Kuzwayo K, Madanlal A, Nkwanyana W, Sookraj N | Prof GDJ Smith
The vertical axis low head turbine/pump set was designed to supply water to the many communities in South Africa that do not have easy access to water, communities that are situated far from power grids and citizens that otherwise have to endure long walks in harsh climates to collect water. The system works on the principle of using the water flow from rivers with low head drops, i.e. 1.5 metres and a flow rate of 50 litres/s, to drive a pump capable of lifting water to a significantly greater height. The use of a pre-swirling volute has obviated the need for nozzle guide vanes and a printed ABS plastic rotor has been produced which, together with other design features, has led to a final design which is both low cost and with little need for maintenance.