Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus

With the Project:
Nanga Jambu Project of Micro Hydro for Renewal Electrical energy

The project is the construction of a micro hydro system for a group of 11 families in an indigenous community and constructed by the community themselves with guidance from experts. The major aim of the project is producing 15 kW electrical energy for the community consumption, starting in 2016. The renewable energy produced by the micro hydro has lessened the community’s burden on fossil fuel and cooking gas.


The main problem is an increasing destruction of water catchment and river areas that stems from the community’s lack in income. Yet, people must pay high cost of electricity and fuel for transportation using longboats. Farmers are still practising shifting cultivation for their consumption only. The environmental problem starts when trees are cut down annually at the catchment areas to create place for shifting cultivation. Eventually, the forest at the catchment area, which was previously a wildlife habitat, disappeared.


The objective of the micro hydro system project at Nanga Jambu is to generate 15 kW renewable energy for the 11 families of the indigenous community. It is to lessen the community’s burden on fossil fuel and cooking gas. Now they can use electrical appliances for better standard of living and electrical tools for their works at home. The project is silently empowering the community to protect rivers, catchment and wildlife areas adjacent to the project site.


All dam work was done without machinery and was completed in February 2016. The penstock was used to carry high velocity and pressure water from the dam to the turbine. The powerhouse was built at the lowest part of the site, 25 meters down the dam, to maximize the pressure. The size of the powerhouse is 15 feet x 15 feet and the floor is 4 inches reinforced concrete with an additional plinth for the turbine and generator.



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