Here´s our video on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byQJfHtIF2U&feature=youtu.be
This idea was developed with my partner Andres Arias, whose username is 3104693779 here on jovoto.
“Empower Bihar” is born as a product that can have the potential not only to deliver water in a clean, and sustainable manner, but more over to empower and improves people's lives.
Our aim is to make solar power both affordable, and understandable to the common man, taking out preconceptions and fears, and replacing them with knowledge, independence, and thus empowerment.
Though the idea of solar pumps is widespread and its applications known, very little has been done to make it something that any person can understand and use. We want to take western technicians, and maintenance people out of the equation, and give the people of Bihar something they can purchase on their own, and pretty much build on their own through the use of simple diagrams and instructions.
For this purpose we have engineered a solar cell that is cheap, durable; easy to use and understand. A cell encased in recyclable PET that anybody can buy at a general store in their home town, take out of a package, and plug to a cell-phone charger to enjoy a clean supply of electricity.
The idea behind such cells is that people can gradually purchase enough of them, until they eventually have enough to power something like a DC engine that moves a simple, cheap and affordable water pump.
Our intention is to provide all the needed resources, and knowledge to assemble such system cheaply and efficiently. We do so by providing an "open source" platform that people can customize and even build to supply their own needs. Cells plug into simple and durable modular portfolios that contain all the finished circuits, and wiring needed to plug the cells and obtain a solar panel.
By assembling 8 module folders (each folder has 9 cell modules), a supply of over 500 watts can be obtained for about 200 USD, connect that to any 12v DC engine (either ours or from a starter engine, or sewing machine) and you can water pump through our proposed moving cylinder (sleeveless) submerged pump.
The pump itself is a testament of simple, and durable engineering, since it mainly consists of a sliding PVC tubing, moving up and down relative to a piston, that itself is assembled from plumbing pipe, leather, and two simple "one-way" valves. The result is a simple, cheap and sturdy pump that can elevate water from wells of over 30 meters deep with much less energy than standard diesel pumps.
In case the weather is working against solar generation, a bicycle can be connected to the engines shaft and move the pump. Since the pump is originally designed to be manually operated, human power is completely feasible, and practical. Moreover, we integrate human power through bikes in order to power up our engine to ideal performance by moving a flywheel, thus making the system more efficient, since this aid reduces the initial power the engine has to make to get the system running.
With small, light and modular components the system is quite simple to assemble, maintain, and transport. This last item is specially taken care of by making the folders stackable, enabling them to be carried around in bikes to people's homes.
On the other side, folders feature big innovation through the use of solar concentrating mirrors by a factor of 2x. Something that is congruent with our objective of bringing high tech, and the knowledge derived from it to anyone.
In the end we plan to sell a solar pumping system of about 800 USD. We take into consideration economical limitations, and therefore propose an open source system, people can buy components individually and build the system gradually. Solar cells and folders are intended to be modular, and open to power any device people might want to use, not only pumps and motors. On the other hand, components like DC motors can be obtained anyware else, and be fitted through straps to the system. This goes also for the pumps, since raw materials can be bought in any hardware shop.
As far as we know diesel pumps provide water for and initial 500USD, and 1200USD yearly costs. On the other side we propose to give people electricity, knowledge, integration into technological societies, vital water, and a sense of empowerment and independence. All of this, obtained through a more practical and economic (in the medium term) solution.