Wednesday, November 3, 2010


4 of 24 posts

the image shows the method of installing turbines in series

Don’t Blame Water For Power Cut

Dr. Dev Bahadur Dongol

The present practice of turbine installation system in the hydropower plants does not fully consider the fluid properties of water and characteristics of gravitational force of the earth. There has been a mistake of applying the principle of standing still water column to a condition where water is running. Had they been considered, instead of running only one turbine multiple turbines would have been installed in series along single water-supplying pipe without breaking the pipe and running water column to harness many folds more hydro-electricity than done at present. And, water would have been made available for irrigation, drinking and other purposes as well.

At present separate pipe supplies water to each turbine installed. So we need lot of water to run many turbines. Installation of many pipes means higher cost as well. Same amount of water comes out as was sent through the turbines and there is no pollution as well. The installation system does not change the value of gravitational force. Pressure effect through out the pipe also remains constant since the turbine rotates with the same velocity as the running water column. Only change is the position of water, from higher to lower position.

We drop water from a height to rotate a turbine and a generator connected with the turbine to produce electricity. The force that we use to drop water is actually gravitational force of the earth. It is appropriate to say ‘gravity electricity’ than say hydroelectricity. In hydropower, water uses force of gravity to generate electricity. We need force to generate electricity. So dropping water is an appropriate system to trap force of gravity to run turbines.

Single Running Water Column Can Run Multiple Turbines

Considering the fluid properties of water and characteristics of the force of gravity, a column of running water enough to run only one turbine can run many turbines one after another if connected in series without breaking flow of water. Installing turbines in series does not decrease the power of running water as well as that of turbines. Established scientific theories of both the aspects also support the series connection. Actually the water supply system to run only one turbine considers those aspects of science only partially.

The force that is used for running turbines in hydropower plants actually is the gravitational force of the earth. The characteristics of gravitational force are that it can’t be reduced nor blocked nor pushed aside as we can to wind or magnetic force or light. Gravitational force always acts constantly and uninterrupted at a given point. The gravitational force for a given mass is inbuilt and remains as long as the mass remains. Therefore, as long as water is available we can run many turbines by installing them in series along a single water supplying pipe and thus multiply the production of hydro -electricity many folds.

There is no change in the force of continuously running water inside a uniform pipe with one or more or none turbines installed. Running turbines one after another on the way does not reduce the force of the running water due to the characteristics of the gravitational force of the earth. In a standing still water column pressure exerted at one point is transmitted equally in all directions and water pressure varies according to the height of the water column, highest at the bottom of the water column. But in the running water column pressure effect is uniform though out the water column and is acting only in the direction of the flow. There is no lateral pressure according to the height as in the standing still water column. There are two types of force acting at any point of running water column. The water column above the given point exerts as pushing force whereas the water column below the point exerts as pulling force. The force at any point of the running water column is always equal to the weight of the whole water column. Both the forces are exerting in the same direction of the flowing water. And, this is not so in the water column that is standing still. The two conditions are different. But unfortunately we have been installing turbines only at the bottom of the running water column thinking that pressure effect is highest at that point as in the standing still water column. Applying the properties of water column that is standing still in the hydropower installations where running water column works is indeed a mistake, though it is not totally wrong. We can install turbines at any point from highest to the lowest point of the running water column and can get the same result. Since turbines don’t decrease the velocity of water that is flowing in a uniform pipe we can install as many turbines as the length of the pipe can accommodate.

Because of the characteristics of the gravitational force of the earth the whole running water column inside a uniform pipe maintains the pressure uniform through out the water column even after rotating all the turbines on the way installed in series. It makes no difference whether the turbines are installed or not in the running water column. Since the pressure is uniform through out the water column turbines can be installed at any height of the running water column; the position does not make any difference. So far the water is running there is no change in all the factors like height of the pipe, height of the water column, velocity of water, quantity of the water flowing, the value of the force of gravity etc. Therefore, we can multiply the output of the hydroelectricity by running many turbines along a single water supplying pipe. We would not need new hydropower projects if we switch over to installing turbines in series in the existing hydropower plants. By just adding turbines we can harness unlimited hydropower from the already installed infrastructure.

the following video shows the method of installing turbines in series

We can change into series water supply system to multiple turbines that are already installed under one power station. This change will make it possible to run many turbines with water enough to run only one turbine. So power cut is not due to shortage of water but our wrong application of related science. Thus by the present system of installing turbines we are harnessing only minimum hydropower. Nepal alone has unlimited hydropower. Earth is blessed with unlimited hydropower. By harnessing hydropower this new way world wouldn’t need thermal or nuclear power. We can save coal, gas, or diesel tremendously and reduce far greater quantity of carbon dioxide emission than we desire for.


The formula used to calculate power output in the hydropower is wrong, needs corrections.

Ht X g X rate of water discharged = watts

If so

Can we get more output by supplying more water by increasing the size of water supplying pipe for a given hydropower installation? No, that means quantity of water discharged at the same velocity does not increase output.
What will happen if we move the same electromagnetic set to different places of different altitude? Will the output will be equal. No, because at the place where value of ‘g’ is greater, nearer to sea level, the velocity of water will be greater even the height of the penstock pipe is same than at a place where value of ‘g’ is less i.e. at higher altitude. Faster velocity of water will rotate the turbine faster, thus the output will be greater, more rpm more output.

Instead of using discharge rate, more correct formula could be velocity of water hitting the runner of the turbine.

What about rmp, wire turnings (more the turnings the more quantity or ampere of electricity), and number of poles (more the poles the more is the voltage) in the generator installed?

Making stronger electromagnet requires more turnings, more the number of turnings of wire the stronger the magnet is? Reverse process is electrical effect of magnet. Greater the turnings coil the same magnet will have more electrical effect than when the number of turnings is less.

So I think the formula should be expressed
Number of turnings of wire X number of poles in the generator X rpm or velocity of water

RPM or velocity of water depends upon height of the falling water column (head height) at a given place. The value of ‘g’ is constant at a given place.


  1. Really good info. I will definitely consider your views about hydroelectricity wt u call as gravity electricity in my project. thanx :) :D

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  3. "But unfortunately we have been installing turbines only at the bottom of the running water column thinking that pressure effect is highest at that point as in the standing still water column." We install turbines at the lowest point as it is when the maximum potential energy of water has been converted into kinetic energy to rotate the turbine

  4. dear zeebu,
    That is the mistake we have been doing. once the uniform penstock pipe is filled completely with running water the kinetic energy available at any given point/ crossection of the running water column is uniform as water at any point is running with the same velocity. please let me know your comments or any questions you have through emails. you may post your comments on the posts as well.