Research Grants/Fellowships/SBIR

Development of Community Power from Sustainable Small Hydro Power Systems – A Capacity Building Project in Bangang, Cameroon

EPA Grant Number: SU834723
Title: Development of Community Power from Sustainable Small Hydro Power Systems – A Capacity Building Project in Bangang, Cameroon
Investigators: Ileleji, Klein
Current Investigators: Ileleji, Klein , Ahiablame, Laurent , Busemeyer, Corrine , Hahn, Jessica , Kincaid, Caitlin , Lara, Alejandro , Liston, Julia , Lumkes, John , Miller, Keith , Njuki, Victoria , Pennathur, Samhita , Ransdell, Patrick , White, Austin
Institution: Purdue University - Main Campus
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Project Period: August 15, 2010 through August 14, 2011
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2010) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Energy , P3 Challenge Area - Water , P3 Awards , Sustainability


Electric power is one of the basic needs for the development of any community. With electric power lacking in most rural communities in Africa, providing basic amenities that are dependent on power such as clean portable drinking water, powering equipment in health and dental clinics, computer for schools, radio, and the operation of equipment in small cottage industries, etc. is lacking. Currently there are four small hydro power sites in various stages of development in village of Bangang which have the potential of providing about 300 kW of hydro power. Development of these hydro systems have begun, but the hydro power systems are not fully operational due to faulty designs which was the result of lack of qualified technical expertise in putting the project in place.


The main goals of this project are to (1) conduct a comprehensive feasibility study of these four hydropower sites/systems under development; and (2) realize the project by implementing the design of one of them in the community of Bangang in Cameroon.


These goals will be accomplished by an interdisciplinary group of undergraduate engineering students supervised by two faculty advisors and a graduate student. The student team will work in three focused design groups through a series of steps which include reconnaissance surveys and hydraulic studies, pre-feasibility study, feasibility study, system planning and project engineering, financing, and ownership and maintenance. As part of Phase I, a team of students will travel to Bangang, Cameroon for a 14-day project data collection/implementation, which would be followed up with visit by another team of students the following year (Phase II).

Expected Results:

A small hydro power plant will be built in Bangang using the approach outlined above. The student team will document the design and construction process into a manual on “How to build a Community hydropower Plant’ which will serve as a technology transfer tool to deliver this know-how to other communities in the Central African region. Additionally, a travel exhibit demonstrating small-hydro power and its impact will be developed for use in K-12 training.

Progress and Final Reports:
Final Report