Saturday, January 29, 2005

Alternate Energy Philippines: MicroHydro Power

The Philippine Daily Inquirier has a number of special reports on the country's "preventable crisis" of energy supply including this one on the use of micro-hydro electricity.

While there is talk of a coming energy crisis in some areas of the Philippines, including Mindanao and the Visayas, in the remote communities in the Cordilleras, microhydroelectricity is being put to use.

Microhydro power plants (those with 7.5 to 35 kW capacity) don't need big, controversial dams to operate.

In fact, a small spring in Barangay Buneg, Conner town, Apayao province and in Barangay Lon-oy, San Gabriel town, La Union province - has enough power to run a generator for household electricity.

Hardly accessible, Buneg and Lon-oy are among 10,000 villages not covered by the National Power Corp. (Napocor) grid. Under the Philippine Energy Plan, Buneg and Lon-oy are among the villages due to be electrified 2010. But this is only on paper.

Remote communities and non-government and Church organizations advocating micro-hydro power say they cannot wait for the government to bring electricity to them.

So, on their own, representatives of the 300 Mabaka people of Buneg got in touch with the Catholic Church and the Sibol ng Agham at Teknolohiya, or Sibat, a Metro Manila-based non-government organization helping install environment-friendly and community-run alternative energy facilities.

From 1996 to 2002, the Mabaka folk had provided labor and Sibat, through its engineer, the project supervision. Sibat also sourced funds from the United Nations Development Programme.

Inaugurated in January 2003, the Buneg 7.5-kW micro-hydro power plant has since been providing electricity to 36 families.

Under bright fluorescent lamps, children can now study their lessons and read books while Rosalina Dangli, the community's lone public teacher, can prepare her lesson plans.

Before he calls it a day, Mabaka elder Andanan Agagen weaves rattan baskets at night, which he sells to lowland folk in Conner town.

Courtesy of the Episcopal Church of the Philippines and the community, a 15-kW micro-hydro power facility in Lon-oy has not only lit up the 130 houses of 1,000 upland farming folk. The facility has also enabled many families to make brooms for sale, even at night.

And now that the electricity is flowing, the women have embarked on money-earning ventures such as processing ginger into salabat or ginger tea powder.

Other privately initiated micro-hydro power plants are starting a quiet industrial revolution in areas inaccessible to national power company.

A 5-kW micro-hydro power project built in 1993 in the sub-village of Ngibat in Tinglayan town, Kalinga province, powers a blacksmith shop, which manufactures simple farm tools such as trowels, hoes, bolos and machetes for the 30 families in the community. It also operates a community rice mill and a vulcanizing shop.

A 30-kW micro-hydro power facility in Tulgao village, also in Tinglayan, built in 1999 also with the help of Sibat, now runs a rice mill and a sugarcane presser, which is twice faster than the carabao-drawn dapilan (wooden presser).

The Cordillera's various springs and tributaries offer great potential for small water-powered electricity generators.

Philippine Daily Inquiry special reports on the country's "preventable crisis"

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, I made a device that I call the pulser pump. Hydropower with no moving parts. Many of the visitors to my site come from the philipines. Just wondering if you ever heard of the pulser pump or saw one in use there? They are country number 5 in my visitor statistics and I do not even think english is much spoken there. It is a free to make, use and devellop device. (I am not selling them)
Brian White

7:14 pm, February 04, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


What is the address of your web site?


7:14 am, February 23, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am developing a design to extract a water sample of from 3,000 to 10,000 meters depth of philippine trench. anyone interested?

12:08 pm, May 05, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The micro and mini hydro power plants are becoming very popular around the world as they were at the beginning of the 20th century in europe. You can see a large number of plants still running after more than 50 years ! Antonio Pietrangeli

4:42 pm, January 14, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're interested in studying the issue the best practical book I found is the following :

Micro-Hydro Design Manual: A Guide to Small-Scale Water Power Schemes (Paperback)
by Adam Harvey (Author), Andy Brown (Author)

Hoping to have been helpful,
Antonio Pietrangeli

11:02 am, February 10, 2008  

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