By OLIVER SAMBOKO
KARIBA North Bank Power station should be redesigned to enable Zesco generate enough electricity even when water levels at Kariba Dam are at the lowest , an activist has suggested.
Victor Hazemba said the current design where Lake Kariba operated at between 475.50m and 488.50m for hydropower generation was not sustainable considering the poor rainfall pattern in the country.
He said the power station intake was designed a long time ago but that with the advantage of latest technology, engineers could start looking at finding ways of lowering the water channels that feed into the turbines.
‘’If power station was well designed it would have still continued generating at full capacity even at quarter full level. I believe by lowering the intake to be right at the bottom of the dam, the power station will be able to use every last drop of water,” he said.
Mr Hazemba said many Zambians did not understand why Zesco was insisting on reducing power generation when the firm could easily find ways of taping water from Lake Kariba.
Zesco and the Zambezi River Authority, he suggested, should explain to them public that in order to generate electricity from the kinetic energy in moving water, the water has to move with sufficient speed and volume to spin the turbines.
This enables the generators to rotate and generate electricity.
Kariba Hydropower Station is designed to draw water from Lake Kariba through a short horizontal intake via a radial gate and through a vertical penstock the water drops to the turbine spiral casing using gravity.
Mr Hazemba said therefore that the new power stations such as Synohydro of China should been designed differently to allow them continue operating normally even in an event that the water levels plunge to the lowest.