• Hydrostatic Pressure Wheel driven by head difference
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Creating sustainable low-cost solutions to alleviate problems regarding irrigation, drinking water and electricity in rural communities
Group Members
Angus Lawrence, Peter Newsome, Timothy Brewer, Nikolas Maroudas, Shivank Kahar, Tomasz Ciesielski, Joseph Conneely, Anika Rahman
Dr Gerald Muller
At present, water infrastructure in Nigeria is insufficient, more than 63 million people do not have access to safe drinking water. Population growth and climate change have adverse effects on the country’s agricultural sector of the country. Half the country’s population does not have access to electricity, preventing telecommunication and limiting further development. These problems are faced by many developing countries across the world.

This project aims to address some of these critical issues by designing a hydro-powered system for water purification, electricity generation and water saving irrigation using ultra-low head differences of 0.1 to 0.4m. No such system currently exists.

The innovation of the project lies with using a permeable weir to create ultra-low head hydro power, generally considered unsuitable for power generation. In existing streams and irrigation channels, this power can be converted with a hydro-static pressure wheel working at 85% efficiency. The wheel can directly drive two different low-speed pumps, which supply pressurised water for purification and irrigation. The system concept was developed, including theoretical models for pumps and canals for performance prediction. A prototype with a power output of 100W and water purification potential of 510 Lday-1 was designed, built and tested in the flumes at the Chilworth Science Park.

The project is unique in creating an integrated and cost-effective system, using simple components. A theoretical background for design of larger installations was also developed, that can be adapted for use all over the World, along any man-made channel or natural stream.
Hydrostatic Pressure Wheel driven by head difference
Spiral Pump operating at 10m pressure
Weir creating head difference in channel
Design of the Low Pressure System
Micro Pelton Turbine generating electricity
Piston pump operating at 50m pressure
Drip line irrigation system
Reverse Osmosis Membrane producing drinking water