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Micro hydropower case study - the ZERCA project

This project, led by our partners at IST-Lisboa, explored the technical, economic and social implications of replacing diesel generated power with a hydropower solution on a farm.

The project was based at the ZERCA farm, located in the vicinity of the Pombuige River, Province of Cuanza Sul, Quibala, Quibala Commune, Angola.

The farm uses a three-phase diesel generator with rated power of 20 kVA / 16 kW (investment cost around 16 000 €) to fulfill the maximum power required, 10 kW, and according to the technical specification of the generator, the consumption, at 100% load, is 6.3 l / hour (0.4 l/kWh). The consumption of diesel corresponds to the monthly production of 2 540 kWh (84,7 kWh/day, 30 900 kWh/year, at an average power of 3.53 kW).

What is proposed is the replacement of this generator by a micro hydropower plant as a viable solution with no significant environmental and social impacts associated. The benefits are substantial, being an excellent status quo for similar projects with guaranteed water flow, or excess of pressure in the water sector networks, since hydrogenation is mainly conditioned by head and flow requirements. In preliminary analyses, the power and energy output, civil, mechanical, electro works, and the economic, social and environmental feasibility analyses, are explored. A diversion scheme will be adopted, filling the gap of the decentralised energy production necessary to that farm for municipal activity, to supply the industry in a rural and isolated zone, improving its opportunities for development.

The project explores the technical solution of design and implementation of a micro hydropower solution, and explores the expected benefits in terms of investment costs, cost savings, efficiency, noise and emissions.

Read the Technical Report here:

 

And the Economic Analysis here:

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