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Micro-hydro power potential can make turnaround in Pak energy sector

agakhan04a_optSidra Cheema

THE ENERGY-starved Pakistan is capable enough to produce over 50,000 megawatts of electricity at a cheap cost through micro-hydro power generation means especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Kashmir and Northern Areas of the country as these areas have a large number of sites where these power generation units can be installed.

Pakistan is in dire need of overcoming its persistent energy shortfall which has critically dampened the national growth and economy in addition to routine life across the country. Micro hydro is frequently accomplished with a Pelton Wheel for high head, low flow water supply. The installation is often just a small dammed pool, at the top of a waterfall, with several hundred feet of pipe leading to small generator housing. This was the crux of the research briefings given at a recently concluded three-day workshop held here.

The event, organized by the Hydro Link Engineering & Equipment Company (Pvt) Ltd, was meant for the capacity building of people and to create knowledge among the people about how they can produce cheap electricity with the help of micro hydro power in there flood affected Northern Areas.

While addressing the workshop, Jens Summerfield, Project Manager of Micro Hydro Power, said that the main purpose of this workshop is to create knowledge among the participants and give them technical expertise so that they could be able to produce electricity through turbines, generators and channels in their respective areas.

“There are a lot of resources in Pakistan but people don’t know how to use these resources. The basic need is to provide education at master’s level to the people and guide them about the importance of education. If the people were educated, they would be able to understand how to use these resources in a technical way,” he maintained.

Micro hydro is a type of hydroelectric power that produces up to 100 KW of electricity using the natural flow of water. These installations can provide power to an isolated home or small community, or sometimes connected to electric power networks.

According to experts, there are many of these installations around the world, particularly in developing nations as they can provide an economical source of energy without the purchase of fuel.

There are many types of water turbines that can be used in micro hydro installations, selection depending on the head of water, the volume of flow, and such factors as availability of local maintenance and transport of equipment to the site. For mountainous regions where a waterfall of 50 meters or more may be available, a Pelton wheel can be used.

The very smallest micro hydro installations may successfully use industrial centrifugal pumps, run in reverse as prime movers while the efficiency may not be as high as a purpose-built runner, the relatively low cost makes the projects economically feasible.

At the concluding remarks, Fazli Rabbi, CEO Hydrolink Engineering Equipment Company, said that our main purpose to organize this workshop was to give knowledge to people how they can produce energy by their own. During this workshop, people had done practical and technical experiments.

“Our vision is to exploit the natural resources through hydro power development, develop the energy sector of Pakistan, increase the craftsmanship and empower our society to make them self-sufficient in friendly energy production by utilizing the natural resources available abundantly especially in Kashmir and Northern Areas,” he explained.

 



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