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Pico Hydro for Rural Electrification Feasibility Study


Pico hydro is a term used to describe the smallest systems, covering hydro electric power generation under 5kw.  Depending on its size, a Pico hydro power system may provide a small, remote community with adequate electricity to power light bulbs, radios, and televisions, among other appliances.  It was given the name “Pico” by Nigel Smith because it needs some different ways of thinking to micro, mini and larger hydro power  There are thousands of site where people have a source of falling water but do not have electricity.  For there rural communities in Bataan, Pico hydro is the lowest technology for generating electricity.  Lighting from these sources is cheaper than using kerosene lamps, and safer too.

1.1    Load Profile

1.1.1    Location/accessibility

The Pico hydro is located in Maluya Central Balanga City, Bataan.  The barangay is accessible by one main dirt road approximately 30 minutes from the main road.  This proposed site for pico hydro project is easily access through any transportation vehicle.  The climate is generally hot and wet with an average yearly temperature of 29 degree Celcius.  The summer dry season occurs from January to April.

1.1.2    Water Resource

There is one canal in Maluya Central which providing irrigation for rice cultivation.  This canal generally runs dry during the summer due to irrigation and lower rainfall.  Although rainfall is plentiful during wet season and the canal is primarily use for rice paddies.

1.1.3    Electricity Supply

The barangay currently has access tp grid electricity provided by Peninsula Electric Cooperative (PENELCO) where the local electricity rate is 9 pesos/kWh plus 12% tax and 5 peso/month charge.

The availability of power can be intermittent brown outs, ranging from a few minutes to several hours, being common.  In addition, tropical storms and typhoons cause power outages lasting up to several days or week in extreme cases.  Thereafter, intermittency in local electricity in the local electrical supply would prove to be detrimental to the consumer of Maluya.

Fifty percent of households in Maluya are electrified ad from 10 to 20 households in the said place are un-electrified (50%)  Small number of household are available in this place because of the fact that the place is new to the public and the road is not yet constructed.  The life of the residence here s considered to be below the poverty threshold.  As is well known, most villages that are un-electrified are also whom to people who are poverty stricken and multi dimensionally deprived.  Un-electrified households primarily used candles and kerosene lanterns for light, with some using rechargeable car batteries for lighting, televisions, or radios.  The local rate for charging batteries is 50 pesos a fairly significant amount for many families whose income are just enough and limited for their basic needs.  Therefore, pico hydro project are proposing to offer battery charging, which could help for local community to reduce their daily expenses.  In addition, it will provide a small revenue stream to help pay for routine maintenance of the Pico hydro system.

1.2     Social Economic Profile

1.2.1    Local Economy

Jobs are very difficult to come by Maluya, resulting in an unemployment rate of even lower.  Families are considered to below poverty threshold where their limited economy exists based around agriculture including rice, root crops, and fruits.  Fishing is also common among the local population.  An agricultural laborer can expect to make around 100 pesos a day budget enough to support the needs of their family.  One household are manufacturing small amount of craft work, making income but not enough for their needs.

1.3    Rationale

Hydropower, hydrokinetic power or water power that is derived from the force or energy of falling water, which may be harnessed for useful purposes.  Since ancient times, hydropower has been used for irrigation and the operation of various mechanical devices, such as watermills, sawmills, textile mills, dock cranes, and domestic lifts.  Since the early 20th century, the term is used almost exclusively in conjunction with the modern development of hydro-electric power, the energy of which could be transmitted considerable distance between where it was created to where it was consumed.

Another previous method used to transmit energy has employed a trompe, which produces compressed air from falling water, that could then be piped to power other machinery at a distance from the energy source.

Water’s power is manifested in hydrology, by the forces of water on the riverbed ad banks of a river.  When a river is in flood, it is at its most powerful, and moves the greatest amount of sediment.  This higher force results in the removal of sediment and other material from the riverbed and banks of the river, locally causing erosion, transport and, with lower flow, sedimentation downstream.

In hydrology, hydropower is manifested in the force of the water on the riverbed banks of a river.  It is particularly powerful when the river is in flood.  The force of the water results in the removal of sediment and other materials from the riverbed and the banks of the river, causing erosion and other alterations.  This section  explains how to select and install Pico hydro system for run of river location in Maluya.  Many aspect of the implementation methods described however, are common also to other design including those suited to low head sites and to those which benefits individual consumers rather than small communities.

