be achieved over a wide range
of flow conditions.
Small turbines (less than 10 MW) may have horizontal shafts and even fairly
large bulb-type turbines up to 100 MW or so may be horizontal. Very large Francis
and Kaplan machines usually have vertical shafts because this makes best use of the
available head, and makes installation of a generator more economical. Pelton
turbines may be installed either vertically or horizontally. Some impulse turbines use
multiple water jets per runner to increase specific speed and balance shaft thrust.
Turbine type, dimensions and design are basically governed by the following
Net head
Range of discharges through the turbine
Rotational speed
Cavitations problems


The gross head is the vertical distance, between the water surface level at the
intake and at the tailrace for reaction turbines and the nozzle level for impulse

turbines. Once the gross head is known, the net head can be computed by simply
subtracting the losses along its path. The first criterion to take into account in the
turbines selection is the net head. Table 3.2 specifies for each turbine type its range of
operating heads. The table shows some overlapping, so that for a certain head several
types of turbines can be used.

Table 3.2 Range of Heads

Turbine type

Head range in meters

Kaplan and propeller

2 < H < 40


10 < H < 350


50 < H < 1300


3 < H < 250


50 < H < 250

The selection is particularly critical in low-head schemes, where to be

profitable large discharges must be handled. When contemplating schemes with a
head between 2 and 5 m, and a discharge between 10 and 100m3/sec, runners with
1.6-3.2 meters diameter are required, coupled through a speed increaser to an
asynchronous generator. The hydraulic conduits in general and water intakes in
particular are very large and require very large civil works, with a cost that generally
exceeds the cost of the electromechanical equipment.
In order to reduce the overall cost (civil works plus equipment) and more
specifically the cost of the civil works, several configurations, nowadays considered
as classic, have been devised. All of them include the only turbine type available for
this job .the Kaplan- in a double or a single regulated version.
The selection criteria for such turbines are well known:
Range of discharges
Net head
Geomorphology of the terrain
Environmental requirements (both visual and sonic)
Labor cost
The configurations differ by how the flow goes through the turbine (axial, radial, or
mixed) the turbine closing system (gate or siphon), the speed increaser type (parallel
gears, right angle drive, epicycloidal gears).

As a turbine can only accept discharges between the nominal and the practical
minimum, it may be advantageous to install several smaller turbines instead of a one
large. The turbines would be sequentially started, so all of the turbines in operation
except one will operate at their nominal discharges and therefore will exhibit a higher
efficiency. Using two or three smaller turbines will mean a lower unit weight and
volume and will facilitate transport and assembly on the site. The rotational speed of a
turbine is inversely proportional to its diameter, so its torque will be lower and the
speed increaser smaller and more reliable. The use of several turbines instead of one
large one with the same total power will result in a lower ratio kilogram of
turbine/cubic meter of operating flow, although the ratio equipment cost / cubic meter
of operating flow will be larger. Increasing the number of turbines decreases the
diameter of their runners, and consequently the support components in the
powerhouse will be smaller and lighter. As the water conduits are identical the
formwork, usually rather sophisticated, can be reused several times decreasing its
influence in the concrete cost. Notwithstanding this, generally more turbines means
more generators, more controls, higher costs.

The rated flow and net head determine the set of turbine types applicable to
the site and the flow environment. Suitable turbines are those for which the given
rated flow and net head plot within the operational envelopes. A point defined as
above by the flow and the head will usually plot within several of these envelopes. All
of those turbines are appropriate for the job, and it will be necessary to compute
installed power and electricity output against costs before taking a decision. It should
be remembered that the envelopes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and they
should be considered only as a guide.


Table 3.3 Turbine Application Chart


Turbine type needs to be selected in consideration of the specific speed and
turbine characteristics. The specific speed, which is the important factor to select
turbine type, is defined as following formula.

Ns: Specific speed [m-kW]
N: Rotation speed [min-1]
P: Turbine output [kW]
H: Effective head [m]

The proper range of the specific speed has already been known as shown in
Table 3.4.The rotation speed of the turbine is limited. Therefore, it should be checked
whether the specific speed is within the proper range. The larger the rotation speed is,
the smaller the equipment is. The small equipment shall reduce the equipment cost. In
addition, the rotation speed affects draft head.


Table 3.4 Range of Ns

Turbine type

Range of Ns(m-kW)





Diagonal flow





More than 500

When the hydrodynamic pressure in a liquid flow falls below the vapor
pressure of the liquid, there is a formation of the vapour phase. This phenomenon
induces the formation of small individual bubbles that are carried out of the lowpressure region by the flow and collapse in regions of higher pressure. The formation
of these bubbles and their subsequent collapse gives rise to what is called cavitations.
Experience shows that these collapsing bubbles create very high impulse pressures
accompanied by substantial noise (in fact a turbine undergoing cavitations sounds as
though gravel is passing through it). The repetitive action of such pressure waves
close to the liquid-solid boundary results in pitting of the material. With time this
pitting degenerates into cracks formed between the pits and the metal is spilled from
the surface. In a relatively short time the turbine is severely damaged and will require
being shut-off and repaired If possible.
Experience shows that there is a coefficient, called Thomas sigma, which defines
precisely enough under which parameters cavitations takes place.
This coefficient is given by the equation

Hsv is the net positive suction head and H the net head of the scheme
Hsv is the net positive suction head
Hatm is the atmospheric pressure head

