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This chapter includes the studies and concepts that were based on different

manuals about hydro power and a similar existing project that was installed here in the

Philippines; it focuses on the different parameters in designing and constructing a

hydropower system. It also presents the various equations and theoretical methods

considered in developing the picohydropower system.


2.1.1 Hydropower Development in the Philippines

Electricity demand is rapidly increasing around the world. In this sense,

hydropower contributes one-fifth of the world’s power generation. In several countries,

hydropower is the only domestic energy resource. Hydro energy is generated from the

movement of masses of water, such that hydroelectric power plants transform the

flowing water from river or stream into electricity. This renewable energy resource is

classified based on capacity, namely: (a) Micro-Hydro (1 to 100kW); (b) Mini-Hydro

(101kW to 10MW); and Large-Hydro (more than 10MW to 50MW)

2.1.2 Case Study on Micro-Hydro Power Plants on the Philippines

The case study provides information on the design and development of a micro

hydropower plant in Philippines. It is said that Micro-Hydro power is an alternative

technology for power generation. Also, in the study, it was said that rural electrification

is considered as one of the key components of the national economic development

program. As of the end of 2000, 8,300 Barangays (19.8% of total Barangays) remain

unelectrified. As of 2002, 43% of the country’s energy source is derived from

renewable energy technologies. Rural electrification can increase efficiencies in

livelihood activities and provide opportunities for improving education in the area. It

improves the quality of life.

2.1.3 Pico-Hydro Electric Plant Installation in Aguinaldo, Ifugao

The province of Ifugao has significant untapped small-scale hydropower

potential. The study included a reappraisal of a Philippine Department of Energy list of

38 sites in the province of Ifugao, of which 9 sites had potential mini-hydropower

capacity totaling up to 45MW. The pico-hydroelectric power plant installed in Northern

Luzon, Philippines, as shown in Fig. 2.1, provides 3kW of power to the indigenous

community of Barangay Talite in Aguinaldo, Ifugao. Brgy. Talite consists of several


Fig. 2.1 Assembly of Turbine-generator and Construction of Forebay

2.1.4 Filipino Micro Hydro Project - Powering a corn mill and lighting 60 homes

in the Philippines

An 11kW hydro-power installed at Sitio Dlumay provides off-grid electricity to

at least 60 households and powering a community owned and manage 7kW corn mill

facility as shown in Fig. 2.2. The two key component of Micro-Hydro Plant system are

the vertical drop where the water is taken from to provide sufficient flow to power the

turbine and the capacity of water flowing into the turbine.

Fig 2.2 Operational Project and Rice Mill

2.1.5 Design and Installation of Pico-Hydropower in Barangay San Andres,

Tanay, Rizal

The study was focused to design, to fabricate and to install a pico-hydroelectric

power system in Barangay San Andres, Tanay, Rizal as shown in Fig. 2.3. They were
able to determine whether the Pico-Hydro is suitable for the community of Brgy. San

Andres. Their background in designing the cross-flow turbine was from a software

which was used as basis for all of their computation. Based on their data, it was

concluded that the system was in its optimal operation during rainy seasons. At its

maximum, the system can generate up to 1 kW of electricity.

Fig. 2.3 Operational Powerhouse and Penstock Setting up

2.1.6 Pico Hydroplant in Hanabian, Southern Leyte

A 600 W was put up by the Southern Leyte Electric Cooperative through

Hanabian Minihydro Power plant’s tail power. It has a maximum water flow velocity

of 4.6 meter per second. The pico hydro plant system poses minimal modifications to

existing water systems because it uses a modular and scalable energy device that easily

harnesses power from running water from rivers, irrigation canals, and base of dams.

Engineered suspension system was taken into account to provide ease in mounting and

to make it adaptable to environmental changes.