In starting up in the Pico hydro business or starting a programmed of community pico hydro is important to carefully select the first scheme as this will act as a focus for future interest.  The chosen location should be accessible to you and to the customer/funder to make it easy for future business.  The optimum site for the pico turbine system in a social application context should have the condition:

Site Location

Pico hydro power generate a limited power, because of that, is oriented to reduced applications as small grid or individual used.  According to this, to avoid high grid expenses and power losses, the site should not be too far end users  As a standard, for 1kW of power, the distance should not be more than 2 km.


The flow should be enough throughout a year, extreme flows can affect to the system performance, and the excess flow must be controlled.  For measurement of the flow, it should, at least, be done twice a year, during the lowest season (January – April) and also in the highest season (end of September – beginning of October).

Contribution from community

Apart from the suitable technical conditions, is recommendable that community can’t contribute to the project with labors, local material available in the area such as power poles, aggregate sand and gravel) etc.  and also people interested in the formed as technicians to assure the continuity of the project.

The impact of the pilots on end user beneficiaries has been carefully considered in the project.  The benefits include an increase in the quality of life, with better lighting system enabling community activities during the evenings.  The beneficiaries has out that fuel saving were made and there was as increase in the productive output as well as increased opportunities for educational and social activities.

1.4     Statement of the Problem

Due to the unavailability of the power source to number of small communities in Maluya Central, Balanga City, Bataan, most of its residents suffer and experience continues used of kerosene lamps and candles emitting CO2 that may resulting to a fire and also to a low level performance, unprogressive community, uncomfortable lifestyle and inability of doing things as convenient, easy and effective.  This Pico hydro generation power project enable to supply electricity to the consumer of Maluya Central.  It provides technical data and procedural guidance for the systematic of the viability of potential small hydro power addition and focuses upon the concepts, technology, economic and financial issues to these additions.

1.5    General Objectives

To develop a pico hydro electric generator system designed for run of river as economic source of electrical energy in Maluya, Central, Balanga City, Bataan

Specific Objectives

  • To adopt pico hydro technology as a source of transmitting electrical energy in Maluya Central, Balanga City, Bataan
  • To install transmission system from pico hydro to a near households
  • To provide effective and convenient energy in low cost
  • To maximize the usage of water

1.6    Significance of the study

The impact of this study to the consumer of Maluya includes an increase in the quality of life, with the better lighting system enabling community activities during the evening and opportunities for educational and social activities  There will be fuel savings and unused of kerosene lamps and candles emitting CO2 which is the primary cause of fire.

To the beneficiaries, the Pico hydro system will be a very big help since it is a renewable kind and is very convenient and cheap.  Also to the environment, it does not produced carbon emissions and will definitely reduced global warming in a little way.  With the generated electric power, the project aims to contribute a sustainable development in this rural village through improved lighting for household/community work and school assignments, information/entertainment by radio and television, communication access and small livelihood opportunities.

1.7    Scope and delimitation

This study focuses on the use of renewable energy through the flow of water in a river of Maluya Central, Balanga City, Bataan.  One of the factors to be considered is the flow of water since it is the driving force to make the turbine move.  As the study comes along, we concluded that the flow of water in Maluya has an electric potential to produced electrical energy.  It measures 200 watts and can now supply one household.  We also consider the generator and the turbine. The turbine is required to drive with a certain speed while the generator should be at a certain height on top of the turbine for safety reasons and efficiency.  On rainy seasons, the water may rise and the flow could be treacherous to the system.  However, with the used of penstock this could prevent damage to the system.

Detailed hydrological data for the area is hard to come by.  The flow rate of the stream was determined by measuring the cross sectional area of the stream along with the surface velocity of the water using the float method.  This method is prone to some error, however the actual design flow is a fraction of the total stream flow measured during dry season and thus should be available year round.  Sufficient care was taken to ensure the measurement were as accurate as possible and suitable for this feasibility study.


Jerome dela Cruz
Kenneth Aquino
Wilgem Regino Crespo
John Andrew Molino
Rosauro J. Fernando Jr.

