Solar Water Pumps for two Ugandan orphanages
The borehole is located between two orphanages, an upper and lower site. The pump and panels are located at a small building erected especially to house the equipment.
This simple solution provides continuous supply of water at the upper site, whilst the lower tank provides a head for supply at the lower site. Importantly the solution requires no human input to operate and is self-running. Water is pumped from the borehole into the upper tank. This upper tank feeds the orphanage unit bathrooms / toilets etc. from a connection near the bottom of the tank. The top tank also feeds (from halfway up) the lower tank. When the lower tank is full a ballcock shuts off the flow from the top tank. Water can only flow from the top tank to the bottom tank when there is plenty of water available. By using this system we can ensure that both the upper site and the lower site have a good supply of water. The upper tank will contain a float switch connected by a buried cable to one of the solar control modules in the pump house control room.
The solar panels are fitted to steel purlins that are on one side of the house. The steelwork is bolted to the walls of the house, and then the bolts have been welded in place to discourage theft. The panels themselves are bolted to the steelwork with security ‘one way’ bolts. Once fitted, these can only be removed with a grinder, or the special key. The controllers are fitted to the varnished wooden board that is fixed to the back wall. This will allow people to see the controllers, but because the control room has a steel cage door only authorised folk will be able to access / operate the equipment. This cuts down on ‘un-explained’ malfunctions. In the following picture, there is a 'fat' pipe on one side and a thinner on on the other.
The thinner pipe takes the water from the borehole to the top tank. The fatter pipe is simply there to allow the waterproof connectors for the pump to be hidden securely. If the pump is fitted without connectors it makes it harder to remove the pump / rising main for maintenance etc. Waterproof connectors are essential to protect from condensation etc and they are quite bulky, hence the fatter pipe to hide them away.
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