Hatm is the water vapor pressure

Z is the elevation above the tail water surface of the critical location
Ve is the average velocity in the tailrace
Hl is the head loss in the draft tube
Neglecting the draft-tube losses and the exit velocity head loss,
Thomas sigma will be given by
To avoid cavitations the turbine should be installed at least at a height over the
tailrace water level Zp given by the equation
The Thomas sigma is usually obtained by a model test, and it is a value furnished by
the turbine manufacturer. Notwithstanding the above mentioned statistic studies also
relates Thomas sigma with the specific speed. There under are specified the equation
giving T as a function of ns for the Francis and Kaplan turbines

It must be remarked that Hvap decreases with the altitude, from roughly 10.3 m at the
sea level to 6.6 m at 3000 m above sea level. So then a Francis turbine with a specific
speed of 150, working under a 100 m head (with a corresponding T = 0.088), that in
a plant at sea level, will require a setting:
z = 10.3 - 0.09 - 0.088 x 100 = 1.41 m
Installed in a plant at 2000 m above the sea level will require
z = 8.1-0.09 - 0.088 x 100 = -0.79 m
A setting requiring heavy excavation


The rotational speed of a turbine is a function of its specific speed, and of the
scheme power and net head. In the small hydro schemes standard generators should
be installed when possible, so in the turbine selection it must be borne in mind that the
turbine, either coupled directly or through a speed increaser, should reach the
synchronous speed, as given in table 3.5

Table 3.5 Generator synchronization speed


Each runner profile is characterized by a maximum runaway speed. This is the
speed, which the unit can theoretically attain when the hydraulic power is at its
maximum and the electrical load has become disconnected. Depending on the type of
turbine, it can attain 2 or 3 times the nominal speed. Table 3.6 shows this ratio for
conventional and unconventional turbines.
It must be remembered that the cost of both generator and gearbox may be increased
when the runaway speed is higher, since they must be designed to withstand it.
Table 3.6 Turbine runaway speed


In order to generate electrical power at a stable voltage and frequency, the
drive system needs to transmit power from the turbine to the generator shaft in the
required direction and at the required speed. Typical drive systems in microhydropower systems are as follows:
Direct drive: A direct drive system is one in which the turbine shaft is connected
directly to the generator shaft. Direct drive systems are used only for cases where the


shaft speed of the generator shaft and the speed of the turbine are compatible. The
advantages of this type of system are low maintenance, high efficiency and low cost.
V or wedge belts and pulleys: This is the most common choice for microhydropower systems. Belts for this type of system are widely available because they
are used extensively in all kinds of small industrial machinery.
Timing belt and sprocket pulley: These drives are common on vehicle camshaft
drives and use toothed belts and pulleys. They are efficient and clean-running and are
especially worth considering for use in very small system drives (less than 3 kW)
where efficiency is critical.
Gearbox: Gearboxes are suitable for use with larger machines when belt drives
would be too cumbersome and inefficient. Gearboxes have problems regarding
specification, alignment, maintenance and cost, and this rules them out for microhydropower systems except where they are specified as part of a turbine-generator set.

Generators transform mechanical energy into electrical energy. Although most
early hydroelectric systems were of the direct current variety to match early
commercial electrical systems, nowadays only three-phase alternating current
generators are used in normal practice.

Two types of current are produced by

electrical generators, either alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC). In the case
of AC the voltage cycles sinusoidally with time, from positive peak value to negative.
Because the voltage changes its sign the resulting current also continually reverses
direction in a cyclic pattern. DC current flows in a single direction as the result of a
steady voltage. DC is not usually used in modern power installations except for very
low-powered systems of a few hundred watts or less.
Alternating voltage can be produced in a stationery coil or armature by a
rotating magnetic field, but more usually a coil is rotated in a stationary magnetic
field. The magnetic field can be produced either by a permanent magnet or by another
coil (i.e., an electro-magnet) know as a field coil which is fed by direct current known
as the excitation current. A generator supplying alternative current is described as an
alternator to distinguish it from a machine designed to supply DC current which is
known as a DC generator or dynamo. Current flows when a voltage difference is
place across a conducting body. In AC circuits the magnitude and timing of the


current cycle relative to the voltage cycle will depend on whether the conductivity
body is resistance, inductive, capacitive or some combination of these elements.


Synchronous generators equipped with a DC excitation system (rotating or
static) associated with a voltage regulator, to provide voltage, frequency and phase
angle control before the generator is connected the reactive energy required by the
power system when the generator is tied into the grid. Synchronous generators are
more expensive than asynchronous generators and are used in power systems where
the output of the generator represents a substantial proportion of the power system
The synchronous generator is started before connecting it to the mains by the
turbine rotation. By gradually accelerating the turbine the generator is synchronized
with the mains, regulating the voltage, frequency and rotating sense, When the
generator reaches a velocity close to synchronous, the exciter regulates its field coils
current so the generator voltage is identical to the mains voltage. When the
synchronous generator is connected to an isolated net, the voltage controller maintains
a predefined constant voltage, independent of the load. If it is connected to the main
supply, the controller maintains the reactive power at a predefined level.


