An accelerated endurance test of key components is underway at the Thermofluidics lab. The aim is to achieve 10,000hrs fault-free running to underpin the robustness of the uDAHR and prove the low-maintenance, long lifespan characteristics that outperform traditional electrical submersible pumps. The test is currently approaching 5,000hrs without failure.
Farmers have reported that cultivated area and yield have both improved since the start of the trials. Examples of crops being grown include tomatoes, potatoes, millet, paw paw, napier grass, vegetables, bananas, passion fruits and lemons.
Remote monitoring and regular communication with the farmer field sites have shown that the pumps are operating well and with minimum intervention at both sites in Bangladesh and Kenya. The next step for the team will be to advance the technology readiness levels and address a wider range of flows and heads.
In February the Thermofluidics team travelled to Dhaka in Bangladesh to set up the uDAHR on two test sites at working farms with their partner iDE. The uDAHRs were installed in hand-drilled boreholes with depths to water of 7m and 22m and powered by the FuturePump SF2 with PV panels.
In January the Thermofluidics team travelled to Kisumu in Kenya to set up two uDAHR test sites on working farms with their partner FuturePump. The uDAHRs were installed in hand dug wells with depths to water of 13m and 18m and powered by the FuturePump SF2 with PV panels.
A batch of the latest version of the uDAHR has been made ready for Phase 2 Field Trials with farmers in Bangladesh and Kenya. The uDAHR enables suitably matched surface pumps to lift from depth and therefore avoids the need to install more expensive and less robust submersible pumps.
Thermofluidics is creating a new position for a graduate engineer or physicist with 3 or more further years of experience in academia or industry to support our DAHR development work. Please see our jobs page for further information.
Thermofluidics has completed phase 1 controlled-conditions field trials of the latest smallholder irrigation DAHR and NIFTE technologies in collaboration with our development partners in the US, India and Bangladesh.
Thermofluidics has demonstrated a DAHR with 25m long pipes lifting water against a 60m head (surface pressure). Models indicate that a full 60m long apparatus situated in a deep well with an appropriately-sized drive pump will achieve market leading hydraulic efficiencies across a wide range of delivery flows.
Thermofluidics has begun controlled-conditions trials of the DAHR lifting water from depths of between 10m and 30m at sites in Pune and Kolhapur, India and Dhaka, Bangladesh
Thermofluidics engineers have begun working with iDE to assemble and commission a NIFTE solar-thermal pump for smallholder irrigation at iDE’s technical centre in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Cai Williams spent two weeks with the iDE team and successfully handed over the equipment to begin controlled trials.
Thermofluidics welcomes Lynne Dunnett as Experimental Technician. She will take on the running of our Oxford-based DAHR/NIFTE test facility. Lynne has ten years’ experience as a water engineer and has worked in East Africa and Asia on a range of irrigation projects, most of which were aimed at improving smallholder farmers’ livelihoods. Lynne has a background in Civil and Irrigation Engineering.
Thermofluidics has doubled its floor area at Begbroke Science Park, Oxford to include a new lab test facility in the Centre for Innovation and Enterprise that is specifically equipped to conduct parametric tests and incremental modifications to our DAHR and NIFTE technologies.
Thermofluidics has shipped two NIFTE Version 1.3. prototypes to iDE facilities in Denver, Colorado, U.S.A. and Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Thermofluidics will be creating two new positions within the team based at Oxford over the coming months. We are looking for an Experimental Technician and a Production Engineer to help us to accelerate our product development. Please contact us for more information or to apply.
Thermofluidics engineers have begun working with Wilo to assemble and commission two NIFTE Version 1.3 solar-thermal pumps at Wilo’s production facilities in Pune and Kolhapur, Maharashtra, India. Cai Williams and Tom Smith spent two weeks with the Wilo team and successfully handed over the equipment to begin controlled trials.
Manufacture of the first set of NIFTE Version 1.3 pumps is complete and Thermofluidics are preparing to ship the pumps for controlled trials with partners in India and Kenya. The latest design is an evolution of our core concentric geometry with improvements to material specifications and assembly details.
Thermofluidics welcomes Ben Cartwright as our new Head of Operations. Ben has a background in civil engineering and water management and has worked for NGOs in Afghanistan and Sudan. His primary role will be to will support the delivery of the Wellcome Trust Translation Award deliverables.
Thermofluidics is pleased to announce that we have received a Translation Award from the Wellcome Trust. This award, totalling £3M over 42 months will fund three prototype iterations and two rounds of field trials of modular low and high-head pumps, based on our proprietary NIFTE and DAHR technologies, across India and Kenya and enable the development of a complete set of production drawings in preparation for tooling and pilot commercial launch.
Thermofluidics welcomes Cai Williams into our Field Engineer role. Cai will be using his background in agricultural and mechanical engineering and borehole drilling in Malawi to help develop and trial Thermofluidics’ technology for smallholder farmers.