Saturday, October 6, 2012

Calculating Power

Power output, in kilowatts is calculated by the formula:
KW = 0.0846 x E x Q x H
Where:             Q = water flow, cubic feet per second
H = head, feet
E = efficiency of hydroelectric plant, percent divided by 100.
Friction, generator losses and turbine losses reduce the efficiency of a power plant. Small plants are about 40% efficient. Five to ten kilowatt plants may be 60 to 70% efficient when operating at full capacity. For initial estimates, calculate power based on 50% efficiency.
Table 1 lists the water flow and head needed to run various small hydroelectric plants operating at 50% efficiency. Manufacturers of hydroelectric plants also list power outputs of their units at various flows and heads.

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