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New MHP to provide sustainable energy for Agro-Tourism at Moleiro da Costa Má, Portugal

New MHP to provide sustainable energy for Agro-Tourism at Moleiro da Costa Má, Portugal

This micro hydro power (MHP) plant is currently being constructed 

The project will enable the construction of innovative and sustainable infrastructure for a local fruit farm and tourist site.  It will create a totally self-sufficient agro-tourism attraction by generating sustainable energy as an alternative to grid energy. This will complement the Costa Má project philosophy of self-sufficiency and the overall concept of the farm - total self-sufficiency (energetic, therapeutic and food).  

Location

Moleiro da Costa Má is located in the parish of Silva Escura, in the municipality of Sever do Vouga, in the district of Aveiro, Portugal. It develops along the valley of the Rio Mau, next to the waterfall of Cabreia, which results in an abundance of water and lush vegetation.  These conditions provide a beautiful and relaxing location, ideal for tourism and the cultivation of aromatic herbs.  The unique site offers a serene, self-sufficient and biodiverse agro-tourism experience which reflects the sustainable agricultural, artistic and therapeutic activities developed on the farm. 

The four images below show the existing weir still, irrigation channel in April 2021 and images of local fruits and vegetation.

Micro Hydropower implementation - REDAWN Pilot Demonstration

The weir is currently damaged by floods. It will be reconstructed with reinforced concrete with a local stone cladding to integrate it sympathetically into the local landscape. A simple weir about 2 m high x 15 m long will be built above the natural bed of the river. The discharge threshold will be fixed at the same level as the original weir, at an altitude of 200.3 m. The 178 m long penstock will be buried, have an inside diameter of 0.44 m (to accommodate future expansion of the power station) and a manual valve at the power house. The power plant will have a footprint of 5 x 5 m2 and be bult on the site of the old mill, taking advantage of an exisiting wall. As with the weir, the power plant will be built of local stone to integrate into the local landscape. The turbine will operate with a net head of 7.68 m and flow rate of 120 l/s (0.12 m3/s). The power on the turbine shaft will be 6.1 kW and 5.3 kW at the generator output terminals. It is estimated that the scheme will produce an average of 22,500 kWh per year.

Construction progress

Civil works started in April 2021 including the Hydraulic circuit. See below images for progress so far. 

11 April - Installation of the penstock along the side of the watercourse which connects the weir (micro dam) and the mill (power house).

14 April 2021 - Penstock shown on surface along poposed route

21 April 2021 - Trench excavation for penstock installation

22 April - Day 2 of penstock installation works

25 June - The turbine concept design is ready for lab testing before the building of the prototype for the pilot demonstration

28 June - Turbine lab preparation tests begin..

29 June - The tailrace is now ready concreted and the video below shows the first "rotations" of the turbine model

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20 July - The powerhouse is being built and is almost complete with walls. The floor and tailrace are ready. The motor as shown in the middle image and figure below, which will work as an asynchronous generator, has just arrived. All 3D runner turbine elements will soon be delivered… 

     

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