Sample Abstract


The world that we are living now is experiencing different environmental problems.  Some affect the water, others affect the air, and still others affect the land and the animals.  Some of the largest problems are now affecting the world.  As globalization continues and the earth’s natural processes transform local problems into international issues, few societies are being left untouched by major environmental problems like global warming.

Philippines have experienced temperature spikes brought about by climate change.  It has been observed that warming is experienced most in the northern and southern regions of the country, while Metro Manila has warmed less than most parts.  This kind of environmental problems can be reduced or eliminated through corrective actions or proactive measures.  Every environmental problem has causes, numerous effects, and most importantly, has a solution.

The increase in the use of natural and renewable energy sources is one of the major solutions to take the burden off our current dependency.  By making switch to natural and renewable energy sources, you will be doing your part in helping to improve the quality of the environment and the air we breathe.  To resolve such predicament, people should strive to manage or conserve electrical energy to find other ways to generate electric power out of some high anticipated natural like water.

The pico-hydro electric generator system is a proven technology and is feasible solution to existing problem, not only lessening the demand of electric energy, but also as a source of energy for some rural areas here in Bataan.  The system is an efficient way in keeping the environment clean because it only uses water rather than harmful toxins to produce electricity.  Other ways producing energy that we used today create harmful effects to the environment.  Therefore, hydro electric power is much more environment friendly way of producing energy.

The proponents developed a pico-hydro project designed to test the electrical energy potential of a river available in Maluya Central, Balanga City, Bataan and to supply energy to the target house near the site.

Title: Feasibility Study: Pico Hydro for Rural Electrification


Jerome dela Cruz
Kenneth Aquino
Wilgem Regino Crespo
John Andrew Molino
Rosauro J. Fernando Jr.

Approval Sheet for Feasibility Study

This is to certify that I have supervised the operation of and read the feasibility study prepared by  Ronron de Silva entitled “Pico Hydro for Rural Electrification” and that the said project has been submitted for final examination by the Oral Assessment Committee.

Engr. Rolando Marquez
Project Study Adviser

As members of the Oral Assessment Committee, we certify that we have examined this feasibility study presented before the committee on April 03, 2000, and hereby recommend that it be accepted as fulfillment of the feasibility study for the degree in Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering

Engr. Niel Enriquez
Panel Member

Engr. Romeo Tedore
Committee Chairman

Project Feasibility Study

Project feasibility study is also known as “Bankable Project Studies” because it is one of the major requirements of lending institutions in processing of commercial, industrial or agricultural loan applications.

A feasibility study contains different chapters that will provides information if the proposed project would be financially, economically, technically and socially feasible.  Some components of a feasibility study includes executive summary, background study, objectives, project schedule, project cost, deliverables, constraints and assumption, conclusion, and recommendation

A good feasibility study should know the nature of the proposed project well by having technical assistance from qualified experts. Also, feasibility study should be loaded with statistics, documents, data and information needed for the study from available sources. These data and information should analyze and evaluate correctly.  In addition, estimation and projection should always close to realities as possible.  Last but not the least organize your feasibility study and write it properly.

Project Feasibility Study – Public Market Development Project

I.    Introduction

With its rapidly expanding economy, the municipality of Kidapawan, North Cotabato, needs to drastically improve its entire market complex which is located along the national highway traversing the town’s commercial center.  As reflected in the accompanying statistical figures, the estimated total cost to replace all existing, dilapidated, and fire hazards, would be Php20.2 million.  The town’s legal borrowing capacity is only 2.26 million as of June 30, 1978 as certified by the Commission on Audit.

II.    Immediate Project

Phase I of the project is the Kidapawan Bagong Lipunan Center which involves the construction of a new, modern, two storey Agora-type building with a Muslim-motiffed façade in accordance with guidelines, rules and regulations of the Ministry of Human Settlements.  The term Agora is a Greek term for a place where community residents converge for their civic, cultural, social, and political activities, usually in marketplaces.  Such edifices as that being designed for Kidapawan will house not only market stalls but also offices and spaces for community gatherings.

Phase 1 will bring about the establishment of the first main building which will have a total of 216 stalls, each averaging 24 square meters plus 100 meters for restaurant purposes.  It will be provided with all the necessary facilities for a modern public building such as adequate light, water, drainage, toilet, garbage disposal, ventilation and parking system.

