Hydrokinetic Hydroelectric Power Generation for Remote Communities in Sub-Saharan Africa
: A study into the feasibility of improving access to small scale hydrokinetic turbines for use within rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Sebastian Rimmer

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


Within many developing countries energy access is limited, however Sub-Saharan Africa has the lowest rural electrification rate worldwide; the majority of the rural population have limited or no access to electricity and many rely on an inadequate and unreliable supply. The research aim is to assess the potential to meet rural energy demand through pico-scale hydrokinetic type hydropower, and determine how such systems can be made more attainable for the rural population. The research objectives are to: investigate the energy access challenges present in Sub-Saharan Africa; assess hydrokinetic type hydropower systems currently available, determining issues preventing technology implementation within rural areas; to present an alternative design for a hydrokinetic type hydropower system which addresses the technical and socio-economic issues preventing current technology development. The research project is structured using ‘design for six-sigma’ (DFSS), analysing data through the ‘define, measure, analyse, design, validate’ (DMADV) process. The research contribution is presentation of a design for a pico-scale, hydrokinetic type hydropower system which has been derived through end-user requirement analysis. Results indicate how the design process for hydrokinetic type hydropower systems needs to be re-approached when designing systems specific for use in rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Date of Award9 Dec 2022
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorJohn Allport (Main Supervisor)

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