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MCB 3053


Group 23


Project Title:

Hybrid Power Generator for Rural Areas


Dr. Walter Nicolas (Petroleum Engineering Department)

Team Member:

1) Koshalini A/P Munian


2) Farruh Ismailov


3) Muhammad Faris Bin Hamid


4) Chen Kar Weng


5) Mohd Fazlie Bin Mohd Isa


1.0 Abstract
Rainwater and sunlight have always been available abundantly in countries near
equator such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil and Philippines, which is a typical
characteristic of tropical climate. However, these natural sources of power are underdeveloped and underutilized due to lack of technologies and lack of concern from
both remote area residents and local authorities. Therefore, there is a rising concern to
focus on the utilization of solar power and rainwater to generate accessible energy for
those who are living in rural areas, i.e. aboriginals or remote area residents.
Due to their location of residence, they may not be able to have a steady flow of
electricity and may have to depend on generators (usually gasoline driven) or batteries
to operate electrical appliances such as television, radio, light bulbs, fans, mobile
phones and other household appliances. In addition, they may not receive a constant
supply of clean water due to in adequate service coverage from Water Supply
Company and inefficiency in water delivery system.
In order to provide a better quality of life to the residents of these remote areas, our
team has come out with an idea of combining both sunlight and rainwater to provide
both electricity and clean water to the residents. With the installation of a hybrid
system of solar and hydropower, residents can carry out their household activities
when there is electrical or water shortage with minimal effect. Solar cells will produce
electrical energy during daylight and hydropower system will provide electrical
energy during rainy days while storing up rainwater for household usage.
The combination between solar and hydro-powered energy generator with an
additional feature of rainwater harvesting concept can be installed in remote areas
with affordable cost and uses existing technologies for easy maintenance and care.
The proposed system will be light enough to be transportable so that it can shifted to
different places with increased rainfall and sunlight exposure for maximum efficiency.

2.0 Problem Statement

Before the can come out with an effective and useful solution, we must first identify
the underlying problems for the targeted users.
2.1 Collected rainwater has only one function, which is household usage.
Rainwater is abundant in tropical season area, which accounts to about 3000mm per
year, equivalent to a volume of 990 billion cubic metre water. RainWater Harvesting
(RWH) is still considered a new trend but with the support and effort of government,
the number of buildings using the RWH will be increased from time to time. RWH
system is still in her childhood in Malaysia. RWH mainly focuses on collecting,
storing and purifying the naturally soft and pure rainfall and use it for household
activities such as cooking, washing clothes and general cleaning purposes.
Our team proposes that instead of using filtered rainwater for sole purpose of
household usage, the system can be upgraded to generate electricity. Water will be
flushed through an outlet to create sufficient pressure to drive the turbine and create
2.2 There will be no electricity generated when there is no rainfall.
In order to overcome the issue of seasonal rainfall, where some part of the year will
receive heavy rainfall while others will receive only normal or minimal rainfall, solar
cell is being installed on the surface used to drain the rainwater. During drought
season or ordinary months where rainfall volume is not significant, the hydropower
generator would be left idle as there is no point to outsource for water supply to
generate electricity. Thus, to maximise the usage of the prototype, solar cells will be
installed on the surface of the collection funnel. This will enable the battery to be
recharged using two sources of energy, which are solar and hydropower. Hydropower
will produce electrical energy when there is sufficient rainwater volume and back up
the reliance of solar power.

3.0 Project Objectives

3.1 To maximize the usage of rainwater in Malaysia
The rainfall volume received yearly in Malaysia is still underutilized. Instead of
merely collecting and using rainwater as raw water supply, irrigation purposes and
household usage, rainwater can be accumulated, not in dam reservoir, but with large
water tanks, energy can be produced when water flows through the turbine. It can be a
source of energy for those who are living in remote areas.
3.2 To collect rainwater for household activities
Rainwater is considered one of the purest form of natural occurring water as it forms
through evaporation and precipitation process of hydrological cycle. Rainwater can be
used readily for drinking and cooking upon boiling. Therefore, the water collected
after the water passes through the turbine generator is a great source of free water
supply. Unless the area of downpour is heavily industrialized, the water should be free
of contaminants such as nitrogen oxides and sulphur oxides. Thus, the rainwater will
serve as source of water supply and electrical energy.
3.3 To provide an alternative for hydropower energy generator
Rainwater may be abundant but not consistent in terms of volume. One month may
experience heavy downpour where the rainwater is enough to generate enough
electricity to charge a battery for several times but the other month may not even have
adequate storage for turbine to turn. By attaching or embedding solar cell to the water
collection funnel surface, which is large in surface area, will provide an alternative
where the prototype can utilise sunlight as a source of energy when rainwater is not
available. By channelling the electricity generated from solar cells and turbine
generator together, users are expected to receive a relatively constant supply of
electricity through the sunny days and rainy days, and thus, is the ultimate aim of the

