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Hydro power plants convert potential energy of water into electricity. It is a clean source of energy .The water after generating electrical power is available for irrigation and other purposes. The first use of moving water to produce electricity was a waterwheel on the Fox River in Wisconsin in 1882. Hydropower continued to play a major role in the expansion of electrical service early in this century around the world. Hydroelectric power plants generate from few kW to thousands of MW. They are classified as micro hydro power plants for the generating capacity less than 100 KW. Hydroelectric power plants are much more reliable and efficient as a renewable and clean source than the fossil fuel power plants. This resulted in upgrading of small to medium sized hydroelectric generating stations wherever there was an adequate supply of moving water and a need for electricity. As electricity demand soared in the middle of this century and the efficiency of coal and oil fueled power plants increased, small hydro plants fell out of favor. Mega projects of hydro power plants were developed. The majority of these power plants involved large dams, which flooded big areas of land to provide water storage and therefore a constant supply of electricity. In recent years, the environmental impacts of such large hydro projects are being identified as a cause for concern. It is becoming increasingly difficult for developers to build new dams because of opposition from environmentalists and people living on the land to be flooded. Therefore the need has arisen to go for the small scale hydro electric power plants in the range of mini and micro hydro power plants. There are no micro hydro power plants in Malaysia and the smallest category of hydro power plants in Malaysia is mini hydro with a capacity between 500 kW to 100 kW. This paper discusses the conceptual design and development of a micro hydro power plant .The overall estimation and calculation of a 50 kW power plant has been carried out. Software is also developed using MATLAB to calculate the total head, discharge rate, type of turbine for the micro hydro power plants, once the capacity is known.
Date of Conference: 29-30 Nov. 2004