Asynchronous generators are simple squirrel-cage induction motors with no
possibility of voltage regulation and running at a speed directly related to system
frequency. They draw their excitation current from the grid, absorbing reactive energy
by their own magnetism. Adding a bank of capacitors can compensate for the
absorbed reactive energy. They cannot generate when disconnected from the grid
because are incapable of providing their own excitation current. Asynchronous
generators are cheaper and are used in large grids where their output is an
insignificant proportion of the power system load. Their efficiency is 2 to 4 per cent
lower than the efficiency of synchronous generators over the entire operating range.
In general, when the power exceeds 5000 kVA a synchronous generator is installed.
An asynchronous generator needs to absorb a certain power from the three phase
mains supply to ensure its magnetization even, if in theory, the generator can receive

its reactive power from a separate source such as a bank of capacitors. The mains
supply defines the frequency of the stator rotating flux and hence the synchronous
speed above which the rotor shaft must be driven. On start-up, the turbine is
accelerated up to 90-95% of the synchronous speed of the generator, when a velocity
relay closes the main line switch. The generator passes immediately to hypersynchronism and the driving and resisting torque are balanced in the area of stable

The exciting current for the synchronous generator can be supplied by a small
DC generator, known as the exciter, to be driven from the main shaft. The power
absorbed by this dc generator amounts to 0.5% - 1.0% of the total generator power.
Nowadays a static exciter usually replaces the DC generator, but there are still many
rotating exciters in operation.
Rotating exciters: The field coils of both the main generator and the exciter
generator are usually mounted on the main shaft. In larger generators a pilot
exciter is also used. The pilot exciter can be started from its residual magnetic
field and it then supplies the exciting current to the main exciter, which in turn
supplies the exciting current for the rotor of the generator. In such way the
current regulation takes place in the smaller machine.
Brushless exciters: A small generator has its field coils on the stator and
generates AC current in the rotor windings. A solid state rectifier rotates with
the shaft, converting the AC output from the small generator into the DC
which is the supplied to the rotating field coils of the main generator without
the need of brushes. The voltage regulation is achieved by controlling the
current in the field coils of the small generator.
Static exciters: The exciting current is taken out, via a transformer, from the
output terminals of the main generator. This AC current is then rectified in a
solid state rectifier and injected in the generator field coils. When the
generator is started there is no current flowing through the generator field
coils. The residual magnetic field, aided if needed by a battery, permits
generation to start to be then stabilized when the voltage at the generator
terminals reaches a preset value. This equipment is easy to maintain has a

good efficiency and the response to the generator voltage oscillations is very


Turbines are designed for a certain net head and discharge. Any deviation
from these parameters must be compensated for, by opening or closing control
devices such as the wicket-vanes or gate valves to keep constant, either the outlet
power, the level of the water surface in the intake or the turbine discharge.
In schemes connected to an isolated net, the parameter to be controlled is the
runner speed, which controls the frequency. The generator becomes overloaded and
the turbine slows-down. In this case there are basically two approaches to control the
runner speed: either by controlling the water flow to the turbine or by keeping the
water flow constant and adjusting the electric load by an electric ballast load
connected to the generator terminals.
In the first approach, speed (frequency) regulation is normally accomplished
through flow control; once a gate opening is calculated, the actuator gives the
necessary instruction to the servomotor, which results in an extension or retraction of
the servos rod. To ensure that the rod actually reaches the calculated position,
feedback is provided to the electronic actuator. These devices are called .speed
In the second approach it is assumed that, at full load, constant head and flow,
the turbine will operate at design speed, so maintaining full load from the generator;
this will run at a constant speed. If the load decreases the turbine will tend to increase
its speed. An electronic sensor, measuring the frequency, detects the deviation and a
reliable and inexpensive electronic load governor, switches on preset resistances and
so maintains the system frequency accurately.
The controllers that follow the first approach do not have any power limit. The
Electronic Load Governors, working according to the second approach rarely exceeds
100 kW capacities.



A governor is a combination of devices and mechanisms, which detect speed
deviation and convert it into a change in servomotor position. A speed-sensing
element detects the deviation from the set point; this deviation signal is converted and
amplified to excite an actuator, hydraulic or electric, that controls the water flow to
the turbine. In a Francis turbine, where to reduce the water flow you need to rotate the
wicket-gates a powerful governor is required to overcome the hydraulic and frictional
forces and to maintain the wicket-gates in a partially closed position or to close them
completely. Several types of governors are available varying from purely mechanical
to mechanical hydraulic to electro hydraulic. The purely mechanical governor is used
with fairly small turbines, because its control valve is easy to operate and does not
require a big effort. These governors use a fly ball mass mechanism driven by the
turbine shaft. The output from this device .the fly ball axis descends or ascends
according to the turbine speed- directly drive the valve located at the entrance to the

Figure 3.7 Oil Pressure Governor


The most commonly-used type is the oil-pressure governor (Fig 3.7) that also
uses a fly ball mechanism lighter and more precise than that used in a purely
mechanical governor. When the turbine is overloaded, the fly balls slowdown, the
balls drop, and the sleeve of the pilot valve rise to open access to the upper chamber
of the servomotor. The oil under pressure enters the upper chamber of the servomotor
to rotate the wicket-gates mechanism and increase the flow, and consequently the
rotational speed and the frequency.
In an electro hydraulic governor a sensor located on the generator shaft
continuously senses the turbine speed. The input is fed into a summing junction,
where it is compared to a speed reference. If the speed sensor signal differs from the
reference signal, it emits an error signal (positive or negative) that, once amplified, is
sent to the servomotor so this can act in the required sense. In general the actuator is
powered by a hydraulic power unit consisting of a sump for oil storage, an electric
motor operated pump to supply high pressure oil to the system, an accumulator where
the oil under pressure is stored, oil control valves and a hydraulic cylinder. All these
regulation systems, as have been described, operate by continuously adjusting back
and forth the wicket-gates position. To provide quick and stable adjustment of the
wicket-gates, and/or of the runner blades, with the least amount of over or under
speed deviations during system changes a further device is needed. In oil pressure
governors, as may be seen in figure 3.7, this is achieved by interposing a .dash pot.
that delays the opening of the pilot valve. In electro hydraulic governors the degree of
sophistication is much greater, so that the adjustment can be proportional, integral and
derivative (PID) giving a minimum variation in the controlling process.
An asynchronous generator connected to a large net, from which it takes its
reactive power to generate its own magnetism, does not need any controller, because
its frequency is controlled by the mains. Notwithstanding this, when the generator is
disconnected from the mains the turbine accelerates up to runaway speed with
inherent danger for the generator and the speed increaser, if one is used. In such a case
it is necessary to interrupt the water flow, rapidly enough to prevent the turbine
accelerating, but at the same time minimizing any water hammer effect in the
To ensure the control of the turbine speed by regulating the water flow,
certain inertia of the rotating components is required. Additional inertia can be
provided by a flywheel on the turbine or generator shaft. When the main switch

