Project: Green Energy for a Dormitory in Kitale, Kenya - CE11
Team: Isaac Stickney, Pat McCormick, Lauren Panasewicz, Brett Boissevain
Advisor: Gilbert Nalelia
Liaison: Phil Appel
Description: This project seeks to remedy some of the infrastructural, environmental, and resource conservation problems currently impeding the development of many regions in Africa.
|Sub-Saharan Africa is an energy-poor region, with little or no reliability in domestic power. The lack of electricity has been identified as a major contributor to the current deforestation of many regions as people turn to wood for a fuel source. These practices are rapidly depleting the region's forests and destroying much of the arable land.|
|Additionally, the introduction of Filtrón water filters to the region threatens to exacerbate the problem further, by requiring more wood consumption for the manufacture of these fired clay pots. The limited access to reliable power and resources has created a need for new sustainable technologies to promote the development of these areas and to improve the quality of life. Four specific technologies are investigated and developed as the scope of this project: a savonius rotor windmill, rainwater harvesting system, solar water heater and a grain drying system.|
|Each of the proposed green technologies works to achieve the goal of providing a sustainable energy source to the region. The windmill is designed for direct energy production with capabilities of either AC or DC output. The energy may be applied directly, or stored for later application. The rainwater harvester is intended to save energy in water purification processes. By harvesting rain water, energy is saved in two ways. First, the water does not require the drilling of a ground well nor does it require pumping.|
Secondly, since it is collected as it rains, combustible fuels are saved from having to filter and sterilize the water for safe consumption and use. The solar water heater reduces the demand for energy in by providing households with pre-heated water for cooking and cleaning applications. In addition, it also provides improvement to sanitation standards by supplying a simple, inexpensive method for water purification. The grain dryer addresses a farming efficiency issue as well as provides additional revenue to the end user in order to facilitate the adoption of the other three technologies. The grain dryer will allow for safe, on-site storage immediately after harvest allowing users to reduce losses due to theft, spoilage, or foraging. Additionally the ability to store harvests provides a market advantage, allowing for an increase in revenue.
Together these four green products operate synergistically to allow for "off-the-grid" operation of a typical Kenyan homestead, free from reliance on domestic power sources and with minimal strain on local resources.