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→Small hydropower plants
Classes of powerplants: The technical literature considers small power plants, those plants that generate a power output less than 2000kW or 2 MW. The small power plants are divided into mini power (maximum power output 500kW), micro-power (maximum power output of 100 kW) and pico-power (0.2 kw to 5kW). These powers outputs are to be considered as orders of magnitude because, depending on the country or region, different figures have been cited. The pico-plants have been installed mostly in Asia, Vietnam (120,000) and the Philippines.
Given that the turbine is to be placed near the river, it is highly desirable to know the variations of water level, to avoid seeing water invading the facilities during floods.
An installation, no matter how small, always includes the following elements (following the flow of water):
7: The electricity generator, is another essential part as it will convert the mechanical energy of the turbine into electrical energy. This conversion into electricity facilitates the provision on places that can be removed from the turbine. Today, the generator is an alternator that provides alternating current, a type of electricity that is more widespread than direct current. To provide an alternating current conforming to the needs of network users, the alternator must turn in a speed range set by the manufacturer. Between the generator and the turbine, which rotates much more slowly, a gearbox is installed to make the operation of the two machines compatible. The generator is set synchronous or asynchronous, as determined or set on the frequency of the cycles of current of the network, being 50 cycles per second except on the American continent where it is 60 cycles. If the plant is the only or main power source of the network, install a synchronous alternator.
8: Electrical cabinet for control and distribution. For the safety of the facilities and also the people, one should distribute the current on the network via a switchboard where the devices (fuses, disconnectors) allow the controlling of the distribution. At the other end of the network similar equipment should be installed to control the distribution with the client.