Remote communities whose only source of clean water is a borehole can now have something to be proud of as news systems availed to increase supply of clean drinking water. The failure or malfunction of the pump can have a devastating effect, leaving people without water for days or weeks. A recent development has been the wider introduction of solar powered pumps to replace the traditional generator driven alternatives, which due to their simplicity are intrinsically much more reliable but operating problems can still occur.
In response to this challenge, the Kenyan based multinational water and energy specialist Davis & Shirtliff is now able to offer remote monitoring of solar pumping systems through the “pump MANAGER“ web platform, launched in collaboration with German Solar Pump manufacturer LORENTZ.
This enables its technicians and customers to remotely monitor borehole and pump performance using the mobile phone network, enabling the chance of intervention before a system breakdown actually occurs. Various malfunctions such as tripping can be identified and often corrected from Nairobi or indeed anywhere else via a remote pump configuration facility.
Even when a site visit is necessary, technicians can be on site to correct a malfunction well before the community itself is aware of any problem. The system monitoring hardware and software has been developed in-house by LORENTZ and all system operation data is continuously sent via GPRS/cellular network to their data center from where it is continuously analyzed and stored
Being cloud based information, it is accessible to D&S technicians and customers using laptops, tablets or smart phones. Two such systems with remote monitoring are already in operation in Wajir County where thousands of people depend on a stable water supply for themselves and their livestock.
These systems are a result of a partnership between D&S and the British NGO Oxfam.
For Oxfam, as well as for other NGO’s that have installed water pumping systems in remote areas.A real-time monitoring of system performance parameters such as voltage, amperage, flow rates, operating time, pump speed, cable dynamics, temperature, and more means that they can offer the communities a more reliable water supply and can avoid the risk of unnecessary and unexpected failures.
The system stores up to 10 years of data (at a 10 minute frequency) and allows for two-way communication to control and program pump speeds and operating times. Davis & Shirtliff is the leading supplier of high quality water and energy solutions to the East African Market and is well represented throughout the region with branches and subsidiaries.