Micro Hydro Systems
Micro hydropower is an indigenous
and renewable source of energy for which the potential exists in almost
the whole Hindu-kush Himalayan Region, which includes Afghanistan, Bhutan,
China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan. Micro Hydro (MH) is generally
defined as decentralized small-scale water power plant less than 100 kW.
Micro hydro can provide electricity to rural communities which otherwise
might take years to be served by national electricity services.
- The components of MH
can be locally manufactured and systems can be locally assembled.
- The adverse environmental
effects are minimal.
- MH Plants are comparatively
easy to manufacture and install indigenously, thus boosting employment,
and the industrial base.
- The MH systems can be
locally managed, operated and main much lower trained with training
input to the local
people. The organization and management
cost are lower than for the other energy systems.
The basic principle of hydropower is that if water can be piped
down from a certain level, then the resulting water pressure
to work.If the water pressure is allowed to move a mechanical component then
that movement involves the conversion of the potential energy of the
water into mechanical energy. Hydro turbines convert water pressure into
mechanical shaft power, which can be used to drive an electricity generator,
a grinding mill or some other useful device.
- Various components of a micro hydro
Civil Components: Structures designed to conduct water from
source to the turbine for optimum energy generation. It has several
- Turbines: The turbine converts
energy from the falling water into rotating shaft power.
Drive System: Transmits power from the turbine shaft to
the generator shaft or the shaft powering other devices. It also
has the function of changing the rotational speed from the one
shaft to another when the turbine speed differs from the required
speed of the alternator or device.
Electrical Systems: Convert mechanical power into electric
power. This consists of a generator and alternator.
The functional life of a micro hydro plant is considered to be 15 years.
However, a lot depends on how the plant is maintained. Civil structures
usually last for a long time, if they do not subject to natural calamities
like folds and earthquakes. The life of electro mechanical components
depends on the quality of the products installed and on how they are
maintained. Regular preventive maintenance generally increases the lifetime
of the equipment.