Biodiversity / Food / Water

July 22, 2004


Irrigation Channel Power Generation Test Starts

Keywords: Non-manufacturing industry Renewable Energy Water 

The Electric Power Development Co., a Japanese company known as J-POWER, has been conducting a series of tests of a hydroelectric system for use in open irrigation channels, in Kuroiso City, Tochigi Prefecture. The test started in April 2004 and will continue through December 2004. The system was jointly developed with Nakagawa Hydropower Company, and effectively utilizes the difference in height at the point where water from a reservoir enters the channel, known as height difference in existing irrigation channels. This source has not so far been put to use for power generation.

In this system, a hydro power generator is directly installed at the head drop of the channel. Its advantages include:
1) Reduced costs by using an existing irrigation channel, without building any new structures.
2) Shortened construction time by using a factory-made unit.
3) The system is easy to operate and mostly maintenance-free.

In this test, J-POWER intends to evaluate the power generation capacity of the system and examine the impacts of vibration and water pressure on existing structures, safety in the context of continuous operation, frequency of maintenance, modifications in equipment, and so on.

Open agricultural channels run throughout Japan, with a total of about 45,000 kilometers of main lines and about 400,000 kilometers of branch lines. There are also many open channels that have a head drop of two meters or more. Since this kind of low-head hydropower generation system is still unusual, high expectations are placed on these untapped energy resources.

Posted: 2004/07/22 03:37:46 PM
Japanese version

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