Public Release:  New method for estimating cost of small hydropower projects

American Institute of Physics

College Park, MD (August 17, 2010) -- In developing countries such as India, small hydroelectric power (SHP) projects represent a potentially large but largely untapped source of energy, primarily because the cost of constructing the sites is thought to be higher per kilowatt of generated power than the cost of large plants.

But is it? To find out, Sunil Singal, Senior Scientific Officer at the Indian Institute of Technology in Roorkee, India, developed a method, described in the American Institute of Physics' Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, to assess the installation and operating costs of small hydroelectric power projects known as dam toe SHP schemes.

"In a dam-based hydroelectric plant, a dam is constructed to store the seasonal water for power generation," explains Singal. Some dams, however, already exist for other purposes -- such as flood mitigation, irrigation, and drinking water production.

"These dams are not constructed for power generation, but when water flows from dam outlets under pressure, due to the water-level difference upstream and downstream of the dam, there is a possibility of power generation," he says. Singal's analysis of these projects suggests that they are indeed financially viable.

"The methodology can be used by developers to plan investment in such schemes," he says.

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The article, "Optimization of low-head, dam-toe, small hydropower projects" by S. K. Singal, R. P. Saini, and C. S. Raghuvanshi appears in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy. http://jrse.aip.org/jrsebh/v2/i4/p043109_s1

Journalists may request a free PDF of this article by contacting jbardi@aip.org

JOURNAL OF RENEWABLE AND SUSTAINABLE ENERGY

Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy (JRSE) is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal published by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) that covers all areas of renewable and sustainable energy-related fields that apply to the physical science and engineering communities. As an electronic-only, Web-based journal with rapid publication time, JRSE is responsive to the many new developments expected in this field. The interdisciplinary approach of the publication ensures that the editors draw from researchers worldwide in a diverse range of fields. See: http://jrse.aip.org/

ABOUT AIP

The American Institute of Physics is a federation of 10 physical science societies representing more than 135,000 scientists, engineers, and educators and is one of the world's largest publishers of scientific information in the physical sciences. Offering partnership solutions for scientific societies and for similar organizations in science and engineering, AIP is a leader in the field of electronic publishing of scholarly journals. AIP publishes 12 journals (some of which are the most highly cited in their respective fields), two magazines, including its flagship publication Physics Today; and the AIP Conference Proceedings series. Its online publishing platform Scitation hosts nearly two million articles from more than 185 scholarly journals and other publications of 28 learned society publishers.

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