4.0 Background Study

Via the turbine, electricity is generated using the kinetic energy of moving water.
Precipitation on hills and mountains will create streams and rivers which will
eventually being channelled to the ocean. The energy from moving water can be
enormous due to several reasons: the huge mass of water accumulated at one time, the
velocity where it flows and the topography of the water reservoir.
This energy has been utilized for many years since the start of civilization in mankind
history. Since the ancient Greeks, farmers have been using water wheels to grind
wheat into flour, which was a typical example of using the properties of flowing water
to convert kinetic energy into mechanical energy for the work. Placed in a river, a
water wheel picks up flowing water in buckets located around the wheel. The kinetic
energy of the flowing river turns the wheel and is converted into mechanical energy
that runs the mill. In the late 19th century, hydropower became a popular and feasible
choice for generating electricity. The first hydroelectric power plant was built at
Niagara Falls in 1879. In 1881, street lamps in the city of Niagara Falls were powered
by hydropower. In 1882 the worlds first hydroelectric power plant began operating in
the United States in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Hydropower is also readily available as engineers can control the flow of water
through the turbines to produce electricity on demand because electrical energy is
unlike water, it cannot be stored, and it is produced when needed. In addition,
reservoirs may offer recreational opportunities for public as well, such as for
sightseeing, boating activities and movie shooting.
Constructing a dam to store water may be an efficient way to store up large amount of
water for hydropower but it may destroy or disrupt wildlife and other natural
resources because it will flood out the whole basin. Some fish, like salmon, may be
prevented from swimming upstream to spawn. Technologies like fish ladders help
salmon go up over dams and enter upstream spawning areas, but the presence of
hydroelectric dams changes their migration patterns and hurts fish populations.
Hydropower plants can also cause low dissolved oxygen levels in the water, which is
harmful to river ecology.

On the other hand, RainWater Harvesting can be defined as the accumulation and
deposition of rainwater for further uses. The rainwater will be collected in one tank,
and then it will be used to produce energy via a turbine. Rain will be reused before it
reaches the water storage layer of soil, aquifer. There are many uses possible such as
watering gardens, water for livestock, water for irrigation, and indoor heating for
houses etc. The water collected is just redirected to a deep pit with percolation in most
of the places. The harvested water can be used as drinking water as well as for storage
and other purpose. Water harvesting system has been commercialized in other
countries in the world. The largest rooftop rainwater harvesting projects is on-going in
China and semi-arid north east Brazil. Rainwater harvesting adequate for the residents
for all new constructions is required by the law in Bermuda. However, rainwater
harvesting technologies and popularity are still at childhood stage because water
resource is so abundant that we take them for granted gifts.
As a result we come up with a concept for turbine generator that generates energy
from rainwater harvesting. When the rainwater storage is up to certain level, the valve
will be open to release water to flow through the turbine and this will create electrical
energy for users. Later then, the water which will flow through turbine can be stored
up for domestic usage. This intelligent device may produce electricity from rainwater
energy using turbine and solar power when the rain doesn't exist at the area. Our
project focuses on the rainwater storage system in remote areas of Malaysia, the
utilization of rainwater and the alternative power source for the system.

5.0 Design Approach/Methodology

5.1 Procedures
In completing this Engineering Team Project, some systematic procedures are
compiled to ensure that the project is accomplished successfully and orderly. Through
discussion and analysis, specific problems are highlighted and clarified. The next
stage involved solving the identified problems. Brainstorming sessions were
conducted to obtain any potential solutions for the problems. All Engineering Team
Projects requirements have been considered throughout the course of designing.

