A new hydro power technology is being developed by Sarfraz Ahmad Khan of Pakistan. In theory these hydro plants would not require a reservoir and would have a minimal impact on the environment. They could be run side-by-side in rows and would be much cheaper to build, operate and maintain. Sarfraz has high hopes that his ideas could revolutionize hydro power in his country and across the globe. He is currently seeking expert confirmation of his ideas; this article provides a brief summary of his ideas along with some of the 3D images he has created. You can help him by leaving your comments at the bottom of the page, or by joining the discussion that inspired this article.
What is this Project?
This project is an idea based upon the principal of converting the potential energy of wild flowing rivers into electrical power (without having a huge reservoir). As we know in hydro-power generation there are two major aspects which play vital role: first is water head and second is water velocity. In this structure of equipment, we try to obtain maximum output from a river’s velocity. Very high water head cannot be achieved with out huge cost.
What are the ideal locations for this kind of project?
Mountain Ranges where the downward inclination of a river is remarkable, including areas near to the glaciers, or near to the sources of rivers (Mountain Ranges). In Pakistan there are many possible sites like Kaghan, Naran, Sawat Valley, Kashmir, Chitral, and Skardu.
What are the advantages of this project?
- Less expensive
- Environment friendly.
- Maximum output achieved.
- Multiple setups in one row (breast wheel).
- Jobs are created in hilly regions.
- Low maintenance (minimum staff required).
What are the disadvantages?
These hydro power units can only achieve maximum performance in the summer season when the river’s flow is strongest. In the winter months the flow of water is reduced and out-put can be significantly lower. However, this project should feasible enough as it does not require a large budget to build, operate and maintain. Moreover, electricity needs are higher in the summer months anyway, so this type of hydro technology would help to fulfill the country’s electricity demands during peak season.
Brief working details
1. This project can be engineered in the mountain ranges where the rivers have a high velocity and a narrow width.
2. The first phase is to construct the concrete walls on the banks of the river to straighten the flow of water.
3. After that the stream holding structure will be constructed (mostly metallic). It will hold the stream collector bodies at a certain point where max pressure of water may be achieved to make the powerful out let stream and water head approx 2m.
4. Stream collector bodies may be gripped by metallic rods of stream collector holding structure which would be connected to the simple water level monitoring system. As the water level rises in the river the stream collector bodies would be lifted upward to reduce the extra pressure of water. When the water level gets lower the system could automatically push the stream collector bodies down.
5. Once we achieve the stream outlet pressure, a generator holding structure can be installed in front of the stream outlets. The potential energy of water can rotate the electricity generator to produce the electric power.
6. Several units of this set up can be installed in a row in order to reduce the cost and maximize the output.
1. The stream collector bodies water cause water levels to rise more than the required head. In this case some water exhaust canals in the sideway (for flood event) may help.
2. Computerized water level monitoring systems should be able to move the steam collector bodies and rotator upward or downward. This will keep the flow and function of the generator steady so that it will not be affected by the increase or decrease of the water level.
3. Floating wooden logs or trees may damage the system. To prevent this, a metallic grid should be installed (before installation) in order to filter out river debris.
4. For safety and to prevent damage in the event of flooding or rough rivers, stream collector bodies and rotators could be pulled upward and out of the water surface.
- Stream collector bodies.
- Stream collector holding structure.
- Concrete walls.
- Stream outlet.
- Generator holding structure.
- Generator turbine.
- Sideways canals for excessive water flow.
- Water level monitoring system, connected to the mechanical system (for lifting the stream collector bodies and turbine units, upward and downward).
- Infrastructure for electrical power stabilization and distribution.
Estimated power output
Volume of water per sec = 18 ~ 25mÂ³
Velocity of water = 9.8m / sec
Water head = 2m
Efficiency = 75 %
Request for analysis and conclusions
I am looking for assistance with this project. I would like to know if this project would be feasible, so I am asking for your expert opinion and analysis. Ultimately I would like to construct a small lab model in order to prove my hypothesis, but I have been unable to acquire technical assistance. Some of the more important factors still to be considered are the tentative costs and power output.
– Sarfraz Ahmad Khan
109-West, Blue Area, Islamabad, Pakistan
Cell Phone: 0092-322-5106080
If you would like to help Sarfraz verify this idea you can add a comment at the bottom of this article or contribute to a discussion of the topic.