Senegal – Wind power generator

Project: Wind power generator for pumping water

Country: Senegal

VSP Expert: Edoardo Gautier

Beneficiary: Campus LVIA

Foreword: A recent survey in Senegal has highlighted the need for the population in rural villages to provide water not only for nutrition and the hygiene of the population, but also for small fruit and vegetable cultivations. The goal of the mission was to experiment on the ground a model of a wind generator that was able to pump water into the wells of the Senegalese villages (10-15 m3 / day). Participants in the project, in addition to the VSP expert, the Triest Engineers Without Borders, LVIA Italy, the Department of Electrotechnical Engineering Faculty of Rome, LVIA Senegal and GIE VEV Senegal.

Current situation: In the territory, lacking the power grid, water supply is provided by women with buckets. The use of pumps powered by diesel engines requires a high investment. Bringing fundamental resources to the territory will allow people who otherwise would strive to reach large urban agglomerations or seek wealth by emigrating to other countries. The GIE VEV company, born from the Italian company LVIA, is a small Senegalese company that manufactures, assembles, maintains and repairs mechanical wind turbines with components made in Senegal. Current airplanes are reliable and suitable to the type of wind in the area, but they have a high cost due mainly to the rigid structure.

The proposed project: Experiment with Senegalese environmental and operational reality, a model of wind generator already produced and disseminated in Italy to measure its efficiency. The goal was to spread, at a later stage, in the villages of Senegal a pumping system that would replace inefficient manual pumps and expensive diesel pumps. The experimentation will be carried out by LVIA in collaboration with the Department of Electrotechnics at the University of Rome, which will provide a doctoral program engineer, who will follow through the Senegalese partner GIE VEV the part of experimentation planned in Thiés where the conditions of windiness is medium. LVIA will also use the technical assistance of other experts and in particular an engineer of the VSP (Senior Professional Volunteers) association with which LVIA has already been co-operating since 2004 in the field of wind energy. It is planned to install a wind generator at LVIA compound using an experimental field of a local NGO. The generator assembly will be entrusted to the GIE VEV, specializing in the manufacture and installation of traditional wind pumps, while monitoring will take place through periodic missions by the PhD student at the Institute of Electrotechnics at the Faculty of Engineering of the University of La Sapienza Rome, the management will be handled by LVIA resident assisted by a local electrician. As an indication, the generator that will be tested (installed about 15 meters in height and with a propeller of 3 meters in diameter) must be able to develop a power of at least 500 watts. The generated electrical power can be accumulated in a battery to be then distributed to electrical appliances (such as an electric pump). Compared to conventional wind pump models, where pumping is exclusively mechanical and requires a lot of energy use, this model will be more efficient, lighter, requires minimal maintenance and will cost 50% less.

Estimated costs: Costs for purchasing and shipment of materials from Italy, installation with Senegal materials and labor, student travel, local technician fees, local co-ordination costs and various, total amount in total 12.700,00 €.

Implementation times: The project will be implemented in three distinct phases:

  • Step 1: A) Development of an operational plan and definition of a first trial protocol, B) Purchase and dispatch to Senegal of the first wind generator; C) First generator installation assistance mission and start of experimentation and data collection campaign.
  • Step 2: Data Collection with Testing Protocol Verification.
  • Step 3: A) Processing and synthesis of collected data, B) Drafting of the final report, C) Presentation of results in Dakar.