disconnects the generator the power excess accelerates the flywheel; later, when the
switch reconnects the load, the deceleration of this inertia flywheel supplies additional
power that helps to minimize speed variation. The basic equation of the rotating
system is the following:

J = moment of inertia of the rotating components
W = angular velocity
Tt = torque of turbine
TL= torque due to load
When Tt is equal to TL, dW/dt = 0 and W = constant, so the operation is steady.
When Tt is greater or smaller than TL, W is not constant and the governor must
intervene so that the turbine output matches the generator load. But it should not be
forgotten that the control of the water flow introduces a new factor: the speed
variations on the water column formed by the waterways.
The flywheel effect of the rotating components is stabilizing whereas the water
column effect is destabilizing. The start-up time of the rotating system, the time
required to accelerate the unit from zero rotational speed to operating speed is given


Where the rotating inertia of the unit is given by the weight of all rotating parts
multiplied by the square of the radius of gyration: WR2, P is the rated power in Kw
and n the turbine speed (rpm)
The water starting time, needed to accelerate the water column from zero velocity to
some other velocity V, at a constant head H is given by:



H = gross head across the turbine (m)
L = length of water column (m)
V = velocity of the water (m/s)
g = gravitational constant (9.81 m s-2)
To achieve good regulation is necessary that Tm/Tw > 4. Realistic water starting
times do not exceed 2.5 sec. If it is larger, modification of the water conduits must be
considered either by decreasing the velocity or the length of the conduits by installing
a surge tank. The possibility of adding a flywheel to the generator to increase the
inertia rotating parts can also considered. It should be noted that an increase of the
inertia of the rotating parts will improve the water hammer effect and decrease the
runaway speed.


The electro-mechanical structures present at the site are:
Cross flow turbine: A 10 kw cross flow turbine is installed. The turbine is an
old design version having no such design specification merely manufactured
on experience based by local manufacturer in Gujaro Gari(Mardan).
Generator: A 10 kw AC Synchronous generator is used to generate electric
power for lighting purposes only.
Flour Mill: a grinding machine (flour Mill) working when there is no need of
light during day time.
Pulley and Belt arrangement: V belt is used to connect turbine with
generator and flat belt is used in flour mill.


For efficient study, it is necessary to roughly examine whether or not the
construction of a hydropower plant in the target area (or near the power demand area)
is feasible. The best geographical areas for micro-hydropower systems are those
where there are steep rivers, streams, creeks or springs flowing year-round, such as in
hilly areas with high year-round rainfall. How much power capacity can be generated
sufficiently, before conducting field investigation? The initial examination is basically
a desk study using available reference materials and information and the basic steps of
the potential site identification is show in Figure 4.1

Figure 4.1 Step of Potential Site Identification



A pre-feasibility study is carried out to determine whether the site is worth
further investigation. This study could involve visiting a site to measure head and
flow rate, or it could simply be a map study. If the site looks promising, the next step
is to carry out a full-scale, detailed feasibility study. Information collected by this
study should be of the highest quality and should be accurate enough to permit a full
technical design of the project without further visit. A feasibility study includes a site
survey and investigation, a hydrological assessment, an environmental assessment, the
project design, a detailed cost estimate and the final report. The depth of study will
depend largely on the size and complexity of the system. For a small system such as a
battery-based system, the feasibility study can be less rigorous than for a larger
Carrying out a feasibility study is highly technical. Unless one has a strong
background and experience in the area, it is best left to professional consultants or
energy experts.

Figure 4.2 Micro hydro Development Flow chart



The objective of preliminary site survey for micro-hydro is to investigate a
potential site and supply area in order to roughly evaluate the feasibility of projects
and get information on electrification planning around the site in the case of off-grid
project or existing transmission facilities (and/or planned transmission line) to be
interconnected in the case of on-grid project. One of the most important activities in
preliminary site survey is to measure water discharge and head that could be utilized
for micro/small-hydropower generation. Investigations of intake site, waterway route,
powerhouse site and transmission route etc. are also conducted to assess the feasibility
of project sites. In the case of off-grid project, power demand survey is also important
in the planning of the electrification system. Socio-economic data such as number of
households and public facilities in supply area, availability of local industries which
will use electricity, solvency of local people for electricity and the acceptability of
local people to the electrification scheme are gathered during the preliminary site
Basic items to be investigated in a preliminary site survey are:
Potential capacity of the project site
Measurement of river flow
Measurement of head
Topographical and geological condition of the sites for the structure layout
Accessibility to the site
In the case of off-grid project:
Power demand in the load center
Distance from the load center to the power house
Ability of the local people to pay for electricity
Willingness of the local people for electrification
In the case of on-grid project:
Distance from existing transmission facilities (and/or planned transmission
line) to the power house.


