Simulation and Implementation of Micro Hydro Generation for Small Rural Loads

Kanzumba Kusakana, Herman Vermaak, and Galu P. Yuma


Micro hydropower, renewable energy sources, modeling, simulation, experimental


A large amount of suitable sites to develop Micro/Pico hydro power in South Africa have not yet been developed, especially in areas not served by the grid. One valuable and cost effective way to optimize the deployment of Micro/Pico hydro power in those off-grid areas is by the utilization of simplistic and locally designed turbines coupled to squirrel-cage induction generators which have more advantages compared to conventional synchronous generators when used for rural applications. This paper presents a simple model of a standalone Micro hydropower composed of an induction generator directly coupled to a Kaplan water turbine. Mathematical and SIMULINK models are developed; simulations using MATLAB software are performed to highlight the characteristics of the output voltage when the mechanical input due to the water flow is varying. Experiments have been conducted on a prototype constructed in the lab to validate the results obtained from the theoretical developed model.

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