SIBAT continues to progress open-source ELC technology for Micro-Hydro

Following the installation of a pilot system last year which served the community of Gacab in Abra, SIBAT committed considerable resources to further the development of the project in collaboration with EWB-UK and Tonibung (Malaysia).

Electronic Load Controllers (ELCs) are used to balance the power demand with the power generated by the Micro-Hydro turbine. The pilot system was capable of managing up to 8KW of power on a single-phase mini-grid. Further development work has incorporated support of 3-phase mini-grids, much larger system capacities (up to 24 KW), and load management in multiple steps which helps to provide a better quality electrical supply through noise reduction.

Another important additional feature is a data-logging capability which allows the local Micro-Hydro operators or SIBAT’s engineers to analyse usage data of the mini-grid. This can be helpful with fault diagnosis but more importantly can help with load scheduling and usage optimisation so that the community can make the most of their electrical supply.

SIBAT’s engineers have built two complete ELC’s, one single-phase and one 3-phase, which have been fully commissioned. The new single-phase ELC replaces the pilot system in Gacab, while the 3-phase system has been installed in Balbalasang, Kalinga. Both are capable of managing over 20 KW of Micro-Hydro power.

SIBAT will continue with ELC development and utilise its capability to manufacture ELCs “in house” to complement its efforts in supplying many off-grid communities with appropriate and sustainable sources of power.