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Micro-hydro Power for Villages (Philippines)

Save the Ifugao Terraces Movement (SITMo) has worked closely with local communities to develop and install thirteen micro-hydro systems in remote villages in the Ifugao province of the Philippines. The systems provides electric light and power to 190 families, bringing a better standard of living and making it more attractive for people to stay on the farms.

SITMo was established in 2000 by the Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement (PRRM), the oldest NGO in the country. SITMo brings together public and private sector bodies and social institutions implementing sustainable development in Ifugao. A particular focus is the maintenance of the historic rice terraces.

SITMo and the PRRM have developed three basic micro-hydro systems, the Firefly, Butterfly and Dragonfly.
The Firefly is the smallest system with a rated output of 100 W. It was developed by the PRRM with the support of a VSO volunteer in 1991, with the aim of providing charging points for 12V dc batteries. The Firefly has a crossflow turbine with a runner of approximately 75 mm diameter, coupled to a vehicle alternator. Water to turn the runner is carried by a 750 mm diameter pipe, through a head of between 5 and 20 metres. The flow rate of the water is up to 8 litres per second. In most villages, the water is taken from existing irrigation channels, which keeps construction costs low. An electronic control unit near the turbine regulates the charging current supplied to the battery. The whole unit is manufactured within Ifugao province. Firefly systems charge batteries to run home lighting systems and radios, and systems were installed in eight villages between 1992 and 1997, benefiting about 60 households.
The Butterfly system was developed by a local farmer, Louis Cabbigat, who taught himself the essentials of mechanical engineering. The turbine is a hybrid of an axial pump and a Francis turbine, made from locally-obtained parts. 3kW of electrical power is generated at 220V AC. One Butterfly system has been in operation since 1998 and supplies power via a mini-grid to 28 households, each using two light-bulbs.

The Dragonfly is a scaled up version of the Firefly. It was developed by the PRRM and is manufactured within Ifugao province. A similar design of crossflow turbine is used but with a runner of approximately 300 mm diameter. The blades of the runner are made from standard pipes which can be welded in simple metal workshops. The two earliest Dragonfly systems were used to provide mechanical power, for coffee and rice milling. The Dragonfly can also be used to generate up to 50 kW electrical power at 220V ac, which can supply a local village grid. Two systems have been completed, benefiting about 70 households, and two are in progress.

For further information, contact:

Esther Nalliw-Licnachan
Save the Ifugao Terraces Movement (SITMo)
Ifugao Heritage and Community Education Centre
Sitio Dinapugan Tuplac
Philippines 3604
Tel: +63 9209 108253

Sector: Renewable Energy Technologies
Country: India
Area of Application: Hydro power generation
Keywords: Hydro power for villages
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Development Status: Commercial Prototype
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Contact Person: UN-ESCAP/APCTT
Address: C-2 Qutab Institutional Area
City: New Delhi
Country: India
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