02 – NEPALI MODULAR PICO-HYDRO POWER PLANT PROTOTYPE PROJECT IN MOHARI VILLAGE JUMLA NEPAL (20 Min.)

02 – NEPALI MODULAR PICO-HYDRO POWER PLANT PROTOTYPE PROJECT IN MOHARI VILLAGE JUMLA NEPAL (20 Min.)

02 – MODULAR PICO-HYDRO POWER PLANT PROTOTYPE PROJECT IN MOHARI VILLAGE JUMLA NEPAL(20 Min.)
In the remote, high-altitude Himalayan regions of Nepal, many micro-hydro power plants, with power generation from a few kW to 100 kW have been built since the 1980’s. However, as all of these micro-hydro power plants are FIRST TIME rural village electrification systems, and as the end users have usually NOT been made aware of what it means to have electricity for improved access to energy services through a micro-hydro power plant, MOST of the micro-hydro power plants are either NOT functional at times even after a few months, or are operating inefficient (with a maximum utilization of the potential generated energy of LESS than 10% !!) and NOT in an overall cost covering way. Also, the built micro-hydro power plants are usually in the range of 15-50 kW, far too large for a small village community with 10-50 families, which may needs only a few kWs (1-3 kW) for a few LED lights in their homes for the first few years of their first-time village electrification. This, as the end users have NOT been made aware or taught by the developer, government or NGO/INGO building the micro-hydro power plant, that electricity generated by a micro-hydro power plant has a cost per unit (kWh) consumed to run and maintain. Also, the operator(s) have NOT been properly trained how to run, maintain and carry out simple repair woks at the village owned micro-hydro power plant. So, e.g. any periodical maintenance, such as greasing the bearings etc. is not done and therefore any break down of the power plant usually means the “end” of the micro-hydro power plant.
To address this unacceptable situation, RIDS-Nepal, in partnership with its sister organization RIDS-Switzerland and RIDS-USA, has developed a NEW, MODULAR PICO-HYDRO POWER PLANT approach, which enables a village community to start with one small hydro power generator, 1-2 kW and then the user community can ADD power generators (turbines) as per their increased power and energy demands over the years to come. That enables the end user community to start with a small (pico) hydro power plant which is more affordable and can be operated and maintained easier by them. The MODULARITY of the pico-hydro power plant means that the local user community can ADD more generators as when they need more power and CAN AFFORD to pay for a bigger system! That gives them the needed and important ownership and ability for themselves when they can and should increase the power generation.
Additionally, while the traditional micro-hydro power plant RUN ONLY DUNG THE NIGHTS, i.e. max. 12 hours per 24-hour day, the newly developed “Modular PICO-HYDRO Power Plant” concept utilizes ALL the energy it generates over the course of a day (24 hours) through “SMART DUMP LOADS” such as hot water heating systems to have hot showers for the local people to improve their hygiene, as during the cold 5-6 winter months hardly anyone washes in these high-altitude Himalayan regions. Further, room heating and biogas digester heating systems are also included as additional “smart dump loads” if the village consumption is lower than what the pico-hydro power plant generates.
Also, the new modular pic-hydro power plant included a PAYG payment system which demands that the users PAY for their electricity in advance. This, as in traditional micro-hydro power plants users often do NOT pay at the end of the month for their used electricity, besides that the costs of the electricity is usually FAR below the price for electricity calculated under a life-cycle cost analysis.

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