Development of a Stand Alone Micro-Hydro System using Pump as Turbine Technology for Low Head Sites in Remote Areas

In the world there are many villages without electricity. Due to remoteness of these communities it is difficult to connect these with grid. This  condition makes them eligible for the decentralized remote power technologies. This case study illustrates how simple technology can be applied to  microhydro power system to provide a viable form of energy to off-grid communities. Smallscale hydroelectric power systems are emerging as a  promising source of renewable energy generation, but they require low cost hydraulic and electric equipment to make them economically feasible.  Using a pump as turbine (PAT) and induction motor as generator can save substantial capital investment. Recent power electronics development can produce equipment rated electrical voltage and frequency for a wide range of generator speeds, providing additional flexibility. Specifically direct drive systems can be operated over a range of head conditions without flow control. A selection of correct pump for the turbine service has been difficult due to the lack of PAT performance data and non availability of standard method. This is especially true for low head sites. This paper presents a  simple approach to predict PAT performance to aid in pump selection. A low head micro-hydro site producing 25 kW electric power from 5.5 meters  of gross head is presented as a case study. Chan’s approach is then implemented to simulate unregulated PAT directly coupled to Self Excited  Induction Generator (SEIG). The performance analysis of PAT-SEIG gives useful inputs for inverter-distribution transformer operation.

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