Hand Pump Project

Summary:
EWB@WSU is collaborating with Developing World Technologies (DWT) to enhance and distribute a certain model of hand pump to farmers in rural Malawi, Africa.

Project Scope:
DWT currently has ten modified bilge pumps in Malawi being used for irrigation. After over a year of field and laboratory testing, the two organizations have determined that several enhancements should be made to the pumps to better meet the sustainability and productivity needs of the Malawian farmers. EWB@WSU is in the process of enhancing the existing pumps to deliver water at a greater delivery head than the current design can support and making several structural enhancements to improve durability. One such enhancement is to strengthen a pivot point where the pump handle connects as it has been shown to fail under typical irrigation use. EWB@WSU is prototyping a guard assembly to dissipate the stress forces and is prototyping a new pivot piece that will hold up against rigorous use. Good pump enhancements will be cost effective, easy to implement, durable under duress, lightweight, and be delivered with a set of instructions that can be easily implemented in Malawi. In addition to testing and prototyping, EWB@WSU is raising money to fund deployment of enhanced pumps to impoverished communities in Malawi.

Fall 2010 Plans:
During Fall Semester 2010, the team will focus on a rigorous stress test of the enhanced pump to support DWT in grant applications. We are looking for mechanical and electrical engineering students to design a motor driven system that will cycle the pump continuously under load, the hope being to recognize and remedy potential spots of fatigue in the pump design.