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Enabling Sustainable Irrigation through Hydro-Powered Pump for Canals

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - HyPump (Enabling Sustainable Irrigation through Hydro-Powered Pump for Canals)

Reporting period: 2016-08-01 to 2017-01-31

The growing world population and the change in dietary patterns will dramatically increase the demand for food and feed, which will turn into a greater use of water, agriculture’s primary production factor. In a context exacerbated by the ongoing climate change, which results in farmers’ increasing need to irrigate cost-efficiently to stay competitive, policy makers around the globe are striving to implement strategies and new technologies for better use and conservation of water resources. However, while the introduction of new drip and sprinkler-based irrigation practices allowed substantial water savings, these came at the expenses of an increase of energy consumption and capital expenditure, making modernized irrigation less profitable. Leveraging on the successful launch of the Barsha Pump, a floating river pump for small-scale farmers throughout the world, which does not require any fuel or electricity to operate, aQysta will develop and demonstrate a large-scale system for canals that can serve the needs of irrigation communities in Europe. This novel HyPump system will be designed as a size-scalable concept, allowing for several variants according to the specific needs of the targeted customers in Europe, and will allow users to benefit from up to 70% savings on operating costs with respect to standard fuel or electric pumps. Furthermore, the proposed solution will drastically reduce the environmental footprint with respect to conventional pumps and is 2 times less capital intensive than solar pumps.
The project was divided in two major work packages:

Part 1: Focused on the validation of the HyPump performance through simulation and modelling, so to ensure the modularity and adaptability of the design to a wide range of scenarios.
Part 2: Focused on the validation of the business opportunity, aimed at defining reliable business cases through the involvement of the key players of the value chain, thus assessing the economic sustainability of the initiative and refining the business model.

Main achievements during the project were the demonstration of a small scale prototype in Spain with official inauguration and demonstration day, further detailing of the products specifications, the design of the system, a better understanding of the customers´needs through interviews of irrigation communities and the refinement of the business model. As a result, the HyPump is now ready for demonstration and the leads for potential demonstration sites have been identified.
The HyPump combines a modified, as a result, highly efficient water wheel with a patent pending pumping innovation. As such it goes beyond the current state of the art and is suited to utilize the flow energy of irrigation canals, an energy source that is hardly exploited.
The HyPump has potentially a large positive environmental impact. First, by replacing fuel powered or electric pumps it can reduce CO2 emissions. Second, it enables modern, water saving irrigation methods which leads to a reduction in water consumption. It does so in a cost-effective manner and therefore increases the profit margins involved in farming, contributing to increased food security.