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Institute of Hydraulic Engineering


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Large-Scale Pico Hydro Power Potential Assessment
Project manager:Prof. Dr.-Ing. Silke Wieprecht
Research assistants:Christoph Schröder
Duration:1.3.2010 - 30.4.2018
Funding:International Postgraduate Studies in Water Technologies (IPSWaT) Scholarship

This project is part of the research area:
Wasserbau & Wasserkraft


Main objective of this dissertation project is to develop a method to determine the qualitative Pico Hydro Power (PHP) potential for any given part of the global land surface.

On a regional scale, it will furthermore be possible to extend the capabilities of the method to obtain quantitative predictions.

Pico Hydro Power with unit sizes of less than five kilowatts is the smallest subdivision of hydroelectric generation technology. PHP units usually supply one to twenty households with electricity and have practically no environmental impact.

Very small streams are used for power extraction by PHP. This causes traditional “on the ground” assessment methods to become un-economical for PHP potential assessments, due to their high fixed costs per investigated site. At present there is no large-scale potential assessment method available for PHP.

The projected method will follow the relatively unconventional path of generating a “local PHP potential probability” from available topographical, hydrological, demographical and various other data.