News and knowhow for farmers

Bicycle pump for small-scale use available


A university graduate has developed a cost effective bicycle-pedal-powered water pump for collecting water for small-scale irrigation and other domestic farms uses.

Antony Kabui developed the equipment to support farmers who do not have electricity or cannot afford oil to run water pumps to meet farm needs.

He says it is tedious, costly, and time consuming to engage a lot of labuor in fetching water from rivers, reservoirs,  in the farm.

“The current methods of fetching water from wells or other ground sources, and transporting it are insufficient in many parts of the world. Other pumps are expensive to operate and maintain. This contributes to high costs of production for a farmer who needs water at the various points,” he said.

Kabui uses a centrifugal water pump which is run by rotating the pedal of a bicycle. The power generated through the pedaling is used to lift the water and push it through a pipe to where it is needed.

The pump’s shaft is connected to the auxiliary rim of the back wheel, which has a V-shaped belt. During cycling, power is transmitted between the front gear wheel and the back sprocket. The power generated is also exchanged through the bicycle chain, the auxiliary rim and the pump shaft with the V-belt.

Cycling enables the bicycle-pump to lift approximately 20 litres per minute from a well in case one is pedaling at the rate of between 50 and 70 cycles per minute.

“The rate of lifting depends on the gradient from the source of water. drawing water from a well, or reservoir will not be the same as doing it from a river or pond. Similarly, the diameter and length size of the connecting pipe influences the speed of getting the water from one point to the other,” he said.READ ALSO: Water-pumping motor-cycle enters Kenyan market

Pipes with smaller diameters would allow for more water to pass per minute.

READ ALSO: Water-pumping motor-cycle enters Kenyan market

Apart from the technical knowledge required in fixing the belts and pulleys, the Biomedical and Processing Engineering graduate of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology says, the equipment needs no expertise.

The operator only need to be physically fit to cycle. 

Having tested, identified and corrected most of the shortcomings, the Kiambu County’s Kahawa Sukari-based innovator looks forward to commercialising the equipment, which he will be making upon order from any client.

Kibui can be reached on +254700325000

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