Recent Projects: Developing Nations
Cost-Effective Water Pump For Fond des Blancs, Haiti
The community of Fond des Blancs, Haiti, needs a reliable and cost-effective pump system for their gravity-fed water distribution network. Through discussion with SBHF, a site assessment trip, and analysis, we identified addressing the pump as the best strategy. We designed a solar-energy-powered pump system to run in parallel with the existing diesel system. Using five solar pumps in parallel will reduce operating and maintenance costs while increasing redundancy and therefore the entire system's reliability.
Reinvent The Toilet
Haitians need a low-cost, waterless, simple latrine that eliminates common pathogens, particularly V. cholerae. Specifications for the toilet include rapid on-site processing of waste (within 24 sun hours), capacity to store waste of an average family for one month, and construction utilizing locally available materials. We decided that harnessing solar energy is the optimal means to achieve rapid sterilization. We visited Haiti to collect raw solar and weather data in Cité de Dieu and interview people in Fond des Blancs. In our resultant design, urine is directed into a hole connected to a five-gallon container. A separate hole for feces leads to a PVC pipe down to a circular support plate atop a 20- or 55-gallon container. The circular support plate features six rotating flaps that move each day's waste through a cycle of exposure to sunlight before dropping it into the storage container. Our design achieved and exceeded the ideal temperature of 47°C, above which V. cholera is unable to grow, in under 24 sun hours. The units are inexpensive ($192.72), odorless, low maintenance, portable, and easy to use.