Assessing the viability of microhydropower generation from the stormwater flow of the detention outlet in an urban area

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Small-scale hydropower is the generation of electrical power of 10 MW or less from the transformation of kinetic energy in flowing water to mechanical energy in a rotating turbine to electrical energy in a generator. The technology is especially useful when installed with a stormwater infrastructure in countries teeming with abundant rainfall. It is upon this concept that this study is being pursued to assess the implementation of microhydropower within a stormwater infrastructure. In order to achieve sustainability of development, small-scale hydropower should be beneficial in the implementation of stormwater infrastructure, especially in countries that have abundant rainfall. The aim of this study is to provide an assessment method for microhydropower implementation within a stormwater infrastructure. PCSWMM software was used to simulate the flowing water at a detention outlet. Modification of the current detention pond was made to optimise the quantity and quality of water supplied to the turbine. Two important parameters in the modification design are quantity and quality of storm water, which optimise the energy generated. The total power that can be harnessed from the design is theoretically from 500 W to 0.5 MW. Therefore, it can be safely concluded that the implementation of microhydropower within a stormwater infrastructure is technologically feasible.

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