University of Twente Student Theses


Off the grid : Micro Hydro Power

Laméris, Mark N. (2018) Off the grid : Micro Hydro Power.

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Abstract:A micro hydro project started in 2008 the on Neverland organic farm near Tumianuma, Ecuador. The goal of this plant is to provide power for the farm and it’s neighbours who are not connected to the grid. Secondly, it is to promote sustainable energy on a small scale. In the remote Andes regions hydro power could be a good alternative or addition to solar energy. As part of the master Mechanical Engineering my internship assignment is to finalize this system and bring it to operation. Three main engineering tasks need to be done before testing is possible. Although not all steps after testing phase are completed, a significant progress has been made. The energy flow and losses are mapped, so that a loss reduction of 1.5kW could be realised. This was done by repositioning the turbine, which greatly improved water flow that was troubled by turbulence losses. Furthermore a leakage problem asked for a solution that allowed thermal expansion and still was capable to withstand the high hydraulic pressure of 70m. A new hydro controller has been installed that enables electronic load balancing based on a PI controller scheme. Additionally, it features better parameter display to monitor the plant’s functioning. Rewiring was necessary according the new electric diagram for this type of controller. A new problem arose with the magnetic field generation, which was noticed as an under voltage or even no voltage generation. Different parts of the system are isolated to evaluate their individual functioning. Unfortunately no real conclusive results could be obtained that point out where the exact problem is within this system. To a limited extend the solution is found in increasing the capacitance, but rewiring users loads was finally necessary to meet the user output requirements. Due to this issue, other planned activities such as training of personnel, development of a maintenance plan and the development of an useful energy dissipation system could not be fulfilled. Different recommendations are listed that will contribute to a successful life cycle of the plant. They are grouped in necessary tasks, improvements and research questions. Most important are the installation of an user protection relay and a service for the turbine.
Item Type:Internship Report (Master)
Faculty:ET: Engineering Technology
Subject:52 mechanical engineering
Programme:Mechanical Engineering MSc (60439)
Keywords:micro hydro power, Neverland organic farm Ecuador, self excited induction generator, pump as turbine, electronic load controller
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