Hydro Power

Turbine for Small Hydro Power Generator

Small Hydro plants (also called Micro- and Pico-Hydro) have a huge potential for power generation in Kenyan rural areas but face various challenges such as lack of adequately trained manpower as well as poor design of turbine and generator components, among others. This research project aims to stimulate local manufacturing of small hydro turbines by developing a high performance, reliable and durable Pelton wheel, a key component in these turbines.


Laboratory for Hydro Energy Conversion

The objective of the research is to develop a test-bench where technicians involved in maintenance of the small hydro power projects can be trained to enhance their skills and at the same time be used to investigate the challenges that they face especially with the generator controls. The research will initially develop 1kW turbine and a hydraulic ram pump for preliminary tests, which will be later scaled up to a 5kW turbine. An induction motor will be used as a generator since they are readily available and fairly inexpensive.

These research projects are being conducted in collaboration with several researchers from Ashikaga Institute of Technology (AIT), including Prof. Nemoto and Prof. Ando, among others.

For more information about Research on Small Hydro-Power, please contact Prof. S.M. Maranga in the Mechanical Engineering Department at JKUAT smmaranga(at)yahoo.com