The specifications of the floor areas are as follows;


1.    Main Building

Ground floor – 4,692 sq. m.
Second floor – 4,580 sq. m
Total  – 9,272 sq. m

2.    Driveway and Parking Space – 1,350 sq. m.

Total Area – 10,622 sq.m.

III.     Outline of Financial Funding Aspects

3.1    Estimated Cost – Phase 1

3.1.1    Building Construction
Ground floor, 4,692 sq.m. at Php800.00
Second floor, 4,580 sq. m. at 825.00
Total Building Cost

3.1.2    Driveway and Parking areas 1,350 sq.m. at Php 35.00 –

3.1.3    Plans and supervision, 7.75% of Construction cost of  Php 7,579,350.00
Total Cost

3.2    Projected Funding Sources
3.2.1    Loan, DBP, per legal borrowing capacity
3.2.2    Loan, Central Bank, PD 752, Sec.3
3.2.3    Two-year advance rentals from stall-holders
3.2.4    BIR allotments and specific Tax shares
3.2.5    5% Presidential Discretionary Funds
Total Fund Sources

3.3    Estimated Revenues from Stall Rentals
3.3.1    Ground floor
102 stalls at Php40 per day for 365 days
8 stalls at Php50 per day for 365 days
3.3.2    Second floor
98 stalls at Php35 per day for 365 days
8 stalls at Php45 per day for 365 days

Total revenues from stall rentals

3.4    Estimated Operating Expenses
3.4.1    Personal services
3.4.2    Other operating expenses
3.4.3    Depreciation expenses
3.4.4    Interest expense
Total operating expenses

3.5    Estimated Net Revenues
Estimated revenue from tall rentals
Less: Estimated operating expenses
Estimated Net Revenue

IV.    Other Facilities and Cost
After Phase 1 is completed, 13 more building with a total of 13,297 square meters, and 8,223.5 square meters, of driveways and parking spaces will have to be constructed to complete the entire development project.  At existing prices of construction materials, estimated additional project costs will amount to Php12,256,350.00 to include building and driveway construction and plans and supervision costs.  This is assuming that prices will remain constant in the years to come, or during the ten-year development project which is impossible when one considers the trend in the rise of prices nowadays.  Further details of this project feasibility study will be taken up under preparation for submittal to the agencies concerned.

Guidelines for the Preparation of Project Feasibility Studies

These guidelines are required by the Board of Investment and also required by banks. (Guidelines for the Preparation of Project Feasibility Studies, Philippine Journal of Business and Finance, II, July 1968, 473-8)

1.    Summary of Project

1.1  Name of Firm

1.2  Location
1.2.1  Head Office
1.2.2  Plant Site

1.3  Brief Description of the Project
1.4  Highlights of major assumptions such as market projections, share and prices, investment costs, method of financing, etc.
1.5  Summary of findings and conclusions regarding the following:
1.5.1  Market feasibility
1.5.2  Technical feasibility
1.5.3  Financial feasibility

2.    General Information

2.1  Management of the project
2.1.1  Management during the pre-operating period (firms or persons involved or to  be involved in marketing, engineering and other studies)
2.1.2  Management during the operating period (type of business organization; organization chart and functions of each unit; management personnel specifying the duties and time to be devoted to the project, qualifications and compensation)
2.1.3  Labor (skills required; recruitment and training program, compensation, fringe benefits and facilities)
2.1.4  Professional firms or consultants to be hired, if any

2.2. Status and Timetable of the Project

2.3 Other information (pending, litigations, information regarding intangibles)

3.    Economic Aspects

3.1  Market Study

3.1.1  Demand  Consumption for the past ten years and statement of the major consumers of the project  Projected consumption for the next ten years and method used and factors stated in preparing the projections

3.1.2 Supply Supply for the last ten years, broken down as to source whether imported or locally produced; specification as to the form in which the goods are imported, the country of origin and the brands indicated; Local companies with their production capabilities and brands used be specified  Projected supply for the next ten years  Factors affecting trends in past and future supply Competitive position considering imported and/or substitute products  Selling Price
Prices to be adopted including tariff protection assumed or expected for the project; Products to be sold locally to include comparison of prevailing prices (both local and imported) and prices of substitute products, whether wholesale or retail, whichever is applicable in the light of the applicant firm’s marketing program; Products to be exported to specify comparative landed cost of goods from other countries and that of those goods at the prospective importing country with prevailing prices there, either wholesale or retail, whichever is applicable.    Competitiveness of the quality of the product

