Assessment of Mini-Hydro Power Plant for Improving Output Capacity Generation
Keywords:Hydropower; Mini-Hydropower Assessment; Water Re-circulation and Storage Technology; Renewable Energy
Water uncertainty in run-of-river schemes has impacted immensely on existing mini-hydro technology in Malaysia. Since 1980s mini-hydropower plants were operating under difficult conditions due to climate and environmental changes. Power output dwindled to 37% of the total installed capacity of 16,643 kW. Therefore, one of the main contribution of this study is to characterize the factors causing the inconsistency in power output and to suggest ways to improve the system to revive mini-hydropower plants. The methodology will include a two-tiered condition-based assessment and RETScreen Expert Analysis to determine the actual condition of the plants. Hence, the study will propose the area of weakness to focus on in improving output capacity generation to address the insufficient water flow faced by most of the mini-hydro in Malaysia. Power output will be restored to the optimum level, with an average annual electricity generation of 123,923,778 kWh / year based on a load factor of 0.85%. Additionally, it will contribute positively to efforts in reducing the 40% carbon emission intensity by 2020 from its 1990 levels. The way forward, this concept will recommend the introduction of low-head axial and cross-over turbines. Ultimately, it is believed that a significant contribution can be impacted with the enhancement of mini-hydropower plants generation into Peninsular Malaysia’s electricity grids to help in achieving the national target to increase the penetration of renewable energy generation mixed up to 20% by 2025.