History has been made. The installation of the first hybrid solar/micro-hydro grid project in the Philippines is now complete!
After much work, Helios Altas and its partners in the Philippines have officially set up an energy grid using the company’s proprietary Helios PowerBall™ (micro hydro generators), an array of solar panels and a bank of batteries. Representatives from Helios Altas, the local community, DA Green Power Consultancy and the Philippines National Irrigation Administration were all on hand for the launch event on August 13th, 2018.
The project involved installing two 500 Watts Helios micro hydro units combined with 650-Watt PV Solar Panels and two 12-V-150 AH (1.8 kWh) AGM batteries. Its purpose was to provide a renewable energy source to illuminate a local village’s streets through the use of 15 12-Watt LED lamps, steel overhead line and light poles.
One of the greatest benefits of this type of micro-hydro system is its minimal impact on the local environment. As you can see in this photo, placement of the waterwheel does not hinder flow. So, even if placed in a slow moving river or stream, water, fish and other natural elements are free to move along as usual. The benefits of having zero-emission, clean electricity at a low cost are exponential.
Now, as a result of the hybrid solar micro-hydro grid project, 600 meters (1900 feet) of road is illuminated. This means the village and its residents are now much safer. One residence in the village is also able to have utility power from this grid project. In total, approximately 150 people were positively impacted by this project.
Now, while this may not seem like a lot to some, it is a big deal to others. Not everyone has access to lighting or places to plug in lamps and power their homes. In some parts of the world, plugging a computer or appliance into a wall outlet is just not possible. Access to energy grids is limited (if possible at all) and, as a result, some need to come up with creative ways to power their homes, businesses, villages and cities. Fortunately, Helios Altas seems to have come up with a viable grid solution using a combination of existing, renewable sources of energy.
Instead of just tapping into one renewable source, this particular grid allows for the collection of solar energy and micro-hydro energy without having a significant impact on the surrounding environment. In addition, combining micro hydro, solar panels and batteries using common inverters and power takeoff system, addresses the problem many solar storage battery systems have of low charge input during rainy or overcast periods of time. The solar panels collect as much sunlight as possible while the continual running of the micro-hydro waterwheel provides a steady charge to the battery storage system to extend the project’s lifespan effectively and economically.
While this project may be the first of its kind, we hope we will see many like it in the future!