4.4 Survey to Outline the Project Site

During the reconnaissance at the proposed site of power generating facilities and
around the power demand area, a survey should be conducted on the following items:


The equipment and machinery used for the construction and operation of a
micro hydropower plant are smaller and lighter than those used for an ordinary
hydropower plant and it may be possible in some cases that such equipment and
machinery can be brought to the site either manually or using simple vehicles. Given
the smaller capacity of the power generated by a micro/small-hydropower plant,
careful consideration is required in the use of transportation method and access other
than the use of an existing road or vehicle since the construction of a new access road
could be a factor that would considerably reduce the economy of a project. In the case
of a mountainous area, there may be an abandoned road (previously used for the
hauling of cut trees, etc.) which is difficult to find because it has been covered by
vegetation and it is important to interview local residents on the existence of such a


The existence of facilities utilizing the river flow, the flow volume and any
relevant future plans regarding the river from which a planned micro/smallhydropower plant will draw water should also be surveyed. At the project formulation
stage, the situation of the portion or section of the river for water utilization should be
surveyed taking into consideration the assumed recession section and the possibility
of changes in the position of the intake and the waterway route. When a fall or steep
valley is to be used for power generation, local information on the use of such a fall or
valley should be obtained together with a survey on the relevant legal regulations.



Taking into account the requirements for structure layout, an investigation at
each facility site is conducted as follows;
(1) Intake site
To determine the approximate location of the weir and intake
To draw sketches and to take photographs
(2) Headrace
To measure the head and length of waterway route
To investigate the surrounding conditions
To draw sketches and/or to take photographs
Photographs of the site
(3) Forebay/Head tank and Penstock
To investigate the forebay site
Suitable location for the forebay site
Adequate space for construction
To investigate the penstock route
Length of the penstock measured with distance meter or measuring tape
Geological and topographical conditions
(4) Power house
To investigate the slope condition. Unstable slopes, such as landslides or
collapses behind the powerhouse site
To measure the approximate location
Head between forebay and powerhouse measured with sight meter (handlevel)and distance meter
To investigate the land use conditions, Location of artificial structures near the
powerhouse site, if any
To investigate tailrace route
Location of tailrace outlet
Length of tailrace measured with a measuring tape
To take photographs and draw sketches


(5) Transmission/Distribution Line

To survey the geological and topographical conditions from the powerhouse
site to the load center
To select a transmission line along existing road or foot path
To measure the length of the transmission route
To trace transmission line on maps
To take photographs and draw sketches of powerhouse site


Flow rate is the quantity of water available in stream or river and may vary
widely over the course of a day, week, month and year. In order to adequately assess
the minimum continuous power output to be expected from the micro-hydropower
system, the minimum quantity of water available must be determined. The purpose of
a hydrology study is to predict the variation in the flow during the year. It is important
to know the mean stream flow and the extreme high- and low-flow rates. Whenever
possible, stream flow data should be measured daily and recorded for at least one
year; two to three years is ideal. If not, a few measurements should be made during
the low flow season. If you are familiar with the stream, you might determine the lowflow season by keeping track of water levels and making several flow measurements
for more than a week when the water level is at its lowest point during the year.
Information could be obtained from neighbors or other sources.
There are a variety of techniques for measuring stream flow rate; the most commonly
used are;
Container method
Float method
Weir method
Current meter method


For very small streams, a common method for measuring flow is the container
method. This involves diverting the whole flow into a container such as a bucket or
barrel by damming the stream and recording the time it takes for the container to fill.

The rate that the container fills is the flow rate, which is calculated simply by dividing
the volume of the container by the filling time. Flows of up to20 LPs can be measured
using a 200-litre container such as an oil drum.

Figure 4.3 Flow measuring container method


A weir is a structure such as a low wall across a stream. A flow measurement
weir has a notch through which all water in the stream flows. The flow rate can be
determined from a single reading of the difference in height between the upstream
water level and the bottom of the notch. For reliable results, the crest of the weir must
be kept sharp, and sediment must be prevented from accumulating behind the weir.
Weirs can be timber, concrete or metal and must always be oriented at a right angle to
the stream flow. The weir should be located at a point where the stream is straight and
free from eddies. It is necessary to estimate the range of flows to be measured before
designing the weir in order to ensure that the chosen size of notch will be adequate to
pass the magnitude of the stream flow. Rectangular weirs are more suitable for large
flows in the range of 1000 LPs, and triangular weirs are suitable for small flows that
have wide variation. A combination triangular/rectangular compound weir may be
incorporated into one weir to measure higher flows; at lower flows the water goes
through the triangular notch.


Figure 4.4 flow measuring weir method


Float method of finding flow rate required the following steps
1. Measure the speed of the water (in feet per second)
2. Determine the cross-sectional area of the water source (in square feet) by
measuring and multiplying the average water depth (in feet) X the average
water width (in feet)
3. Calculate the flow (in cubic feet per second) by multiplying the water speed X
the cross-sectional area.
Water Speed
Determining the water speed is easy. Pick a representative segment of river or
stream close to the expected water diversion point. Place two stakes 50 feet apart
along the bank, marking the upper and lower limits of this segment. Drop a Ping-Pong
ball (or other lightweight, floating object) into the current opposite the upper stake.
Time (a wrist watch with a second hand works great!) how long it takes for the PingPong ball to travel the 50feet. Take this measurement several times and calculate the
average time (add all times and divide by the number of trials). This is the speed of
the water through the segment at the surface. Not all water moves as fast as the
surface because there is friction at the bottom and along the banks. This velocity must


then be reduced by correction factor, which estimates the mean velocity as opposed to
the surface velocity. By multiplying averaged and corrected flow velocity, the volume
flow rate is estimated. This method provides only an approximate estimate of the
flow. Approximate correction factors to convert measured surface velocity to mean
velocity are as follows:

