Windmills have been traditionally used in cattle ranch and farm in Australia, Africa and United State of America. With the growing size of farmland and deepening groundwater table, users are moving toward solar alternative where the solar pumping system can pump with higher flows and heads but with increased operation/maintenance requirements and higher costs.
The company is looking to integrate its mechanical windmill and solar pumping systems into a hybrid unit. While their customers have expressed interest to use a hybrid system, the cost of such system is a major concern. The company seeks to optimize the hybrid system with the minimum number of boreholes required and provide the highest availability of pumping time while maintaining system cost competiveness. The system would need to overcome the high head and high flows requirements.
The company produces traditional windmills that use 12-18 blades that produces high torque with variable stroke ability and uses a geared transmission. The windmill uses a reciprocating or crank piston pump. The windmill systems face challenging operating conditions with groundwater of more than 75 m to 150 m. The required flow rate is also much higher than the system design (30 m3/d). As the current windmill system only has a limited head of around 100 m, it is insufficient to overcome the depth and required flow rate.
The company also employs solar pumps which are using electric motors that have much higher power which allows it to have a head of more than 200 m with much higher flowrates. However, major issues would be the short pump lifespan (2yrs) and the maintenance requirements for the pump which is running at high rpm.
The company is looking to integrate the electrical solar pump system into the mechanical windmill system to overcome these issues.
It is seeking technologies to improve:
Wind turbine power generators, energy storage or battery solutions, solar panel designs, pump designs