Comparative Measurement of Stream Flow in the Ethiope River for Small Hydropower Development
This study investigates comparative measurement of stream flow in the Ethiope River for small hydropower development. Two methods – the Float and Current Meter or Bridge Broom Methods were investigated and values compared to determine best method for optimal power generation. Depth and width measurements were carried out by means of a canoe, ropes and tapes. Velocity measurement was carried out by means of a plastic bottle that is partially filled with sand and a stop clock. Ten different measurements were carried out at various locations along the river. The results show that the average volumetric flow rate from the Float Method was 13.8 m3/s while the volumetric flow rate from the Current Meter Method was 31.73 m3/s. Thus, the Current Meter Method has high degree of accuracy than the Float Method. Hence the potential small hydropower generation inherent in the Ethiope River was estimated to be 1.323 MW on a flow of 31.73 m3/s and a head of 5 meters. We can therefore conclude that the Ethiope River when fully utilised could generate electric power capable of satisfying the power need of the surrounding communities.