Students to help install Rwandan power plants

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The Dartmouth

July 12, 2011

By Jay Webster

Beginning this Friday, eight student members of Dartmouth Humanitarian Engineering will spend two months in Rwanda implementing a “pico-hydro” system — an accessible means of generating hydroelectric energy — in rural towns, according to Yi Yang ’14, a student involved in the project.

“The pico-hydro system is basically a small-scale hydropower,” Yang said in an interview with The Dartmouth. “It’s an inexpensive and sustainable way of delivering electricity.”

The system diverts water flow from streams near waterfalls into a large pipe, Yang said. The energy from the falling water is then used to move a turbine that generates electricity at the base of the waterfall. Batteries are connected to the turbine, and the potential energy from the system is turned into electric energy, Yang said.

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