2.1.7 Kirinyaga District, Kenya Pico Hydropower Plant

A typical pico hydro power plant has been installed in Kathamba, Kirinyaga

District, Kenya. This scheme was installed as part of a program implemented by The

Micro Hydro Centre at Nottingham Trent University to demonstrate Pico Hydro

technology in Sub Saharan Africa. The cost of the penstock, turbine and generator

equipment was met by the project funders (European Commission) and all other costs

were contributed by the 65 households which the scheme now supplies with electricity.

This case study describes a pico hydro plant using a Pelton turbine directly-coupled to

an induction generator which has an electrical output of 1.1kW. The penstock is 158m

in length, 110mm diameter PVC pipe. The electrical output of 1.1kW corresponds to a

turbine generator efficiency of 48%. The water source is a small spring with a flow

around 90% of the year and has never been known to run completely dry.

2.1.8 Pico Hydroelectric Plant in Kerala and Karnataka, India

In Mankulam, an isolated village in Kerala, the Malanadu Development

Society, has installed two pilot units of 200 watt pico hydro plant. One of which is

shown in Fig. 2.4. The plant has been operating well for the past one year. Based on

this MDS, is proposing to install another 30 units for 30 poor and low income families

in the village. In Karnataka, many rural areas lived in hilly regions of Malnad and

coastal areas of Udupi, Dakshina, Kannada. The terrain conditions make grid electricity

supply unreliable. However, these areas provide ideal sites for small pico hydro

systems. There has been a significant change perceived in the energy scenario after the

deployment of Pico Hydro Projects in Karnataka in the last 4 years. Pico Hydro are

projects with a capacity up to 5kW especially targeted to benefit rural communities with

access to small streams and rivulets. The developers of these projects are based in UK

and from 2007 till date have installed around 400 Pico Hydro projects with the numbers

increasing steadily.

Fig. 2.4 Pico Hydro in Kerala and Karnataka

2.1.9 Pico Hydro systems in Thapene village

Thapene village has no access to the grid which is about 15 km away. In 1999

the World Bank installed a 3 kW Pico Hydro system in the said village. This Pelton

station has two penstocks, each of which is 20 cm diameter, with an end pressure of

3.5 kg/cm2 , and provides power to households during 18.00 – 06.00. The system allows

a maximum of 2 lamps 6 W or 9 W each to the consumers.


2.2.1 Pico Hydropower Technology

Pico hydro is the hydro electricity generation methods with the maximum

electric output of five kilowatts. The recent improvement and innovations in pico hydro

technology have made it an easily available economic source of power even at remote

places around the globe. This is a very versatile power source that could be used to

generate AC electricity. Light bulb, radio, television and other similar electronic

devices can be easily operated by using the pico hydro power.

The need of pico hydroelectricity around the world is that it allows electricity

generation simply and at no fuel cost. The growing high demand in electrical energy is

forcing man to search for different available energy resources. The equipment used in

pico hydroelectricity generations specialized with its small and compact design, so that

it could be installed in a small area very easily. The main benefit of pico hydroelectric

power generation is that it has a lower cost per kilowatt compared to that of solar or

wind power. So, without a doubt, pico hydro system is recommended in places with

regular water flow.

2.2.2 Primary Parts of Pico Hydroelectric System Water Supply

Water supply acts as a prime mover of the system; one of the method

mostly use in the pico hydro system is the run of the river. This method uses

water flowing in a river to drive the turbine and generate power. Intake

In picohydro systems, water from the variable stream flow is taken by

the intake before it is diverted into the penstock. Typically, the intake or water

diversion is located at the highest point in the pico hydro system. Another

advantage is that the intake could change the amount of flow rate entering the


13 Penstock

A penstock is a structure that controls water flow and delivers water to

hydro turbines of hydroelectric systems. There are two types of penstock

classified according to their construction which are enclosed pipe and open

channel penstock.

