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< prev - next > Energy Mechanical Power KnO 100432_Windpumping (Printable PDF)
Practical Action
is to use an aerogenerator to provide electricity for an electric pump. Although they tend to be
more expensive, they do have the advantage that the electricity can be used for other
applications when not pumping and also that the electricity can be stored in batteries for use
when the windspeed is insufficient for direct electricity supply.
Other issues
Local manufacture
Windpumps are manufactured in small numbers in various countries throughout the world.
There are manufacturers producing windpumps in Europe, Australia, South Africa and the
USA for export, but there are also commercial enterprises in developing countries
manufacturing windpumps. One such manufacturer, RIIC (the Rural Industries and
Innovations Centre) is mentioned below.
There have been several projects over the last couple of decades with the aim of transferring
windpump technology to manufacturers in the South, and there has been some success. One
such success story is the Kijito windpump (See figure 3), manufactured in Kenya. This
windpump was originally developed by the Intermediate Technology Development Group
ITDG (now Practical Action) based in the UK in conjunction with Bobs Harries Engineering
Ltd. (BHEL), Kenya. BHEL have further developed the Kijito design and currently produce
about 25 windpumps a year with a capacity to produce up to 50 machines.
Ownership, usage, maintenance and environmental impact
User Perspective - Windpumps in Botswana
A survey was conducted in Botswana on owners/ users of windpumps. The aim was to
determine the ownership, procurement and installation, use, environmental impact and
promotion of windpumps. The survey revealed that 54% of the windpumps were owned by
households and 23% by farmers groups or syndicates. The rest (23%) were owned by the
community. The majority of the windpumps (85%) were purchased and the rest were donated.
Fifty-six per cent of the respondents purchased windpumps or raised the money from the
banks to purchase them, whereas 18% utilised group contributions. Most of the respondents
purchased the windpumps from RIIC, the local supplier. The installation of the windpumps
was done by RIIC in 69% of the cases and by owners and foreign dealers in 23% and 8%
respectively. Ninety-two per cent of the respondents were of the opinion that the installation
was done satisfactorily. The operators had been trained by the supplier in 39% of the cases
and the remainder had either taught themselves (31%) or been taught by the local technicians
All respondents revealed that windpumps were used for pumping water for livestock as well as
for irrigation and domestic purposes. Ninety-two per cent of the respondents were of the
opinion that the windpump had significantly improved their water supply. Eighty-four per cent
thought that windpumps satisfied the water needs of the community. Thirty-one per cent
depended on windpumps entirely for their water pumping, while 69% had other systems. The
respondents perceived windpumps as a good technology mainly because they were cheaper to
use. One of the problems associated with the use of windpumps was the high frequency of
breakdowns. Forty-six per cent indicated that they broke down once a year, 31% twice a year
and 23% more than three times a year. Major repairs were done by RIIC (54%), local
technicians (8%) or a combination of the two (8%).
The study also investigated the perception of respondents of the environmental impact of the
use of windpumps. The majority (85%) thought the windpumps improve the scenery, whereas
15% said they do not make a difference. No negative impacts were reported. It was also the
view of 92% of the respondents that the noise form the windpumps is not a nuisance. The
respondents thought that the adoption of the windpump technology was constrained by factors
such as the lack of appropriate policies, lack of awareness of the technology, high costs of
maintenance and inadequate wind regimes.
Source: Mosimanyane et al 1995 (cited in Karekezi & Ranja 1997)