Pico-Hydro Feasibility Study

James Willet - a Meaningful Volunteer and green energy expert - recently finished a feasibility study for a pico-hydro system for the RYE School in the Philippines.

What is pico-hydro?  Pico-hydro uses a freshwater stream to generate small amounts of electricity.  The water is collected at the top of the stream into an intake bay, fed into a long pen-stock pipe that runs directly down the mountain which then spins an electric generator.

The system that will be used for the RYE School will generate approx. 1 kilowatt of electricity and save 0.9 tonnes of harmful greenhouse gases every year.  About 500 watts will be used to power the RYE School during peak hours and the rest will be used to charge car batteries.  The car batteries will then be used to power household that aren't on the power grid.  They will typically be used to power lights and a small radio.

The feasibility study showed that pico-hydro is a much more economical system than solar energy given the local conditions. 

31 Jul 2009