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→Constraints for exploitation
===Constraints for exploitation===
: A small hydroelectric powerplant is very expensive to install, around 1500 € to 3000 € per installed kW ***; operating costs are however quite low. The material is generally robust and lasts a lifetime if regular maintenance is exerciced for several decades. If we sign up for the perspective of a sustainable development, we should consider that in terms of the economic life-expectancy of the facility, the replacement of the facility will be incorporated by the users of the network agreeing to pay for the supplied power. The billing of the consumption allows to build up the needed capital for the maintenance and future replacement; it avoids abusive consumptions. About the pricing, it must be designed in function of the objectives of the powerplant project. About the pricing, we suggest progressive pricing (the more one consumes, the more the price per kW is increased, obviously within certain limits) which reduces the risk of waste, and sectorial pricing (collective or community consumptions are are charged at more favorable rates) ....
: Operating costs are low if the facility is regularly maintained: the damaged parts are replaced quickly (stock of spare parts), abnormal wear is investigated to identify the causes. Losses on the network are eliminated without delay.# : Who says maintenance, says manager and personnel trained for the task at hand.# : Control of consumption and illegal connections are punished. A too great consumption (overloading the network) will lead to a voltage drop that can cause damage to connected equipment, especially engines. The client is asked to sign a service contract which stipulates his rights and obligations.# : Public information campaign on things to avoid and prevention:The area of the water intake in the river is to be avoided by the other users of the river (risk of getting caught up in the waterflow and risk of drowning); intake channel may be used for other purposes (laundry, irrigation), the manager informs the public to incidents such as blocked grates, overflow, etc ... The practice of bathing is regulated or prohibited in the absence of a basin with restraints to prevent the risk of drowning or sudden spills of large volumes of water.Information on the dangers of electrocution will be presented at both the facility and at the home.# : In the spirit of sustainable development, the facility must take into account other water uses , both existing or planned, at the time of the drafting of the powerplant project. The sharing of the water must be done fairly; ie on the basis of criteria that all stakeholders comply to.# : Estimates of budget, deadline for implementation
From an average unit cost of 2000 €/kW installed, it is easy to estimate the investment budget for 10, 100 or 1000kW, as being € 20,000 to € 2,000,000. On the other hand, pico-powerplants of 300W are sold in Vietnam for U.S.D. $20 and are very popular.
It is likely that the complexity of a facility of more than 100kW extends the delay of realisation because of forgoing feasibility studies, which probably increases the quality and reliability of the project.