The construction of the penstock affects the flow of the liquid and

actually has a huge effect to the head pressure. The more vertical drop, the more

water power will focus at the bottom of the channel, where the turbine is

situated. Besides that, the efficiency of the penstock is highly depending on

material and dimensions of the channel. The larger the dimensions of the

channel, the less friction occurred and the more power can be delivered to the

turbine. Turbine

This is a rotary mechanical device which is designed to extract or collect

energy from the flow of water and converts it into useful work. The work

produced by a turbine can be used for generating electrical power when

combined with a generator. This has a shaft wherein a series of blades are

attached. The turbine is connected either directly coupled to the generator or by

means of drive systems such as gears, belts or pulleys and sprocket and chain

depending on the speed required by the generator. These turbines are generally

classified as to impulse, reaction and gravity turbines as shown in Table 2.1.

Table 2.1 Turbine Classifications

It is important to select the right turbine as most of the losses are due to

this component. The turbine selection, geometry and dimensions depend mainly

on the fall and flow rate as shown in Fig. 2.5. Besides that, other significant

factors in selecting turbine varies depending on the local condition, financial

plan, equipment availability, power output and most importantly relative

efficiencies as shown in Fig. 2.6.

Fig. 2.5 Head – Flow Rate Nomogram

Fig. 2.6 Turbine Head and Efficiency Relationship Power House

Power house, in pico hydroelectric system, is a structure that typically

houses the turbine, generator and electrical units such as voltage regulator,

inverter and battery for protection. The construction of the powerhouse will vary

depending on local availability of materials, local preferences and the local

climate in the area of installation. Drive and Bearing System

Drive system is a way of transmitting mechanical power from one place

to another. This is classified primarily as to drive chains which uses chains and

sprockets and to drive belts which uses belts and pulleys.

To allow a smooth shaft rotation where the drive systems are located,

bearings play a vital role. This is a machine element that constrains relative

motion to only the desired motion, and reduces friction between moving

parts. This may be generally classified as to ball, roller and thrust bearings.

2.2.3 Pico Hydro System Theory of Operation

The pico hydro system makes use of the energy of water, which is stored in a

water reservoir or on a simple run-off river. The fast flowing water will run through the

inlet, down to the penstock where head builds up until it has reached the turbine. The

hydraulic power is transmitted to a turbine runner by which a mechanical power is been

generated. The blades in the turbine runner rotate when struck by strong flow of water.

The turbine is connected to the generator by means of a drive system in order to amplify

and convert the mechanical energy into electrical energy. By means of a battery, this

may be stored before it has been converted into useful power by the user loads. This is

shown in Fig. 2.7.

Fig. 2.7 Pico Hydro Energy Transformation

2.2.4 Flow Rate

The flow rate is the amount of water that flows through the influent conduit in

a given period of time and is measured in cubic meters per second or liters per minute.

This is the main parameter which describes the energy potential of various water


Q = AV Equation 2.1


Q = volumetric flow rate, m3/s

A = channel area, m2

V = water velocity, m/s

2.2.5 Mechanical Power

Power in mechanical systems is the combination of forces and movement. In

particular, power is the product of a force on an object and the object's velocity, or the

product of a torque on a shaft and the shaft's angular velocity. The higher the torque

and the velocity, the greater the mechanical power that could be generated.

MP = 2πNτ/60 Equation 2.2


MP = Mechanical Power, Watts

τ = Torque, Newton-meter

N = Speed, rpm

2.2.7 Battery

The batteries are energy storage devices containing one or more electrochemical

cells that convert the stored chemical energy into electrical energy. Cells can be divided

into two major classes: primary and secondary. Primary cells are not rechargeable and

must be replaced once the reactants are depleted. Secondary cells are rechargeable and

require a DC charging source to restore reactants to their fully charged state. Also, this

is used to provide standby or emergency electricity supplies. Stages of Battery Charging

There are different stages of charging the battery - bulk charging,

absorption charging, and float charging.

Figure 2.8 Three Stages of Battery Charging

In the bulk charging, the voltage and current is at maximum to return the

state of charge of the battery as fast as it can without damaging the battery. As

the battery attains 80% state of charge, the battery charging will come to

absorption charging. In this stage, the voltage is maintained at its nominal

voltage while the current decreased to avoid the damage on the battery. The

battery also does not efficiently get more amps because the extra amps is

converted into heat rather than stored. When the battery is at 100% state of

charge, the charging state is at float charging. The battery voltage drops slightly

while the current is very low. The floating charge matches the self-discharge of

the battery. Depth of discharge (DOD)

This term is used to determine how much charge is used. This a set for

sizing the battery, high DOD lessens the life cycle; Low DOD have high life

cycle, however it cannot operate in full potential (which lead to oversizing).

