Power Output and Energy Production

All hydroelectric power stations generate electricity proportional to the flow of water through their turbines and the difference in height of the water between the turbine inlets and outlets, which is known as the head.

As a run-of-river hydroelectric power station the Ngonye Falls project will only be able to use the flow of water available in the river at any given time. Their will not be a dam or reservoir where water can be stored and used at a later time to add to the river flow.

The flow of water in the Zambezi is highly seasonal with a peak of flood flows between March and May caused by seasonal rainfall in the upper catchment and lower flows in the remainder of the year to a minimum between September and November.

As the flow of water in the river, and available for generation, varies through the year so the electricity production also changes. The months with the highest average energy production correspond to the months with the highest average (or median) flow. The maximum rate of energy production at any time is limited by the size of the canal and the turbines which set the 180MW capacity of the power station.