Table 4.1 stream friction correction factor (n)

Stream Type

Fraction Factor (n)

Concrete channel,rectangular,smooth


Large,slow,clear stream


small,slow,clear stream


Shallow(less than 0.5m/1.5ft.) turbulent


Very shallow rocky stream


Cross-Sectional Area
Now we can measure and calculate the cross-sectional area of a slice of the
water. In the segment used above for determining water speed, select a spot that will
provide a representative water depth and width for the 50 ft. segment. Measure and
record the water depth at one foot increments along a cross section (water-edge to
water-edge) of the river or stream at this spot. Laying a log or plank across the river or
stream from which you can take these measurements is convenient. You can also
wade (or boat) across but take care that you are measuring the actual water depth and
not the depth of water affected by your presence in the water. Calculate the average
depth of the water (as explained above during water speed).Measure and record the
width of the river or stream (in feet and from water-edge to water edge).Multiply the
average depth X the width. You now have the cross-sectional area (in square feet) of
that slice of the river or stream.


Figure 4.5 flow measuring Float method

Calculating Flow
The following equation is used to calculate Flow.
Water Speed (ft/sec) X Cross Sectional Area (sq ft) =Flow (cubic feet per second) X
450 = Flow (gallons per minute)
Calculate the flow in cubic feet/second first by multiplying the average speed (in feet
per second) X the cross-sectional area (in square feet). Then convert the flow from
cubic feet per second to gallons per minute (GPM) by multiplying the cubic feet per
second X 450.


The head between the intake point and the head tank and the head between the
head tank and the outlet point should be measured. At the initial planning stage,
however, it may be sufficient to measure the head between the planned head tank
location and the outlet level. While a surveying level can be used for the purpose of
measuring, a more simple head measuring method may be sufficient. The followings
are simple methods of head measurement.



The figure below shows this method. The method is useful for low head sites,
since it is cheap and reasonably accurate. To get the head of two points, measure the
difference of water level of the water-filled clear hose at two points. Even a man who
does not have a skill of survey work can apply this method.

Figure 4.6 Head measuring clear hose method


Below figure shows the principle of this method. A horizontal sighting is
established by a carpenters spirit level placed on a reliably straight and inflexible
plank of wood. A method simpler than this is named Pole survey. The Pole survey
method is a tape measure is used instead of a wooden plank and a spirit level, a
leveling rod is fixed perpendicularly, and then a tape measure is moved up and down
along with a leveling rod. The reading value of a leveling rod of the position which
reading value of a tape measure decreases most is a height difference between points.

Figure4.7 Head measuring Plank Method


4.6.3 Sighting meter method

Hand-hold sighting meters measure angle of inclination of a slope (they are
often called clinometers or Abney levels). A head is calculated by the following
formula using a vertical angle that is measured by a hand-hold sighting meter, and a
hypotenuse distance measured by tape measure.
H: Head L: Hypotenuse distance : Vertical angle

Figure 4.8 Head measuring Sighting meter Method


The flow rate in HRC is measured in two different positions i-e near the Weir
and at end the end of HRC. Float method is used for flow measurement.
Flow Rate(Q1) at the end of HRC:
First length for the float is mark up and measured ,
Total length (L1) = 48 ft (14.6304 meter)
Now width & Depth of the channel for the selected length is measured at different
W1 = 27 inches

W3 = 26 inches

W5 = 25.5 inches

W2 = 31 inches

W4 = 25 inches

W6 = 28 inches

Average value is calculated which is;

Wavg = 27.08 inches (0.6879meter)


And for average Depth (Davr):

D1 = 7 inches

D3 = 7 inches

D2 = 6.5 inches

D4 = 5 inches

D5 = 6 inches

Davg = 6.3 inches (0.16002meter)
Now Area (A1):
A1 = Davg Wavg
A1 = 0.6879 0.16002
A1 = 0.11007 m2
Next step is to find the average time (Tavg) of the float to covered the marked distance
T1 =14.97 sec

T3 = 14.47 sec

T2 = 15 sec

T4 = 14.55sec

Tavg= 14.74 sec
Speed of flowing water is given by
V1 = L1/Tavg
V 1= 14.6304/14.74
V1 = 0.9920 meter/sec
So Flow Rate (Q1) is
Q1 = A1 V1
Q1 = 0.11007 0.9920
Q1 = 0.1091 m3/sec
Q1 = 0.11m3/sec
Flow Rate (Q2) at the start of HRC:
The same method is repeated for finding flow rate at start of HRC.
Total length (L2) = 31 ft (9.448 meter)
Width & Depth of the channel for the selected length is measured at different
W1 = 31 inches

W3 = 28.8 inches

W2 = 30 inches

W4 = 29 inches

Wavg = 29.7 inches (0.754meter)


And for average Depth (Davg):

D1 = 7 inches

D3 = 6.2 inches

D2 = 6.5 inches

D4 = 5 inches

D5 = 6.9 inches

Davr = 6.32 inches (0.160meter)
Now Area (A2):
A2 = Davg Wavg
A2 = 0.160 0.754
A2 = 0.121 m2
Now we find the average time (Tavg) of the float to covered the measured distance L2
T1 =7.5 sec