3.2  Marketing Program

3.2.1  Description of the present marketing practices of competitors

3.2.2 Proposed marketing program of the project describing selling organization, terms of sale channels of distribution, location of sales outlets, their corresponding costs

3.3.3  Promotion and advertising plan, including costs

3.3.4  Packaging

3.3  Projected Sales

3.3.1    Expected annual volume of sales for the next ten years considering the demand, supply, competitive position, and marketing program
3.3.2    Sales contracts, if any

3.4    Contributions to the Philippine Economy

3.4.1    Net annual amount of dollars earned or saved, after subtracting amortization of imported capital equipment; and any important of raw materials
3.4.2    Labor employed and taxes paid

4.    Technical Feasibility

4.1    Product(s)

4.1.1    Description of the product(s) including specifications relating to their physical, mechanical, and chemical properties.
4.1.2    Uses of the product/s

4.2    Manufacturing Process

4.2.1    Description of the process showing detailed flow charts indicating material and energy requirement at each step and the normal duration of the process
4.2.2    Licensing agreement, if any, including terms
4.2.3    Alternative processes and factors used in determining the process to be employed
4.2.4    Processes used in existing plants and in similar projects in the Philippines or abroad

4.3    Plant Size and Production Schedule

4.3.1    Rated annual and daily plant capacity at the given number of shits per day and number of operating days per year and factors used in determining plant size
4.3.2    Expected attainable annual production volume for the next ten years, considering start-up and technical factors

4.4    Machinery

4.4.1    Machinery layout showing the number, specifications, rated capacities and balancing of capacities of each major and auxiliary equipment and standby units
4.4.2    Availability of spare parts and repair service
4.4.3    Quotations from suppliers, machinery guarantees, delivery, terms of payments and other arrangements

4.5    Plant Location

4.5.1    Site plant

4.5.2    Desirability of location in terms of distance to sources of raw materials and markets, and other factors

4.6    Plant Layout

4.6.1    Description of the plant layout, layout chart
4.6.2    Effect of layout on materials flow, handling of materials, and storage
4.6.3    Provisions for expansion

4.7    Structures

4.7.1    Buildings and construction costs
4.7.2    Other structures and their respective costs
4.7.3    Land improvements such as roads, drainage facilities, etc. and their respective costs

4.8    Raw Materials

4.8.1    Description and specification relating to their physical, mechanical, and chemical properties
4.8.2    Alternative raw materials and factors used in selecting the raw materials
4.8.3    Material balance
4.8.4    Availability, continuity of supply and current and prospective sources
4.8.5    Current and prospective costs of raw materials

4.9    Utilities
Electricity, fuel steam and supplies, specifying the uses, quantity required, balance of utilities, availability, sources and alternative sources and costs

4.10      Waste Disposal

4.10.1    Description and quantity of the waste to be disposed of
4.10.2    Description of the waste disposal methods
4.10.3    Methods used in other plants
4.10.4    Cost of waste disposal
4.10.5    Clearance from proper authorities or compliance with legal requirements

5.    Financial Feasibility

5.1    Total Project Cost
5.2    Initial Capital Requirements
5.3    Sources of Financing
5.3.1    Sources selected or proposed for both long-term and short-term financing
5.3.2    Alternative sources considered
5.3.3    Amount and terms of financing for each source selected indicating the currency, security, repayment period, interests and other features
5.3.4    Status of financing from each source relating to actual releases already made, pending applications and applications still to be made
5.3.5    Financing of contingencies and seasonal peaks of working capital

5.4    Financial Statements
5.4.1    Projected income statement for ten years
5.4.2    Projected cash flow statement for ten years
5.4.3    Projected balance sheets for ten years

5.5    Financial Analysis

5.5.1    Unit cost estimates and detailed breakdowns of all cost factors from first year until normal operation is attained
5.5.2    Break-even point analysis
5.5.3    Capital recovery, and earning showing the cash pay-off period rate of return and discounted cash flow rate of return