MYANMAR - Harnessing the power of water for a sustainable source of energy
A natural occurring split in the river near Nam Phu village created an opportunity to construct a hydro-power weir to run two 5 kW low head turbines. The masonry work incorporated much of the natural features and used mostly stones collected from the site.
The villagers of Nam Phu were very well organized and each household sent up to two persons to help the skilled mason crew on a daily basis. The volunteers did an incredible job, especially, as all the construction material had to be hand carried from the drop-off point down through the jungle to the construction site down by the river (one way took 45 min walking).
Most impressive is that the works were completed within 3 weeks. The construction of the weir, the connection of the turbines, the installation of the electric lines, and the connection of the households went all smoothly which contributed greatly to the success of this activity.
The test run of the turbines went also very well and the station is now putting out a constant flow of 220 to 230 V. Each of the 52 households in Nam Phu village received 3 LED lightbulbs (3 W), a switchboard with 3 electric plugs, and 15 streetlights were installed throughout the village.
Prior to the hydropower, only a few households were able to afford a solar panel and some electric appliances like a TV/DVD set. Unfortunately, the power to run those sets was never sufficient from the solar panel and so those appliances collected dust. On the first evening of testing the new power source, those TV/DVD sets came out and people gathered to enjoy to sing a song, listen to music or watching a movie from a scratchy DVD.
The villagers of Nam Phu were also beneficiaries of a door-to-door village water system. At the beginning of the year, most villagers did not believe they would be able to enjoy water at their house and electricity. Sometimes, dreams can come true.
Project MYA/002 will construct more systems at similar locations without too much interference to the natural environment or landscape.
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