Mini-micro hydel power stations

After collecting all the data/details by way of literature, survey, replies to our questionnaire & personal interviews, the information was examined, synthesized and critically analyzed with respect to the Indian scenario. We have also discussed the preliminary findings/analysis with the experts, prior to finalizing the draft report.

Chapter I of the report contains details of the present energy scenario, requirement of energy region wise, demand projection by the end of the Five Year Plans upto yea 2010, tables on installed capacity and peak availability, peak load year wise, general assessment of the hydro power potential and to prove the necessity of increasing the generation of energy and harness the renewable energy sources so far which have not been properly utilized and providing a better living conditions to the population of remote areas.

The Chapter also contains a brief introduction of the historical perspective in India and a little information on international scene, use of energy from Micro Hydro Project. it also provides reference of use of water energy for generation of mechanical power for industrial application. References of some of the earliest hydro electric stations of 19th Century, India’s power scenario in 1947, it also covers explanations of MMH power as an appropriate energy source as it can reduce consumption of products, petroleum based fules that are frequently imported at high expense and efforts, while Hydro energy is virtually inflation proof. Even if today the MMH pow3er seems to be very costly but due to minimum operation cost and with year of use, it becomes cheaper and technologies get proven and it has a chance of continuous improvement. MMH power is a less complex technology, which in turn is both less expensive and easily understood.

Also it discusses various social benefits available from the development of MMH power particularly to villagers or tribles who are far from town and modern civilizations and are not having resources of their own to get the benefits. MMH power resources will permit the use of energy by tribles and villagers, and their dependence on fuel wood which they consider to be free but is also declining the forest cover and ultimately affects the environment. In comparison to large hydro power schemes where by large body of water behind a dam can have a variety of adverse impacts on the surrounding areas. Lots of objections are being pit forward by social service organisation now a day. Completing a large hydro power scheme in between empowers them for rural electrification by MMH power which is a more socially acceptable technology.

Chapter I also deals with the use of MMH power on canal-falls which continuously goes down the level and a slow gradient is always available for generation f some energy and a cascade type system of generating power after each km could be planned it also discusses various obstacles to viable MMH power schemes. Some of which costs high but these costs are more due to the over sophistication of equipment and its control and this over sophisticated also lead to the increase cost of operation and by requiring highly skilled technical manpower and infrastructural appropriate for such manpower.

Chapter 2 briefly describes the main components of a MHP station, like civil structure work, dam intake works conduit conduction system, a surge tank, penstock, power house, turbine, tail-race speed regulator, generator etc. It also covers various classifications used in MMH power stations according to power capacity in various countries. It also discusses the various technological concepts used in classifying the MMH power stations. And covers the methods of conceptually design and standardization of procedures to be adopted for preliminary design of MMH power schemes to ways to carry out reversibility analysis and design procedure to be adopted for screening and optimizing, eliminate designs of mini micro hydro schemes, procedures for standardization of designs for prospective mini micro hydro plant, flow chart for final design, specifications and capital cost estimates for evaluating viability of prospective schemes.

The Chapter also describes appropriate civil works design for MMH power scheme so as to keep the cost of the MMH within a controlled limitation. The various civil works involved like diversion of intake distilling chamber, water conductor system, forebay reservoir surge tanks. Pan stock intake etc. are described and use of minimum structure have been suggested to eliminate the MMH becoming a large plant.

The Chapter 3 deals with the various equipment used for construction of the MMH plant like various types of turbines, limitations of each turbine. Advantages and disadvantages of each turbine at different discharge head and other environmental conditions which are likely to affect selection of the turbine. Each turbine description will briefly help the study and act as a ready reckoner for choosing various turbines for the selection for particular MMH power stations. The other mechanical devices which could be used either as turbine or for direct conversion of energy from water fall to mechanical energy and its use in industry are also described, like water wheels and use of centrifugal pumps as turbine, as it is well-known that both centrifugal pumps and hydraulic turbines follow the same affinity laws. One method for reducing the cost of a hydropower installation is to use pumps in reverse direction as turbines and the same is gaining popularity. In this regard, centrifugal pumps offer the best and ready answer to meet the requirements of water turbines for small micro hydro power projects. It has been observed that much time can be saved in the manufacturing, if we do not try to duplicate work that has already done by others.

There are some other turbines which have been briefly mentioned which have also been used for using the large power of water like in stream or water-current turbine and Schneider engine for low-head application. Marine thrusters which can be used at coastal areas which are use in California with 60-70% efficiency and various coupling made for joining turbine to generators.                                                                                                                                                         Back