Skip to main content

Micro Hydro manufacturing in Nepal: A visit to Nepal Yantra Shala Energy

Topaz Maitland with a micro hydro turbine
For nine months I am working at an NGO called People, Energy and Environment Development Association (PEEDA), in Kathmandu, Nepal. PEEDA is an NGO dedicated to improving the livelihoods of communities, particularly the poor, by collective utilization of renewable energy resources, while ensuring due care for the environment.

My primary project is the design of a micro hydro Turgo Turbine, a small turbine which is not commonly used in Nepal. The project aims to investigate this turbine, and its potential for us in Nepal.

Nepal Yantrashala Energy (NYSE) is one of the partners on this project. NYSE is a manufacturing company specialising in micro hydro systems and I went to visit their workshop to learn about how they operate.

Micro Hydro and NYSE

At NYSE, they manufacture Pelton, Crossflow and Propeller turbines. If a client comes to them with the required head (height over which the water will drop) and flow rate, NYSE can manufacture an appropriate turbine. Every turbine is unique to the site it will be installed into.
Rough cast of a  Pelton runner cup, alongside finished cups
 
A Pelton turbine runner

Crossflow runners are made using strips of pipe as blades and machined runner plates to hold the blades


A Crossflow turbine runner   
The aim of this project is to develop a design for a Turgo turbine (an example turgo turbine system pictured below), so that NYSE might be able to manufacture one for any given head and flow. This means that engineers such as myself need to understand how our new optimised design will operate over a range of flows and heads.

Micro Hydro in Nepal

Nepal is second only to Brazil in term of hydropower potential (1). Despite this, crippling underdevelopment and a mixture of geographical, political and economical factors leave the country lacking the resources to exploit and develop this potential (1).

Dr. Suman Pradhan, Project Coordinator at NYSE, told us that the first ever Crossflow Turbine was installed in Nepal in 1961. His father was actually one of those involved in the project. Ironically, today Nepal has to import or buy the designs for such Crossflow turbines from abroad.

Universities in Nepal do have turbine testing facilities, but funding for PhDs and other hydropower research is still heavily dependent upon foreign investment. A key area of opportunity for Nepal is the development of such research facilities. With so much hydropower potential, good work could be done to improve the performance of hydropower to suit demand and manufacturers within Nepal.

Dr. Suman hopes that this new Turgo Turbine design, alongside other designs he is trying to obtain, may widen the hydropower options available and manufacturable in Nepal.

References

1) Sovacool, B. K., Dhakal, S., Gippner, O. & Bambawale, M. J., 2013. Peeling the Energy Pickle: Expert Perceptions on Overcoming Nepal's Energy Crisis. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies.

---------------------
This blog was written by Topaz Maitland, a University of Bristol Engineering Design Student on 3rd year industry placement.

Read another Topaz Maitland blog:
My work experience: Designing a renewable energy turbine in Nepal

Read other blogs from Caboteers working in Nepal:
Three history lessons to help reduce damage from earthquakes
World Water Day: How can research and technology reduce water use in agriculture?
Micro Hydro manufacturing in Nepal: A visit to Nepal Yantra Shala Energy
My work experience: Designing a renewable energy turbine in Nepal
Rural energy access: A global challenge
Reliable and sustainable micro-hydropower in Nepal
How Bristol geologists are contributing to international development
Cooking with electricity in Nepal

Popular posts from this blog

Powering the economy through the engine of Smart Local Energy Systems

How can the Government best retain key skills and re-skill and up-skill the UK workforce to support the recovery and sustainable growth? This summer the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) requested submission of inputs on Post-Pandemic Economic Growth. The below thoughts were submitted to the BEIS inquiry as part of input under the EnergyREV project . However, there are points raised here that, in the editing and summing up process of the submission, were cut out, hence, this blog on how the UK could power economic recovery through Smart Local Energy Systems (SLES). 1. Introduction: Factors, principles, and implications In order to transition to a sustainable and flourishing economy from our (post-)COVID reality, we must acknowledge and address the factors that shape the current economic conditions. I suggest to state the impact of such factors through a set of driving principles for the UK’s post-COVID strategy. These factors are briefly explained belo

Farming in the Páramos of Boyacá: industrialisation and delimitation in Aquitania

Labourers harvest ‘cebolla larga’ onion in Aquitania. Image credit: Lauren Blake. In October and November 2019 Caboteer  Dr Lauren Blake  spent time in Boyacá, Colombia, on a six-week fieldtrip to find out about key socio-environmental conflicts and the impacts on the inhabitants of the páramos, as part of the historical and cultural component of her research project, POR EL Páramo . Background information about the research can be found in the earlier blog on the project website . Descending down the hill in the bus from El Crucero, the pungent smell of cebolla larga onion begins to invade my nose. The surrounding land transforms into plots of uniform rows of onion tops at various stages of growth, some mostly brown soil with shoots poking out along the ridges, others long, bushy and green. Sandwiched between the cloud settled atop the mountainous páramos and the vast, dark blue-green Lake Tota, all I can see and all I can smell is onion production. Sprinklers are scattered around, dr

IncrEdible! How to save money and reduce waste

The new academic year is a chance to get to grips with managing your student loan and kitchen cupboards. Over lockdown the UK wasted a third less food than we usually would. This is brilliant, as normally over 4.5 million tonnes of edible food is wasted from UK homes every year. For students, it’s even higher. The average cost of food waste per student per week is approximately £5.25 - that's about £273 per year !  It’s not just our bank accounts that are affected by food waste – it’s our planet too. The process of growing, making, distributing, storing and cooking our food uses masses of energy, fuel and water. It generates 30% of the world’s CO₂ greenhouse gas emissions. The same amount of CO₂ as 4.6 million return flights from London to Perth, Australia! So it makes sense to keep as much food out of the bin as possible, start wasting less and saving more.  Start the new term with some food waste busting, budget cutting, environment loving habits! Here’s five easy ways to reduce