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Low Cost Hydro-Power System for the Rural Community

14.03.2008
Supplying electricity to the remote communities in Malaysia is difficult due to their remoteness and difficult terrain, yet most of these villages are situated near fast flowing rivers, where potential energy lies untapped. UNIMAS researchers have built a low cost system which is currently undergoing its pilot project.
Martin Anyi
Faculty of Engineering
Supplying electricity to the remote and scattered rural communities in Malaysia is almost impossible due to their remoteness and difficult terrain. On the other hand, most of these remote villages are situated near fast flowing rivers or streams, where potential energy lies untapped.

A micro hydro system can be made possible to electrify these areas; even though earlier efforts on micro hydro project development have not generated the interest on the part of the government. Marred by failure to deliver, the high initial cost (RM 4-20 million) involving foreign expertise was not practical, especially when one is looking at the need to serve thousands of remote villages.

Using off-the-shelf materials, and maximising local expertise and manpower, a micro hydro system can be built to suit local requirement. By eliminating the foreign elements (foreign exchange rate and expertise), a low cost system was built at a fraction of the normal cost. The pilot project was conducted in Kampung Abok Mawang, Sri Aman, Sarawak, where a locally-built turbine was used to run a conventional AC generator.

The power generated from the test turbine was used to power common household electrical appliances. Improved future supply would see to the need of village industry, especially agricultural product processing and ICT usage.

For more information, please contact

Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
c/o Prof Murtedza Mohamed
94300 Kota Samarahan
Sarawak, Malaysia
Telephone: +6082672408
Facsimile: +6082671975
Email: ted@cans.unimas.my

Prof Murtedza Mohamed | ResearchSEA
Further information:
http://www.unimas.my

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