MIT Engineers Without Borders is Building a Solar Pump in Mkutani
Our Project: Clean Water for Mkutani
Our current project is based in a village of 3000 people outside of Dodoma, Tanzania. The village, Mkutani, lacks access to clean drinking water. Currently residents can access water from a polluted river nearby, expensive prepackaged bottles, or a borehole over 2 km away with a frequently-broken hand pump.
Our long term goal is to provide a convenient, reliable source of water to Mkutani villagers. To do so, we will install a solar-powered pump system to replace the current hand pump, which is difficult to operate and not robust. In the long term, we will build a distribution system to bring water distribution points closer to the village.
How You Can Help
Your donation helps us pay for travel reimbursements, material costs, and equipment as we work on pump installation and improving the distribution center. Any questions? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Solar Pump and Tank System
The MIT Chapter broke into three teams in order to tackle the technical design of the new solar pump and tank system.
Water Team: This semester, the water team worked with engineers from the Boston professional chapter to develop a head loss model for water flow from the storage tank to the tap stand. We then used the model to determine the tank height required for the desired flow rate.
Structural Team: The structural team worked to design a stand for the water tank. We needed to make sure our design could support a 10,000 L tank of water, plus the tank itself, and a total weight of the tank and water totalling 25,000 pounds. Additionally, we had to consider Tanzanian regulations for these structures, including a 5m minimum height.
Electrical Team: The electrical team worked on putting the whole system together. We looked at the specs for the pump, solar panels, and controller to find the best wiring configuration, and created a diagram with all the interconnected parts. We also worked on calculations so that the system could meet the requirements of the community. By working with the Boston Professional Chapter, we were able to learn a lot about Application Engineering and link it to what we've done in school.
About Engineers Without Borders
EWB is a non-profit that partners with people from developing countries around the globe, and works with them to find solutions that will improve quality of life in their communities.
As part of the MIT Engineers Without Borders chapter, a student-run organization, we are learning practices that will make us lifelong change-makers. Our team is a diverse group of engineers, scientists, leaders, designers, humanitarians and innovators that's working together to create a better world, one community at a time.
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Section of Pipes
$10 covers two meters of piping for the solar pump.