Based on the information gathered from the earlier stage, conceptual designs have
been proposed. Further research is performed and preliminary schematics are
designed. All group members work together in analysing all proposed designs and
unanimously vote and justify the best design for the prototype. The best design is
chosen as the final design for this project.
The final design will be presented through various documentations and prototype
implementations to make it clearer and understandable. The prototype will be tested
several times to verify its functionality. The last tasks are the preparation for
exhibition, demonstration and presentation.
5.2 Methodology
A scenario of rainy season.
1) Rainwater will flow through the blanket at the top go to the central.
2) It will be channelled into the pipe.
3) Then, it will store it first in the tank until at a certain amount it will release.
4) Next, it will flows downwards due to gravity and the flow of the water will rotate
the turbine to generate electricity.
5) After that, it will store it again in another tank for other usage.






Storage tank

A scenario of sunny days.

1) When sunlight is present, solar cells will capture the light.
2) Solar radiation from the light will convert into electrical energy by using
3) Wafers in solar cells which are sensitive will produce a small direct current when
it is exposed to sunlight.
4) Then the electricity will be stored it in battery.


Solar cells


Store in

5.3 Plan And Schematic Flow Process Of The Project


Idea brainstorming among team

Identify the Problem
Decide the title of the project

Consult SV
Get approval from SV
Completing project proposal

Prototype design



Design specification
Prototype fabrication

Quality of fabrication.


Recheck the prototype
and correct any problem
that occurred

Function successfully?
Presentation and Exhibition

Final report


Improve the fabrication


5.4 Data gathering and analysis

1) Storage tank
Water is stored in storage tanks so that the collected water can be used for domestic
activities. Our design focused on designing an extra system to the water tank to fully
utilise the stored water. By this way, we could save water and in the same time save
cost since rain water exists free of charge. The storage tank has few criteria to be met.
It should be made of materials such as plastics (polyethylene, polypropylene),
fiberglass, concrete, stone or steel. The size of the tank can collect up to 25litre of
water or more. This electricity that we generate can be used for recharging batteries or
small electrical appliances. Other than that, the pressure in the tank should be
maintained so that it will not cause over pressure in the tank and cause it to expand
and leak. We should coat the tank with materials that would not absorb heat. The
other factors to consider in the tank would be the mass flow rate that enters the tank
and leaves the tank. It should be sufficient to reach the pump that would power up the
Mass flow rate =Density x Velocity x Area
2) Solar cell
Various technologies capture this solar energy, concentrate it, store it, and convert it
into other useful forms of energy, low-grade thermal energy for heating homes and
businesses, medium-grade thermal energy for running some industrial processes,
high-grade thermal energy for driving turbines to generate electricity. The surface
receives about 47% of the total solar energy that reaches the Earth. Only this amount
is usable. Solar energy technologies can be categorized as active and passive, but we
are only focusing on active solar energy by using photovoltaic cells. A technology
that uses unique properties of semiconductors to directly convert solar radiation into
electricity uses wafers which are sensitive to sunlight and also produce a small direct
current when exposed to light.

3) Valve
A valve is a device that regulates, directs or controls the flow of a fluid by opening,
closing, or partially obstructing various
pathways. Valve can be handled manually
or automatically depending on the function
required by the system. Based on our
project, we have decided to create an
automatic valve as raining is not a
predictable activity and it is not compatible
and practical if a manual valve is installed.
When a predicted volume of rain water is
collected in storage tank, the valve will
open and allows the water to flow with high pressure to drive the turbine. Once the
level of water in the storage tank is decreased and not producing enough pressure, the
valve will automatically close and store rain water until it reaches the threshold for
sufficient pressure. This process will repeat again and over again. From our research,
we have come out with an idea of using plunger system as a basic principle in our
4) Hydro powered turbine
Turbines are devices that extract energy from a flowing fluid. The geometry of
turbines is such that the fluid exerts a torque on the rotor in the direction of its rotation.
The precise shape of water turbine blades is a function of the supply pressure of water,
and the type of impeller selected. The shaft power generated is available to drive
generators or other devices. In our case, we are going to use recycle materials to
create the turbine blades where we want to cut cost of our project besides creating
environmental friendly system. This hydro powered turbine will be placed at the
position of highest pressure and flow so that it will be able to produce a force on the
turbine to generate electricity. The produced electricity is converted from AC current
to DC current by using rectifier. The produced DC current is then stored in battery
and it can be used for house electricity.

Equation of hydropower plant:

P = power in kilowatts (kW)

g = gravitational acceleration (9.81 m/s2)
n = turbo-generator efficiency (0<n<1)
Q = quantity of water flowing (m3/sec)
H = effective head (m)

Engineering Drawing for the design.

