The purpose of this research is to design an independent irrigation system that will adhere to the agricultural needs and financial constraints for small-scale farms in remote rural areas of developing nations. Solar powered technologies will be investigated and a concept will be designed using computer-aided modelling tools. Research is also required into the manufacturing process to ensure use of local resources, reducing the cost as well as carbon footprint of the technology.
A solar concentrator working in conjunction with a Sterling pump is being investigated to meet the goals of the research. The solar concentrator reflects sunlight to a point/surface, thus heating the surface. The Sterling pump is connected to this heat source on one side and a cold source on the other side. The difference in temperature causes variance in pressure which can be used to generate suction and thus work as a pump.
- Pumping system design: farm size, irrigation requirement, pumping head
- Design of solar concentrator: investigate concentrator systems, ray tracing model, solar thermal analysis
- Design of Sterling pump: investigate Stirling pumping systems, computational fluid dynamics
- Manufacture analysis
- Cost analysis