In many areas of the world, the lack of readily available electrical energy, clean water, and employment opportunities are an interlocking problem that causes social strife, political conflicts, and limits the potential of millions of people. In a vicious circle, the lack of basic infrastructure limits the ability of an area to improve their economic condition, which impairs their ability to improve that supporting system.
This application is an attempt to address all three of these issues with not just a product, but with an entire production, fabrication, and deployment system. Physically, this is a design for a commercial off the shelf (COTS) wind turbine of effective size and power, mounted upon a tapered cylindrical tower that is enclosed to form an elevated water tower. The water tower is connected to a ground water well by a COTS dual purpose water pump/generator. A basic electrical control system is used to run the system in one of three modes:
1) Wind turbine electrical generation.
2) Water gravity electrical generation.
3) Water pumping and storage.
None of these ideas are particularly novel. What are new about this system are both the method of construction for the tower and its means of production. Traditionally both wind turbine towers and water tanks are assembled from steel or other metal construction. Few places in the world where wind turbines would be most effective have the industrial capacity to fabricate large steel assemblies, and the transportation of them from where they could be built and erected is prohibitively expensive or difficult. What is feasible to transport to remote areas are modular jig and lay-up machines as well as the resins and composite materials with which to fabricate the tower structure. Either a preexisting building of sufficient size or a prefabricated temporary structure is built to house production. The local population is hired, trained, and employed to produce the systems. This provides jobs, income, and new skills to areas where there are usually few if any.
The Create The Future prize would become the seed money for beginning the engineering, securing capital investment, and building links and agreements with the governments, non-governmental organizations, and local populations who would benefit from this system.
Many of today’s conflicts and untold human misery have their roots in the lack of access to energy, water, and economic opportunities. This application has the potential to redress all of these issues in a way that highlights the good that advanced technologies can do in the world.