Solar cell
Solar cell

Top View

Front View

5.5 Hardware/Tools & Software

These are the hardware/tools and software needed in order to make the prototype
Table 1: List of hardware
No. Name


Aluminium foil and To create a platform for collecting rain water droplets
metal net

and direct it to PVC pipe.

PVC pipes

Act as the piping system in experiment

Water tank

Act as the collection of the treated rain water


Act as a valve to allow rain water flow into turbine


To place the turbine in the Perspex

Hydro powered

Made of recyclable items and it acts a source of



Solar cell

To absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity


To convert AC current to DC current

Battery/ bulb

To prove whether the electricity is produced and

stored it

Table 2: List of tools

No. Name


Electric Drill

To create hole or passage for pipeline

Hot Glue Gun

To join some of the parts of the device

Hand Tools

Used to build prototype model.

Table 3: List of software used

No. Name



Used for drawing of model in 2D and 3D mode

Microsoft Office

Used for documentation; proposal, progress report and

final report

6.0 Project Management

6.1 Organization Chart

Project Leader
Chen Kar Weng (CVE)

Assistant Project Leader


Muhammad Faris Bin Hamid


Farruh Ismailov (PE)

Technical Works

Research and Development

Mohd Fazlie Bin Mohd Isa


Koshalini A/P Munian (ME)

6.2 Task Allocation

Group Member
Project Leader
Chen Kar Weng (CVE)

Task Allocation
- Plan and manage weekly tasks
- Monitor all the tasks to ensure all
members complete their tasks
according to schedule
- Chairs all group meetings
- Purchasing materials for the fabrication
of prototype
- Assist in prototype making.
- Arrange weekly meeting with

Assistant Project Leader

Muhammad Faris Bin Hamid (CHE)

- Assist the project leader in all the tasks.

- Marks the attendance of the meeting.
- Remind members of the dateline of
project submission date and seminars
- Assist in paperwork preparation

Farruh Ismailov (PE)

- Managing the project accounts and

project claims
- Ensuring the prototype is in accordance
with budget given.
- Provide assistance in prototype
- Acquiring all the materials and tools
needed for the prototype.

Technical Works
Mohd Fazlie Bin Mohd Isa (EE)

- Ensuring all the systems of the prototype is

working well.
- Do extra research on advantages and
disadvantages of various materials being
- Testing of the prototype.
- Improvement of the prototype.

Research and Development

Koshalini A/P Munian (ME)

- Do extra research on how to improve the

- Prototype designing and constrction.
- Record data and errors in tests.
- Provide help in mechanical parts of
- Finishing works of prototype.

Overall Task:

Designing of Prototype
Fabrication of Prototype
Preparation of documentations (proposal, reports and posters)
Demonstration of the finished prototype

6.3 Gantt Chart for ETP Sept 2014 Semester



Seminar I (ETP Briefing)
Group Organization,
Brainstorming and Meeting
with Supervisor
Submission of Project
Designing The Process &
Cost Analysis for The System
Design and Purchasing of
Implement the Project and
Progress Report due
Prototype Testing
Submission of FORM 03
Consult Supervisor
Evaluation on Fabrication
Final Check On The
Preparing & Presenting
Poster & Product Demo &
Presentation Assessment
Submission Peer Evaluation
Submission of Claim Form
Submission of Final Report

10 11



7.0 Conclusion
After conducting preliminary research on the hydropower electric generation, solar
power and rainwater harvesting, we have come to a conclusion that the design and
idea is feasible and workable. The hybrid of the 3 elements will create a solution for
those who are staying in remote areas and might prone to electricity and water supply
disruption. We would also like to thank our supervisor, Dr. Walter Nicolas for guiding
us in the choice of project title and brainstorming of the ideas. We believe that this
project proposal serves as a stepping stone to a better and more sustainable invention
that may provide a better quality of life for remote area residents.
8.0 Reference

1) Kim Seong, I. (n.d.). Water Management and Conservation - Rainwater

Harvesting. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
2) Yahaya, H. (n.d.). Rainwater Harvesting and Maintenance. Retrieved October
7, 2014, from
3) Hydropower Facts, Hydropower Information- National Geographic. (n.d.).
Retrieved October 7, 2014, from
4) (n.d.). Retrieved October 7, 2014, from