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Consultant, DOST 4A Micro-hydropower Technology Promotion
Center for Micro-hydropower Study, College of Engineering
University of Rizal System


During the 46th Anniversary Celebration of DOST CALABARZON last November 18,
2009, DOST Secretary Dr. Estrella F. Alabastro said “that the S&T sector must display resolve
and readiness to push the frontiers of scientific understanding.” She also stressed in her keynote
address that scientists and innovators must prove their worth, and create new and groundbreaking
technological applications for “our benefit and that of the world’s.” In response, Dr. Alexander
R. Madrigal, regional director of DOST CALABARZON, announced the launching of the micro-
hydro power project in Barangay Aquino, Tiaong, Quezon. Once operational, the hydro power
project will provide renewable and low-cost electricity to a thousand families in Aquino.1

Micro-hydro power generation is a rapidly growing part of the renewable energy field.
Any site that has a running water source that drops several feet or more could be a micro hydro
power candidate. A small amount of the flow needs to be diverted into a pipe where it can drop
several feet before driving a turbine. The technology uses the energy in moving water to generate
electricity. These small systems do not normally rely on reservoirs or dams to impound water but
instead use what is referred to as "run-of-the river." A portion of the stream or river's volume is
temporarily diverted from the normal channel and used to turn a turbine and generator to produce
electricity. A small hydro system can easily generate enough clean power for a family, farm or
small business.

With these in mind, Dr. Alexander R. Madrigal, regional director of DOST

CALABARZON, together with Cong. Proceso J. Alcala of the second district of Quezon
launched the Aquino- Alcala Micro-Hydropower Project early in November 2007. Now nearing
completion, several hundreds of families in Aquino, Tiaong will soon benefit from water power.
Dr. Madrigal formally launched the project before DOST SecretaryDr. Estrella F. Alabastro and
more than a hundred guests during the anniversary celebration of theRegional Office.2

In the past, however, hydro power was a major source of power, mostly in the form of
water wheels that drove grain millstones, or generated power for textile mills, sawmills and other
industrial applications. This time simple folks in small barangays will see and experience the
wonders of clean, renewable electric power from water-driven turbines.

The Micro-Hydropower project in Barangay Aquino, Tiaong, Quezon is a 30-kW three-

phase multi-purpose micro-hydropower scheme for sprinkler and drip irrigation system, power
generation for pumping irrigation water, electrification and livelihood productive activities. The
primary “driver” of the scheme is agriculture. This is a unique exhibition and practice of
engineering. This project is being implemented on a participatory approach by the Office of
Honorable Congressman Proceso J. Alcala of the 2nd District of Quezon Province, Department of
Science and Technology Region 4A under Director Dr. Alexander Madrigal, the CLSU-AREC
and Barangay LGU of Aquino, Tiaong, Quezon. Currently, Congressman Proceso J. Alcala is
now the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture under the term of President Benigno Simeon
C. Aquino III.

The lead entity in the implementation of the project is the Office of Hon. Congressman
Proceso J. Alcala, complemented through technical and institutional expertise of CLSU-AREC.
DOST Region 4A provides counterpart financial support to the project. The project was
conceived and initiated last December 2007.3

The objectives of the project are

a. To implement a 20-30 kW micro-hydropower project to produce electricity to drive
pumps to elevate water to a 590 meters elevation for irrigation purposes for the
farming communities of Barangays Aquino and later to San Pedo;

b. To enable farmer-beneficiaries to use sprinkler and drip irrigation systems for the
target Baguio-vegetable production program for the area;

c. To help enable farmer-beneficiaries to enhance their livelihood farming activities as

influenced by the availability of irrigation water through the micro-hydropower

d. To enable farmer-beneficiaries to have access to electricity for lighting requirements

of the needy households of the said barangays;

e. To help enable the target beneficiaries to care for the environment as the water that
drives the micro-hydropower is directly related to the forest conservation and
protection by the community itself.
The scheme is located in Barangay Aquino, Tiaong, Quezon. It has coordinates of
N13°57’ 54” and E121°16’ 05”.

Scheme in
Aquino, Tiaong

Figure 1. Coordinate location of the Micro Hydropower scheme at Barangay Aquino, Tiaong,
Quezon courtesy of Google Earth


Courtesy of
Figure 2. Typical configuration of a micro hydropower scheme with its components
A. Weir – this structure diverts water directly from the stream to the intake. The weir is a
concrete ogee-shaped located about 600 meters upstream of the power house.

