Water is flowing!
Our project in Paang bundok in Lipa Batangas has now come to an end. No, stop! This is a case to celebrate! From our last update, we had instslled the water pump and 4 tap stands in the community of Paang bundok catering to clusters of households.
The last installment of the project --- to install another five tap stands was completed last November 26-30, 2013. The group of engineers also did a maintenane check of the system.
The community is now enjoying a Level 2 water system.
"The solar water system is a great help to us here in Paang bundok... water is now continuous and very accessible with all the tap stands that are strategically placed within the community... Before I was worried with the coming dry season, it will be very difficult to fetch water... before the project was completed we augment the water we use with collecting rain water from our roof, this cannot be done during the dry season... thank you very much for the help that the project has given us..."
--- Nanay Belen, mother
This is just a new beginning for Paang bundok, still there are other work to be done for their future generation to enjoy the fruits of all our labor.
For us, this is an opportunity for a new chapter.. a new hope to dream, a new need to fulfill, a new project to do and a new future to make! We hope that you will still join us in our other endeavors and be still part of our growing family...
This is also an opportunity to generously thank all of you who have supported us in this project. Thank you very much from the bottom of our hearts. May our paths cross again...
From the last update in February 2013, SIBAT were happy to annouce that the recently reparied pump was installed, working and pumping water to the residents of Paang Bundok. SIBAT have since been monitoring the situation and in a shared descision with the Peoples Organisation have decided that to ensure sustainability of the system that improvements must be made to make the water distribution system more rebust. Consequently, as well as some incidental repairs it has been decide to undertake building concrete tapstands at each point of water delivery. Concrete tapstands will be more robust than the existing plastic faucets and also bring the additionaly benefit of providing a clean area for water collection, therefore improving sanitation.
So far, due to generous donations, SIBAT have been able to fund the building of 4 tapstands, during which training was given to the system operators to teach them how to build future sets. It is planned to build a further 16 tapstands to complete the improvements to the whole water distribution system, although funds are still being sought to buy the required materials for these. After training conducted with system operators, the Peoples Organisation will undertake the building of these tapstands themselves - the progress of which will be monitored by SIBAT.
During a recent site visit, SIBAT were happy to observe a satisfaction among the community about the improvements the repair of the pump has brought to the village. Many residents expressed their satisfaction from having much easier access to water and said it was saving them a lot of time that used to be spent on the menial task of water collection.
Last November 2012, SIBAT Renewable Energy (RE) Team - Electrical Engineer Ryan Sims and Community Organizer Myrna Herisano together with Jun Cortez and two of his staff, travelled to Paang Bundok to install the recently repaired Lorentz pump and motor set, supplied by Jun Cortez, a long standing supplier of RE components to SIBAT.
Installation of this pump had been delayed for some months due to confusion and disagreement between SIBAT RE team and the supplier, Jun Cortez. The misunderstanding was in the terms of equipment purchase:SIBAT had ordered a new pump from Jun Cortez to replace a pump of the same model that was broken, but Jun Cortes was only able to replace the motor and not the full motor/pump set. As the full price had been paid, SIBAT was concerned about the long-term effectiveness of the repaired pump, hence initially declined the offer and demanded for a new set of Lorentz pump. Once it became apparent that no alternative solution was available, a compromise was made where Jun Cortez offered a 2-year personal warranty (1 year longer than the standard 1-year warranty offered by Lorentz on new motors and pumps from the date of purchase).
The following were the targeted activities by the group for the project field work:
Upon arrival at site, there were some issues that needs to be addressed by the team. The first observation was the inappropriate location and installation angle of the solar array, as it was observed that a mango tree shades the site in the afternoon. Additionally, the inclination angle of the solar frame and therefore the panels is 0 degrees. Normal practice indicates that for solar installations at the latitude of the Philippines should be 15 degrees, to maximise the sunlight falling on the panels and to allow for any debris to fall or wash off.
Later, the pump was installed in the water collection tank and tested. The pump did not initially reach the distribution pipes and upon investigation it was found that a large leak was present in the transmission pipe riser. Boy, the local operator, fixed the repair using 2 pieces of straight couplings and after repair the pump was tested again. This time the pump did not function and re-testing was not possible. Again the next day, testing was tried and the pump did not work. SIBAT then left the site, proposing to return the following week with Jun Cortex to fix the intermittency problem of the pump.
Prior to leaving by the team, a community meeting was held to discuss the whole rehabilitation of the project summarising all the necessary tasks to be done.
The following week, Jun Cortez suggested that the solar array wiring was incorrect and it would improve the situation if the wiring were changed to have 3 parallel rows with 5 panels in series. This fixed the problem with the pump and it was suspected that previously the current from the solar panels to the Lorentz controller was too low. Upon restarting the pump, two more leaks were found on the transmission line: one small leak just beyond the first leak and another more significant one near the top of the transmission line near the solar panels. The fact that the water was reaching near the solar panels is a good sign, however, full testing was not possible because of the leaked water.
Next, the grid power source and switch box was installed and tested. The testing proved successful although it was observed that the transformer got very hot very quickly. The community confirmed this a few days later when they reported to SIBAT a “very high temperature” at the transformer. Jun Cortex has promised to review this in the coming week by returning to Paang Bundok.
While in Paang Bundok, the SIBAT team also surveyed the water distribution pipelines and noted a number of problems, all of which the community operator was aware of. A list of fittings required to rehabilitate the water distribution pipes to a useable condition was made and passed on to the community with an estimated budget. The community plans to request funds for this from the municipal government unit and possibly other sources of funding such as Global Giving.
In addition to these basic repairs, SIBAT suggested constructing concrete tap-stands, similar to the Pulili project. A budget for this was also handed over to the community for fund sourcing. SIBAT will also look into helping the community raise funds for these necessary components to make their solar water pumping system efficient and reliable 24 hours daily.
As of today, the remaining tasks and status updates are summarised below.
The Paang Bundok solar water pumping project is now in its final stage of completion, as the wind component has now been shelved for future development.
The final component is the installation of the water pump which will then complete the project. As of now, there are issues with the supplier for the procurement of a new Lorentz pump, and we fervently hope that this will be addressed soon enough.
The other major components - solar panel and inverter were already installed previously and is now awaiting for the water pump installation for the system to be up and running and providing drinking and household water supply to the villagers.
Again our warmest thanks to all those who supported the project and we hope that you can also support other community-based renewable energy projects that SIBAT will be pursuing in other off-grid rural poor areas.
Below is the link to SIBAT's renewable energy program developing other community-based renewable energy projects such as micro-hydro, solar, wind-solar hybrid water pumping projects:
Project rehabilitation is almost completed for the solar water pumping system, the repaired solar panels were relocated near the community including installation of transmission line from the source to the new location which is 500 meters away. A new inverter and the repaired solar panels were installed near the community so as to secure the system and avoid damage by untoward incidents including lightning.
The next component to be installed will be a new pump --- the old pump was not repairable as found out by the project team. For now, the team is in the process of procuring a new pump which will provide the most efficient water pumping system and for the Paang Bundok villagers to enjoy drinking and water supply year round. After pump installation, the next activities will be for assessing /testing and conduct of necessary repairs of the water distribution line from the water supply to the households.
The next site visit will entail testing of the new pump, and once functional, the team will now proceed to testing and repair of the water distribution lines from the water source to the households. A parallel pipe distribution will be set upon installation of the grip-pump.
The Paang Bundok villagers are really looking forward to the completion of the solar water pumping system!
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