Mobile solar powered bore pumps

Centre for Appropriate Technology Discussion Water management Mobile solar powered bore pumps

  • This topic has 13 replies, 7 voices, and was last updated 2 months ago by Luke Barbagallo.
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  • #1624
    Rui Hu
    Participant

    Hi,

    I’m just wondering that any advice of how to start this topic.Do we need to give a more specific design of which type of pump and solar panel that will be used and do we need to consider a storage tank to store the water that has pumped. Confusing about where should I go first?

    many thanks

    #1661
    Grace Roberts
    Keymaster

    Hi Rui,

    Thanks for your question. The focus of this project is to design the mobile proportion of the technology – so the pump that can be attached and detached from the bore to change locations, and the accompanying solar power energy supply. This end-product will need to be able to be transferred relatively easily by 4WD vehicle or accompanying trailer. You can assume that there is a permanent water tank on site at these locations that the pump can be attached to to output the water for storage, in addition to the on-site bore.

    So, you will need to ensure your pump and solar power energy supply are compatible with a bore source (as per specifications in the project description) and a variety of standard water storage tanks. The sizes of tanks could be as little as 1000 litres and up to 10,000 depending the site and the existing infrastructure. You can browse images of example tanks in the Design Area 5 webpage. Your solution should work with the minimum setups, which could be a ground level 1000 litre tank. However, the example shown in the solar bore interactive shows a 5000 litre head tank, so you may choose to use this site to base your assumptions off regarding technical specifications.

    I would recommend taking a close look at the solar bore pump interactive if you haven’t already, to understand how an existing permanent solar bore pump works and the technology requirements to inform your project.

    I hope that helps answer your question, however you can post here again if you’d like us to clarify anything.

    Best of luck with your project,
    Grace

    #1709
    Joshua Badger
    Participant

    Hi, my team and I were wondering who in the community is planning on using the mobile solar-powered bore pump and what their current experience and knowledge base is for the maintenance and upkeep of the current bore pump facilities. we were also wondering if you had any schematics or specifics on the current infrastructure like the current standard connectors which are being used and other details like the bore-hole diameter etc. we also have questions on the skill sets of the people in these communities like is it a well-versed ability of the people in the communities to have metalworking or electronic abilities?
    thanks
    and we look forward to your reply.

    #1717
    Grace Roberts
    Keymaster

    Hi Joshua and team,

    Thanks for your question. You can assume that the primary users of the mobile solar powered bore pumps would be ranger groups, however some may also be used by Traditional Owners who manage the land who often engage in some form of agriculture like a cattle station who might not stay at the site all-year-round. So their current experience and knowledge of managing these types of infrastructure might range from low-medium, but there might still be some other routine maintenance ideally by other technical experts from outside Cape York occasionally.

    For the current infrastructure used, take a look at the solar bore pump interactive if you haven’t already as this contains the only technical specifications we have in addition to the project description, and for the rest you can estimate using the images here and in the Water Design Area page, or do your own research online. Refer to our FAQ guide for guidance on what to do when you can’t find a technical specification that you need to progress your project and how to make and state assumptions in your report.

    People in communities in Cape York have varying skill sets, but there would be a number of local tradespeople with metalworking skills, for example. Rangers also have access to metal/wood workshops, and are very familiar with using electronic tech such as iPads and drones when working out on Country for example.

    Hope that helps!

    Best of luck with your project,
    Grace

    #1721
    Joshua Badger
    Participant

    Hi guys, what do you mean by ‘The pump control should have a variable pump rate to ensure sustainable use and include approximately 100m boreholes and PVC-pipe casing’ in your design criteria? I have looked through the interactive activities and I am still left confused by 100m boreholes as you state elsewhere that the boreholes are only 25m deep and we are confused on what the PVC-pipe casing is for.
    Thanks

    #1729
    Luke Barbagallo
    Keymaster

    Hey Joshua,

    We’ve had some conversations with the team at CfAT about your questions, and have some answers 🙂

    1. The bore depths. The current bore depths of 25m in some locations are actually ineffective and far too shallow. Some boreholes on the Cape are up to 90m, so the request for a 100m is to allow for the upper limit of this range.

    2. Use of PVC Piping as the borecasing. This is simply due to the durability of PVC comparative to steel, which is what has been used historically. This video shows how a PVC borecasing is used in the context of a bore drill. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKweHAwj9-A

    Let us know if you’ve got further questions.

    #1868
    Joshua Badger
    Participant

    Hi Guys, thanks for your response above for the clarification on the depth of the boreholes that we are working with. Our only question for your response is from the description of this project it makes it sound like the boreholes already exist and we are just designing a solution to pump the water but the PVC piping seems to be used during the construction of the boreholes. As this project doesn’t focus on the construction of the boreholes but rather just an attachment can we assume that the PVC pipes are already installed and just need to focus on the pump and not storage for the PVC pipes?
    Thanks from the team.

    #1870
    Luke Barbagallo
    Keymaster

    Hey Joshua,

    Too right – that would be a safe assumption that the PVC pipes bores would be in place. When considering the pump and it’s mobility, the strength of the material used in the pump hose should have a high durability; whilst rigid PVC is probably not ideal, materials of a similar durability should be used.

    Luke

    #1992
    David Morrow
    Participant

    Hi EWB,

    If people are not living/working near existing bore pumps, how do they currently get water?

    Do they get water delivered by truck?

    Our biggest question: What is the current average cost (per litre and per km), to truck water into sites?

    We will be basing our Project’s cost analysis on the above baseline.

    What are the logistical problems of trucking water in?
    – deliveries not arriving on time?
    – moving water if changing sites?
    – communication difficulties with the shipping company if location plans change?
    – other?

    Many Thanks,

    Dave Morrow
    RMIT Melbourne CBD
    Group 25.4 All Angles

    #2050
    Timothy Neilson
    Participant

    Hi,

    my team and I would like to know the current average cost to per system for the solar bore pumps at each location so we might compare our design solution to what is in place now.

    Thanks,

    Tim

    RMIT Melbourne CBD

    #2052
    Luke Barbagallo
    Keymaster

    Hi Tim,

    The costs for a solar bore pump are approximately 10,000. It obviously varies from sight to sight, but making an assumption of this amount uniformly would be fine. Just be sure to mention that this is an assumption, and there is margin for higher/lower costs.

    Luke

    #2055
    Jackson white
    Participant

    Hello EWB,

    As I read through these comments and had some questions, Are you saying we don’t have to make the decision on the tanks, as we can assume there are fixed and permanent tank at these sites?

    Also my group is aiming to have a solution that can easily be implemented in various communities to reduce the construction of fixed pumps, What sort of pricing are you looking at for the fixed pumps?

    Kind regards,
    Jackson

    #2056
    Jackson white
    Participant

    Also what is cFAT looking for in the solution?

    #2057
    Luke Barbagallo
    Keymaster

    Hi Jackson,

    Yes, as stated above, the assumption that there will be water tanks already on site where the solar bore pumps would be installed. A great example of the fixed pumps is shown in the interactives. These fixed pumps are basic fire-fighting pumps with a cost of approximately 500 dollars, however these are low costs and have limited quality and flow rates.

    CfAT is happy to be led by your solutions, where they are justified and appropriately designed for the conditions on the peninsula. I recommend you return to the specific challenge question you’re working on, as this will best answer your question about what they are looking for in a solution. Part of the EWB Challenge experience is to create a solution informed by your own decisions and judgements from interpretation of the the information available.

    Luke

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