Figure 3. The weir from downstream view

Figure 4. The weir from the upstream view

Figure 5. The ogee-shaped weir at a closer view

B. Intake – the intake is fitted with a desilting basin, control gate, flashboards and is fitted with
steel take-off pipes that fit into the PE pipe headrace channel.

Figure 6. The intake part of the structure from downstream view

Figure 7. The intake structure in closer view

C. Desilting basin – this component of the structure separates sand and stones from the water.
This will otherwise cause blockages and wear.

Figure 8. The upstream view of the desilting basin

Figure 9. A closer view of the desilting chamber

D. Channels (Canals of headrace) - the headrace is composed of 14 Polyethelene (PE) pipes

each 600 meters long. The PE pipe is chosen as it lightweight and fits the terrain, ease of
installation and economics.

Figure 10. A closer view of the PE pipes outlet channel

Figure 11. Another view of the PE pipes outlet channel

E. Surge Tanks - for economics, ease and quickness of installation, 4 × 6 steel oil drums,
welded together form the surge tank of the power plant. This stores a sufficient quantity of water
as a sump for the penstock when the later delivers water to the turbine.

Figure 12. The surge tanks composed of steel oil drums welded together.
Figure 13. Another view of the surge tanks stacked together at welded.

F. Penstock – this is the 2 in diameter, 4.6 mm thick steel pressure pipe which carries water to
the turbine and are welded together on-site to cut cost on flanges and connectors. The structure
will be mounted on strong anchor blocks and slide blocks.

Figure 14. The penstock during construction stage

Figure 15. The penstock near the powerhouse upper area.

Figure 16. The penstock joints near the powerhouse area being welded and
supported by concrete block post.
G. Powerhouse – this structure is where the hydraulic turbine, the generator and the control and
instrumentation equipment is located. This is located approximately 600 meter from the
downstream portion of the weir at an elevation safe from flood streamflows. This also shelters
the submersible pump and it controls for pumping water to cisterns 80 meters above the

Figure 17. The powerhouse view from the penstock area

Figure 18. The powerhouse view discharge side

Figure 19. Another view of the powerhouse at the upstream portion.

Figure 20. The submersible pump at the downstream side of the powerhouse and it
controls for pumping water to cisterns 80 meters above the powerhouse.
Figure 21. The turbine and generator housed inside the structure where it is still being installed.

H. Water Turbine – is a crossflow type hydraulic turbine. The 50 kW turbine was designed to
drive a three-phase 30 kW generator.

I. Governor – the governor to be used is of electronic type . This will maintain the voltage at
220 AC at all loads.

J. Electrical distribution lines – the lines which will transmit the electrical power generated
from the powerhouse to the connecting point in the barangay will be of 3-wire #8 AWG
aluminum insulated wire.

K. Submersible pump – the pump for water pumping at a head of 80 meters for test
commissioning is a 3 hp 220 VAC single pump 2” submersible pump.

L. Irrigation system – the irrigation system will include the submersible pump, the cisterns,
main lines, lateral emitters and control valves.
Figure 22. One of the 8 units cisterns to be filled up with water by the micro hydropower
submersible pump for sprinkler and drip irrigation of Baguio vegetables.


The humanware component is composed of the beneficiaries and the participating

stakeholders. There are more than 500 households in two barangays expected to be the
beneficiaries of the electricity and irrigation system.


The sustaining community-based farmers power organization in-formation will be called

Aquino Farmers Power & Multi-purpose Association. The officers were elected on a meeting
called for the purpose on July 2009. The association is now in the process of registration with the
Securities and Exchange Commission for its legal personality.


The scheme is expected to boost the production of Baguio vegetables in Barangays

Aquino and San Pedro using precision irrigation technologies with water provided by the micro
hydropower. Bagsakan Centers will market the produce for distribution thereby helping

Cost of the missionary scheme may range from P 100,000 – P 200,000 per kilowatt
installed capacity. The range depends on the peculiarities of the site which is unique always on
each site.


1. DOST Region 4A Bulletin, Vol. XVII No. 9, November 9, 2009

2. DOST Region 4A Bulletin, Vol. XVIII No. 9, November 9, 2009

3. Microhydro Technology Promotion Information Brochure, Office of Hon. Congressman

Proceso J. Alcala, CLSU-Affiliated Renewable Energy Center and DOST Region 4A

Photos courtesy of Engr. Rachel B. Gabuya during the site visit last February 19, 2010 along
with Rizal Provincial S & T Director, Fernando E. Ablaza, Engr. Jaja, Engr. Perlita DL.
Payofelin and Prof. Arnulfo D. Estrabo, the URS Audio-Visual Center Head.