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Pico Kaplan:  Your low head & flow home unit !

This barbecue Pico Kaplan unit uses 140 l/sec. water flow at 4 m head, provides an electric output of 3 kW, 1~220 Vac, 50 Hz, and weighs 300 kg. The unit includes:

  • the hydro turbine coupled with the PMSY  generator;
  • a soft-starter for smooth grid connection or an ELC (electronic load controller).

The axial turbine has a simple vertical shape, fixed guide vane and rotor blades design, and was developed for human safety, maximum reliability and easy maintenance. The End-user has to build the external hydro elements (retention dam, water intake, debris screen, 250 mm penstock pipe, inlet valve, outlet canal - see PDF sketch) with usual materials (wood, fiberglass, concrete, PVC or metal pipe, etc.), based on a very simple design proposed in the offering stage.

If grid operated, the unit does not need the ELC, but uses soft-starter for smooth connection. The speed is imposed (at rated value) by the grid frequency, while the generated power will then be solely determined by the available water head and flow.

If island operated, the unit needs the ELC, in order to compensate the electric load variations. The turbine basically runs at constant head and flow, permanently generating the rated power, no matter what the supplied network load, dissipating it on the existing dump resistor. If a network consumer switch on, than the ELC will direct a corresponding fraction of the generated power to the load, in order to keep a steady output voltage. The difference between the consumed power and the produced (rated) power still goes into the dump load. ELC will permanently insure an equilibrium between the produced and consumed power, thus maintaining the frequency (speed) at rated level.

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