T3 = 9 sec

T2 = 7 sec

T4 = 8.5sec

T5 = 8 sec

Tavrg= 8 sec
Speed of flowing water is given by
V2 = L2/Tavg
V 2= 9.448 /8
V1 = 1.1811 meter/sec
And the Flow Rate (Q2) is
Q2 = A2 V2
Q2 = 0.121 1.1811
Q2 = 0.1429 m3/sec (actual discharge)
Loss of Flow Rate in HRC:
Q = Q2 Q1
Q = 0.1429 0.1091
Q = 0.0338 m3/sec


Clear Hose method has been used to measure the Available Head. In this
method the Head is measured in parts and is sum up. To get the head of two points,
measure the difference of water level of the water-filled clear hose at two points.
H1 = 88 inches

H3 = 120 inches

H5 = 90 inches

H2 = 96 inches

H4 = 108 inches

H6 = 84 inches


H = H1 + H2 + H3 + H4 + H5 + H6
H = 88 + 96 +120 +108 + 90 + 84
H = 586 inches (14.9 m)
Head loses: Due to wrong position of penstock with FBT
H1 = 88 inches (2.235m)


Theoretical power of the of the site is
Pth = QHg
Pth = 1000 0.1429 14.9 9.8
Pth = 20.86 kw


Actual power output has been calculated by two ways:
Applying gradual load: In this method Load is applied and is increased
gradually. The actual power output is at that specific load at which the system
ceases. 1KW load was added one after the other through electric heater. So 4.5
KW was measured.
Finding out voltage and current at peak load: We find out voltage and
current at peak load.
V = 220 volts
I = 14.18 ampere
Pac = V I 0.84 3(1/2)
Pac = 220 14.18 3(1/2)
Pac = 4540 watt
Now Efficiency of the MHPPP is
= ( Pac /Pth) 100
= (4.540/20.86) 100
= 21.76 %



Power loses in HRC:
Plos = QHg
Plos = 1000 0.0338 14.9 9.8
P los = 4935 watts
Plos = 4.9 kw
Power loss due to head:
Plos = QHg
Plos = 1000 0.1429 2.235 9.8
Plos = 3.16 kw
Total power loss:
Plos/total = 4.9 + 3.16
Plos/tota = 8.06 kw


The calculated efficiency is 21% which is far below the optimum range 6075%. The much lower efficiency depicts serious shortcomings in the installed plant.
Careful calculations and analysis portray limitations in the following areas.


Losses in headrace canal are due to two reasons:
The HRC is an open earth channel (natural watercourse) so flow is turbulent in
the HRC which is due to level difference in the channel and zigzag path.
Excessive leakage from the Natural watercourse and reason is the same. The
approximate flow loss in the headrace canal due to leakage is 0.0338m3/sec.
The flow loss is calculated by measuring flow parameters near the weir and
The turbulence and leakage in HRC could be avoided if
Efforts are made to align the natural water course straight with little bent-over.
Natural water course HRC is replaced with rectangular concrete channels with
spill ways in between and near FBT.


5.2 WEIR
Weir is not properly designed and built since stones, wood logs and sands are
raw materials used. A medium level flow in rainy days could ruin the weir and it is
routine for the locals to built it again and again when flow in the stream increases.
To ensure stable flow even in rainy days, the weir must be made with concrete,
having steel fixers.


The purpose of FBT is to make flow laminar and to provide trash rack and
screens so that small pebbles and rocks couldnt get into penstock. The recent design
is illogical since the FBT is built almost 2.23m below the headrace canal without
leveling the upper part of FBT with HRC. The FBT never fills fully with water. And
hence almost 2.35m head loss occurs due to this.
The FBT would be purposeful if:
The upper level of the tank is aligned and leveled with HRC so that no head
loss occurs.
The penstock pipe which leads from the FBT to the turbine, must little bit
above the floor in order to get laminar flow. Another advantage of this
position is that the unwanted materials, pebbles, rocks etc would settle down
in the bottom, hence safe flow is ensured.

It is the part which counts for almost 30% of the overall cost of the turbine.
The sizing is awesome i.e. having 30 inches diameter but little bit leakage is there
from penstock which requires minimal maintenance.

Old version of cross flow turbine is installed. Major shortcomings are;
Excessive leakage due to large clearance volume between casing and rotor
Rough outer and interior periphery. Blades are not smoothly fabricated and
also the absence of well design trash rack and screens added more to this

Inaccurate balding.
Excessive leakage from the nozzle
Absence of Draft tube
Difficulty in maintenance and cleaning due to complex assembly.
The old version of CFT must be replaced with the latest design cross flow
turbine having minimal clearance volume, sealing and fine blades. In the international
market, comparatively low cost and easily available choice would be T15 turbine
made by ENTEC. This firm has given license to manufacturers in Pakistan. Salient
features of the turbine are:
Welded Housing ,made of quality steel, rigid enough to withstand high
operational stress
Casing is designed in such a way to give flexibility regarding main bearings of
the runner, to cope with requirement like flywheel, built drive etc.
A sealing system( contact free or conventional type) is integrated in the slide
flanges. Guide vane unit could be easily taken out through slide flange for
cleaning maintenance.

Figure 5.1 T15 CFT

High precision fabrication of runner cylinder, laser cut slide disks and
exceptionally fine blading drawn from bright steel.


Due to these salient features the organization claims efficiency of the turbine after
testing as:

Figure 5.2 T15 Efficiency after testing

The T15 turbine is available in Gujranwala, Lahore and Mardan.


