Problem: I have been asked to help determine whether a waterwheel is able to generate enough power to run 5 x 15kW pumps in a remote location in Zambia where there is no constant power supply. I work in the mining industry so this question is a bit out of my field to say the least.

Given parameters:

The pumps as mentioned are 15kW pulling 34 Amps (max speed is 2900RPM)

The water flow to the waterwheel is 7m3/s in a channel that is 3mW and 1mH. The maximum head from the top of the channel is 3m. Please see attached picture (left is top view right is side view)enter image description here

If I have to do basic calculations to determine: - The speed of the water wheel (RPM) - Dimensions of the water wheel - Will the water wheel be able to produce that amount of power.

Can someone please guide me in any way regarding what calculations are required, where to find these calculations? What additional parameters are required if necessary?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Start here, then search further : alternative-energy-tutorials.com/hydro-energy/… The basic expression is Power is Q * g * H ie power in Watts, Q in Litres/second, g gravity and H height in metres. So a first approximation take gravity as 10 because the inefficiencies are larger than that error... $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Oct 8 '18 at 13:07

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