Therefore, the installer must choose the right DOD to avoid oversize or

undersize batteries. Typically, the right DOD is set to 50% to 75% DOD. State of charge (SOC)

This term is used to know the amount of energy still stored in the battery

that is the opposite of the depth of discharge. In line with this, cycle depth is the

sequence of discharging and then charging back-up to the state of charge at the

start. The total life cycles a battery can have depends on how depth is the

discharge. As the depth of discharge increases, the numbers of cycles decreases

in its total life cycles.

Fig. 2.9 Cycles vs. Depth of Discharge

20 Battery capacity (Ah)

The capacity of battery is measured as Ampere-hour (Ah). For example,

the battery has 100 Ah and being discharge continuously at a constant 5A, the

battery will be discharged in 20 hours. The battery capacity is determined by

two factors: (a) temperature, (b) and rate of discharge. The representation of the

discharge rate is Crate or C/rate. If the battery will be discharge at 20 hours, the

representation will be C20. In line with this, the slower the reaction, the greater

the capacity of battery can be used. However, if the reaction is faster, the

capacity that can be drawn from the battery is smaller.

Fig. 2.10 C/rates at different hours

The capacity of the battery can be calculated by the following formula:

Ahtotal = Ahuse / DOD Equation 2.3

Ahuse = Ahload x Autonomy Days Equation 2.4


Ahtotal = Total Ampere hours

Ahuse = Ampere hours used

Ahuse = Ampere hours consumed by the load

DOD = Depth of Discharge

2.2.8 Generator

This machine is designed to convert mechanical energy to electrical energy for

the use of an external circuit. In this case, this acts as the heart of the entire system.

Early hydroelectric systems made use of direct current generation to match the

requirements of early electrical equipment; however, modern schemes make almost

exclusive use of three phase alternating current generators. There are two main groups

of generators namely synchronous generator (alternators) and asynchronous generator. Working Principle of an Alternator

Fig. 2.11 Rotating Magnetic Field Concept

Alternators are the workhorse of the power generation industry. These

machines are capable to generate AC power at a specified frequency. Electricity

is produced in alternators by electromagnetic induction. This is the production

of an electromotive force across an electrical conductor in a changing magnetic

field. To generate electricity in a coil either the coil should rotate with respect

to a magnetic field or a magnetic field should rotate with respect to the coil. In

the case of alternators, the latter approach is used. The rotor is made to rotate

by a prime mover. This makes the rotor flux also rotate along with it, at the same

speed. Such revolving magnetic flux now intersects the armature coils, which is

fitted around the rotor. This will generate an alternating E.M.F. across the


Fig. 2.12 When rotor is made to rotate electricity gets induced in armature
coils Construction of Alternator

Fig. 2.13 Basic Construction of an Alternator

Rotor and stator are the two main parts of an alternator. Stator is the

stationary part of the machine and it is made up of special magnetic material

which can allow high magnetic permeability and low magnetic hysteresis such

as fabricated steel. Rotor is the revolving field structure of the electrical

machine. It carries a field winding which is supplied by the DC source. This is

classified as to salient pole or non-salient pole. The salient pole type rotor is

used for low and medium speed machines (less than 1200 rpm) and have the

large diameter and small axial length. The non-salient pole type rotor has

mechanical robustness and gives noiseless operation at very high speed (1500-

3000 rpm). Frequency of an Alternator

In line with this, the frequency of electricity produced is synchronized

with mechanical rotational speed. Moreover, the frequency of the induced

E.M.F is directly proportional to the number of poles and rotor speed. It can be

easily established that frequency of induced E.M.F, rotor speed and number of

poles are connected through the following relationship.

f = PN/120 Equation 2.5


f = frequency in Hz

P = No. of Poles

N = Rotor Speed in RPM

2.2.9 LED Street Lighting System

In the past, street lighting primarily included variants of HID technology, which

provided the highest efficacy levels and the longest service life available. Today, solid-

state lighting or LED technology has developed to the point where it can deliver

significant energy savings and useful life advantages over traditional HID technology,

when the applicable products are selected and properly deployed.

