Assessment and design of small-scale hydro-electric power plants
Appraisal and design of small-scale hydro power plants requires a knowledge of hydraulics, hydrology, civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering, and basic economics. Further, small hydro is site specific in nature and marginal from an economic view point. Methods of appraisal and design are required therefore that will keep engineering fees to a minimum and yet still achieve a reliable evaluation of scheme potential and economics. In this context it should be appreciated that small hydro is not large hydro scaled down, and that small hydro needs its own experts (Ref. 1). This thesis considers techniques for appraisal of small hydropower schemes, the selection and specification of scheme components, their costing and economic evaluation. These appraisal techniques are subsequently applied to regional assessment of small-scale hydro-electric potential in the U. K, and to the development and application of a new type of ultra low-head hydropower generator called the Salford Transverse oscillator (STO). Although this work is predominately concerned with assessment of scheme potential in the U.K., it also draws on experience gained by the writer during short visits to India and Nepal, and during a six month design appraisal for rehabilitation of mini-hydro schemes in Sri Lanka (Ref. 2).