Normally Hydro Power Projects are constructed in combination with water utilisation or irrigation purposes. Hydro Power plants may be connected to conventional electrical distribution networks as a source of low-cost renewable energy. In Hydro Power Plant, the function of the hydro turbine is to convert hydraulic potential energy of water into the mechanical kinetic energy of the turbine runner, which in turn is converted into electrical energy by the generator.
Small hydro projects can be broadly classified in the following two types
Small streams with steep bed slopes are available in the hills, giving rise to medium as well as high head projects utilising small discharges. These schemes are normally run of the river type with a small diversion structure to divert the flows through the head regulator located in the intake portion of the diversion structure. The water conductor system would usually comprise of a diversion and head regulator, a power channel, a desilting basin, forebay, penstock, power house and a tail race leading from the power house to the stream.
Irrigation canals carrying relatively high but assured discharges have several falls along their route. Small hydel projects utilising low heads can be constructed at such falls. Small hydel projects can also be located just downstream of a dam, barrage or similar structure to utilise the difference in the water level in the reservoir and in the canal downstream. A bypass channel to bypass the flows adjacent to the fall structure is constructed and the power house is constructed in the bypass channel. The bypass channel is suitably connected to the main channel.
|Type of Turbine||Class of Head||Head range for large/ medium sets (m)||Head range for small sets (m)|
|Pelton (Impulse)||High Head||Above 300 m||Above 150 m|
|Francis (Reaction)||Medium Head||30 to 300 m||20 to 200 m|
|Kaplan (Axial Flow)||Low Head||3 to 50 m||3 to 40 m|
Depending upon the capacity of the project, a hydro Project can be classified as
|Micro||Upto 100 KW|
|Mini||101 to 2000 KW|
|Small||2001 to 25000 KW|
|Medium||Above 25000 KW to 100000 KW|
|Large||Above 100000 KW|
Power potential can be estimated by using the following formula Where
P=g x Q x H x η
P=Power in kW
Q=Turbine Discharge in Cu. M. per second or cumecs
H=Net head in meters
η=Overall unit efficiency
g=Gravitational constant generally taken as 9.81
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