Small-Scale Hydroelectric Power Plant is Environmentally-Friendly, Cost Effective
October 20, 2010 10:02 PM
comment(s) - last by
Simple construction and fish gates help make the shaft power station eco-friendly and cheap
Technische Universitaet Muenchen
researchers have created a
that is both environmentally friendly and cost efficient.
Professor Peter Rutschmann and Dipl.-Ing. Albert Sepp of the Oskar von Miller-Institut, which is TUM's research institution for hydraulic and water resources engineering, have developed the small-scale hydroelectric power plant in an effort to address the issues that large-scale plants present.
Large-scale power plants can be problematic because they destroy natural riverside landscapes with the amount of construction required to build them, and they also cost more money to build since more materials are needed. In addition, the destruction of the environment leads to destruction of ecosystems as well.
Until now, researchers have had issues with smaller power stations as well. The low dam height of previous smaller power stations made it so that water had to be "guided" past by a bay-type power plant type of construction around it, which presented problems with achieving an even flow of
water to the turbines
. This type of construction also harmed fish.
But now, TUM researchers have solved these problems by designing a small transformer station on the river bank called a shaft power plant. This small-scale power station consists of a power generation system that is hidden in a shaft dug into the riverbed, reducing the impact on the landscape and waterways. Water flows into a box-shaped construction where it drives the turbine and is then led back into the river
under the dam
. With manufacturers creating generators that can be operated underwater, this type of system is possible without a large riverbank power house. This system also prevents vortex formation, where water would suddenly flow downward increasing turbine wear and tear and reducing the plant's efficiency.
The problem with
is solved through the use of a gate, which is placed above the power plant shaft in order to allow enough water for fish to pass through safely.
Besides being environmentally friendly, the small-scale hydroelectric power plant is cost effective. Despite its simple construction and low dam height, the power station is capable of "operating profitably."
"We assume that the costs are between 30 and 50 percent lower by comparison with a bay-type hydropower plant," said Rutschmann.
The shaft power plant functions economically despite its low head of water, which is only one to two meters. Most bay-type power plants need twice this "head of water." To accommodate larger bodies of water, several shafts can be dug next to one another.
Right now, hydroelectric power accounts for three percent of electricity consumed
, and researchers are hoping to increase this number through the use of shaft power plants. There are areas all over the Europe that can utilize this type of power, and according to Rutschmann, developing countries can too.
"Major portions of the world's population have no access to electricity at all," said Rutschmann. "Distributed, local power generation by lower-cost, easy-to-operate, low-maintenance power plants is the only solution."
Rutschmann also noted that turbines may not be "financially feasible" for certain areas, so the use of a cheap submersible pump ran in reverse was his suggestion, which works in the shaft power plant.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Cost effective??
10/23/2010 3:11:50 AM
Didn't Bush not count the military budget? Kind of like wishful thinking... whereas Obama is actually counting that as a part of the budget? I think that ought to make a big difference in how many beans are counted.
"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
Researchers Cook Up Better Prosthetics, Fish Robots
October 19, 2010, 10:48 AM
Germany to Outlaw Corporate Facebook Snooping, Mandates RFID Cards
August 23, 2010, 11:08 AM
Paris Romances Hydroelectric Power, Looks to Install Turbines in Seine
July 1, 2010, 7:28 AM
Canadian Romaine River Dams Could Supply New York State, New England with Clean Power
May 19, 2009, 1:06 PM
Creationists are Mad About Google Doodle Depicting Evolution
November 24, 2015, 8:48 PM
DHS and TSA: Whoops, We Missed That 73 Airport Employees May be Terrorists
November 19, 2015, 2:16 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information