The PowerBarge—Portable Hydro for the Third World

by Kenneth R. Broome, William & Broome Inc, Exton, PA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Waterpower '85


The PowerBarge concept consists of a floating intake, siphon penstock, and floating generating station for use at new or existing low-head dams. Apart from access, mooring facilities, tailrace dredging, and transmission interconnections, no on-site construction is normally required. PowerBarge components may be transported by water fully assembled and pretested in units sized to match any channel or lock chamber size restrictions. Otherwise individual components may be transported by truck or train and assembled at the operating site. Advantages include lower cost (20-30%), faster schedule (30-50%), and much less need for skilled on-site labor than for conventional small hydro plants. A demonstration project with a capacity of 500 KW is scheduled for completion in July 1986 at New Kernsville Dam on the Schuylkill River. The means of prefabrication, transporting, and installing the units is presented together with the measures required to withstand flood, ice, debris, and drought conditions.

Subject Headings: Hydro power | Power plants | Scheduling | Existing buildings | Weirs | Mooring | Water intakes | Head (fluid mechanics)

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