Flow to the turbine is controlled via traditional manual valve i.e. If load
exceeds then the operator increases the flow and vice versa. The operator increases or
decreases flow via control valve observing voltmeter attached to the turbine but it is
very difficult to examine the flow 24\7. And the most reoccurring cost which the local
community is tired-of to pay, is the cost of blasted tube lights, which they almost
change once in two months approximately. The locals feel that they face two
Firstly when peak load exceeds then there is no mechanism to adjust that.
Secondly they are unable to control the instantaneous high voltage when there
is low load condition. Sudden rise and fall in voltage beyond optimum value,
cost heavily on poor people.
To cope with the problem, one should either install mechanical governor or
ELC (Electronic load controller). Practical experience depicts that mechanical
governor in MHPPPs often fails. So a viable alternative is ELC.


An ELC is a solid-state electronic device designed to regulate output power of

a micro-hydropower system. Maintaining a near-constant load on the turbine
generates stable voltage and frequency. ELCs can also be used as a load-management
system by assigning a predetermined prioritized secondary load, such as water
heating, space heating or other loads. In this way, one can use the available power
rather than dumping it into the ballast load. Without an ELC, the frequency will vary
as the load changes and, under no-load conditions, will be much higher than rated
frequency. ELCs react so fast to load changes that speed changes are not even
noticeable unless a very large load is applied. The major benefit of ELCs is that they
have no moving parts, are reliable and are virtually maintenance-free. The advent of
ELCs has allowed the introduction of simple and efficient multi-jet turbines for
micro-hydropower systems that are no longer burdened by expensive hydraulic

Figure 5.3 Electronic Load Controller

There are various types of ELCs in the market that can regulate systems from
as small as 1 kW to 100 kW. The choice of the controller depends on the type of
generator you have. ELCs are suitable for synchronous generators. If there is an
induction generator, it will need an induction generator controller (IGC). IGCs work
on a principle that is similar to that used by ELCs, but an IGC monitors the generated
voltage and diverts the surplus power to the ballast load.



The line losses are due to the use of substandard cables and non-availability of
poles. Since the site is in mountainous territory, the cable is now and often passing
through large bulky trees. It is routine in raining that locals shut downs the plant since
the wooden pole or those wires which are passing through trees become shortcircuited. Poles with insulators for holding live wires are needed besides quality cable
for transmission


The power plant was installed in 2002 by the local community. The initial cost
(in rupees) of Electro-mechanical components and civil structures are as under:

Table 5.1 Initial cost estimate

Penstock Pipe


Turbine Accessories




Line Cable


Cement (23)




Steel rods


Bushes (3)






Concrete Blocks


Labor Charges




Total Cost

Rs. 212140

On the basis of recommendations, two cost-plans are forecasted which are:


Plan-1 for NGOS and Govt. Organizations


Plan-2 for Local community


a. Cost plan-1
In this plan our aim is to maximize the performance in optimum range of
expenditures. The old turbine must be replaced with T15 CFT. ELC is very much
important for smooth operation and to avoid failures of electrical appliances due to
extreme high and low peaks of voltage. The construction of FBT and headrace canal
is vital according to recommended design. The forecasted cost estimate is:
Table 5.2 Cost estimate for plane-1

Penstock (Installed)

15 KW T15 CFT with 600000

Civil Work




Labor Charges



Rs. 1157000

Theoretical power output of the site is 21kw and installing 15KW T15 CFT, gives
5KW extra which was not harnessed previously. The efficiency of the plant could be
raised to its normal range which is 60-75%.

b. Plan-2:
In this plan, the aim is to minimize the overall expenditures as low as possible
in the optimum range of performance. The already installed old version of CFT could
be repaired. The nozzle at inlet to the turbine must be replaced because of excessive
leakage. The turbine blade angles must be checked and maintenance must be done to
smooth the periphery. The civil work is important and again a compromise is made on
ELC, since the price of ELC is very high in Pakistan. ELC could be installed in later
stage, if local manufacturers start producing ELC. It is of vital importance to
implement the recommended design of FBT and HRC, since both accounts for almost
50% power loss. The forecasted estimate is

Table 5.3 Cost estimate for Plan-2

Repair of Installed CFT


Nozzle Replacement


Civil Work


Labor work



Rs. 140000

The efficiency of the already installed CFT could be improved almost 15%.


Fluid Mechanics, Hydraulics and Hydraulic Machines by Dr

How to Develop a small Hydro site by Layman
Micro-Hydro power: Reviewing an old concept by Butte, Montanna,
A Guide to UK Mini Hydro Developments by British Hydro Power
Micro hydro power systems, a buyers Guide by Natural Resources

Research Papers
Best practices for sustainable development of Micro hydro power in
developing countries by Smail Khennas & Andrew Barnett
Understanding Micro hydro electric generation, Technical paper No 18
by weaver and Christopher s
Hydro power in the nineties (home power No 44) by Paul & Barbara
Small hydro power systems by NREL, U.S Department of Energy



MHPP = micro hydro power plant
CFT = Cross flow turbine
HRC = Head Race Canal
FBT = Fore bay tank
AC = alternating current
cfm = cubic feet per minute
DC = direct current
e = efficiency
ELC = electronic load controller
ft. = foot; feet
gpm = gallons per minute
Hz = hertz
IGC = induction generator controller
kW = kilowatt
kWh = kilowatt hour
lps = litres per second
m = metre
P = power
Q = flow rate
rpm = revolutions per minute
V = voltage
W = watt



Measuring Channel Area




Measuring Available Head



Spill way


Electric CKT

Flour Mill

Electric supply line

Power House