In montaineous regions like the Himalayas, access to reliable electricity remains a challenge for many communities. Despite substantial hydropower potential in these regions, a significant portion of its population still lacks consistent electrical energy. To address this issue, a collaborative effort between researchers, craftspeople, and operators has led to the development of a modular low-tech hydropower solution using overshot waterwheels. This project aims to provide a simple, cost-effective, and locally accessible way to generate electricity for off-grid communities.
The pilot project involves close collaboration with local craftspeople, researchers, and operators in Nepal. Their expertise and insights contribute to the success of the waterwheel concept. The goal is to foster knowledge exchange and empower local communities to build, operate, and maintain these systems independently.
Prototype and Future Plans:
Prototypes have been developed and tested in Germany, Nepal and Kashmir, India. These prototypes serve as a foundation for continuous improvement and development. The team plans to install additional waterwheels in remote regions of Nepal, such as Langtang and Annapurna. The project aims to establish a repository of open-source technical details and manufacturing instructions for public access, allowing individuals and communities to build and test their own prototypes.
Depending on the dimensions of the modular waterwheel, the system can generate between 100 and 1000 W of electrical power. This capacity is sufficient to provide lighting, power small appliances, and potentially reduce reliance on conventional fuels for cooking and heating.”