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NGO

Thermofluidics is committed to helping address the global need for low cost, reliable access to water for drinking and agricultural irrigation, which is a strategic concern for many NGOs and government agencies. We are also committed to helping support NGOs in their disaster relief efforts where our technology can help with the provision of drinking water and the removal of human waste to improve sanitation.

Smallholder agriculture

Our NIFTE technology is directly applicable to small-scale water pumping from surface water sources or shallow wells for irrigation. It is ideally suited to providing in the range 5 to 10m of surface head, making it ideal for low-pressure drip, spray systems and appropriate surface filtration.

We have developed a modular add-on hydraulic ram pump which will enable the NIFTE to draw water from deep-wells without adding dynamic seals or complexity. This now exists in double-acting and single-acting configurations, permitting higher levels of surface pressurisation or not, as required.

Our NIFTE base unit is designed to irrigate an area in the range 0.1 to 1 Hectares[1], depending on climatic and hydrological conditions. Larger areas can be addressed through the technology’s modular capability or with multiple units. With a hydraulic efficiency now routinely exceeding 80%, the flow-rate output by the NIFTE/DAHR or NIFTE/SAHR deep-well pumps

We have established relationships with NGOs working in the sanitation and irrigation sectors. These organisations are currently helping us with field trials and production design and are well placed to help with access to manufacturing and distribution channels in due course. We remain open to expolring collaborations with other organisations working in the field.

Water supply

As well as providing lifting capabilities for direct use, our NIFTE technology can enable water to be pumped over significant horizontal distances for water supply. With the addition of our modular Double-Acting Hydraulic Ram pump, the NIFTE/DAHR package can provide sufficient deep-lift capabilities and surface pressure to lift deep ground-water and filter it to achieve drinking water purity.

Our system is modular, so that only the required number of solar thermal collectors need be purchased to give the required flow-rate or pumping pressure at the best price to meet the distribution requirements and hydrology for a specific installation.

For communities that already rely on manually-operated water pumps such as treadle pumps, we can potentially hybridise our hydraulic ram pump to extend lifting and surface-pressurisation capabilities to greater depths. Our hydraulic rams are particularly well suited to wells with significant draw-down or level variation as their input impedance (effort required to pump) remains constant, with flow-rate output varying instead. In the case that the NIFTE or NIFTE/DAHR is being installed as an upgrade, much of the existing infrastructre can usually be re-used, saving on cost and the need to bring in expertise.

Disaster relief

Our technology can potentially be deployed rapidly to enable water supply and sanitation in refugee camps arising from disaster relief operations as well as provide the low-pressure volume pumping requirements for grey-water ad foul-water pumping and re-processing. Because it is powered by the sun using solar-thermal collectors, it is particularly well suited to applications where thermal treatment is necessary in addition to/instead of filtration. This could be solar distillation, dessication or simply raising the temperature of the pumped medium to a level required to destroy pathogens. Whilst this is not an area that we have worked on directly to date, this is because we are a small organisation and have to prioritise. We would welcome discussions leading to a future collaboration or development in this area.

The NIFTE’s solar pumping capability also makes it an attractive and safe alternative to approaches based on internal combustion engines using (highly flammable) petrol or diesel, which have the accompanying challenges relating to fuel logistics, safety and storage.

For more information on any of these applications, please click here to contact us



[1] Assuming 5mm irrigation per day.

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