24 LED Lamps

LED lamp is an electrical component that emits light through the

movement of electrons in a semiconductor device. It lacks a filament, uses less

power and has a long lifespan compared to others as shown in Fig. 2.15. Though

the initial cost is generally high, LEDs produce more light than incandescent

lamps and help save energy in energy-conserving devices. Moreover, these type

of lamps consumes half of power consumed by a regular CFL. LEDs are usually

assembled into a light bulb. These diodes can emit light of an intended color

without the use of color filters.

Fig. 2.14 Life-cycle energy consumption of incandescent, CFL and LED lamps Street Light Illumination

Illumination is the total luminous flux incident on a surface, per

unit area. It is a measure of how much the incident light illuminates the surface,

wavelength-weighted by the luminosity function to correlate with human

brightness perception. The amount of illumination can be calculated using

inverse-square law as shown in Equation 2.4. Standards has been set by

associations and organizations in making various photometric parameters

acceptable, in this case, for street lighting.

E = I cosθ / r2 Equation 2.6


E = Illumination, lux

I = Intensity of the source, candela

r = distance, meters

θ = angle in between

Table 2.2 Minimum amount of Illumination and CRI for corresponding Areas


H0 – the designed picohydroelectric system in Talisay River is able to provide 75W

power for electrification and lighting of street lightings.

H1 – the designed picohydroelectric system in Talisay River is unable to provide 75W

power for electrification and lighting of street lightings.


The elements of the project can be classified into three main structures: the

input, the process and the output.


• Intake and • Energy • Street Light

Passage of Transformation Electrification

Fig. 2.15 Conceptual Framework

The project is intended to produce electric power to light up automatic street

lights by means of pico hydroelectric system. Evidently, the input of the system is the

flowing water which is taken by the system through the intake and is allowed to run

freely through the penstock. Both the inlet and the penstock are composed of metal


The process of energy transformation starts after the intake of flowing water.

The flowing water will hit the turbines, composing of metal blades, which causes them

to rotate. This converts the kinetic energy from linear movement of water into an energy

with a rotational movement. The turbine is connected to a sprocket system which allows

the speed of the system to multiply every turn by a specific ratio. The smaller sprocket

is then connected to the shaft/rotor of the generator. This allows the movement of

electrons through the conductors thus producing an electric power. In this stage, the

kinetic energy due to the rotation is transformed into electrical energy. The electricity

produced will then be stored on a battery for the application purposes.

The output of the system is the electricity used to power up the street lights

installed. Using a switch, the LED street lights will be able to light up.


Alternating Current – an electric current which periodically reverses direction

Direct Current – the unidirectional flow of electric charge

Distribution – carries electricity from the transmission system to individual consumers

Electrical Efficiency – useful power output divided by the total electrical power


Volumetric Flow Rate – the volume of fluid which passes per unit time

Generation – the process of generating electric power from sources of primary energy

Hydraulic Head – measured as a liquid surface elevation

LED Lamp – an electric light or light bulb for use in light fixtures that produces light

using light-emitting diodes

Off grid – are stand-alone power system typically used to provide a smaller

community with electricity

Pico Hydro – a term used for hydroelectric power generation of under 5 kW

Renewable Energy – energy that is collected and naturally replenished on a human


Run-off River – a type of hydroelectric generation plant whereby little or no water

storage is provided

Shaft – is a rotating machine element, usually circular in cross section, which is used

to transmit power from one part to another.

Sprocket – a profiled wheel with teeth, or cogs, that mesh with a chain, track or other

perforated or indented material.