The AIDFI Ram Pump is a perfected model of a forgotten technology: the hydraulic ram pump. It is an automatic device which utilizes the energy contained in moving water (hydro power) to lift a portion of this water to high elevations 24/7. For the AIDFI model there are hardly any operating costs since it doesn’t use electricity or fuel and has very cheap, locally available spare parts (e.g. an ordinary door hinge and valve from an old car tire). The AIDFI model is a crossbreed (best of both) of expensive heavy duty cast models commercially available and inferior low-cost models developed by appropriate technology groups and universities. The AIDFI Ram Pump, compared to other ram pumps, uses a steel-to-steel impulse valve mechanism, making regular and costly replacement of gaskets unnecessary. This unique mechanism makes the model also very efficient. The highest elevation reached so far in an actual setting has been 240 meters and can most probably go beyond that. Another uniqueness is that the pumps are made one by one per order and are already available in ten different sizes with each pump having a specific flow range making it a perfect solution for either drinking or irrigation projects.
There are thousands of upland villages in the world where people need to walk/overcome dangerous terrain to a water source below their houses daily. In most cases, this is done manually and the families spend a lot of time with only a limited amount of water retrieved. Kids are often involved in the fetching and many of them skip some classes because of that. Often, health is affected: skin diseases erupt and diarrhea occurs. An AIDFI Ram Pump can provide much more water to households 24/7, completely changing the lives of the villagers. Overall health improves, as people can breed their animals and fish and grow their vegetables near their houses.
Currently, there are thousands of farms which rely on rainfall for irrigation which results in low production. Many of these farms, however, have lower elevated sources nearby. High fuel or electricity cost keeps them from pumping using motors. AIDFI Ram Pumps can supply water to these farms 24/7 in an environmental and low-cost way while increasing production.
In the coming years, we are looking forward to deploying our newly developed mechanical water kiosk which will help strengthen community water associations by ensuring equal distribution and increased collection of water fees both for new and past installations. The increased collection of water fees will enable them to sustain their operations by allowing them to pay an honorarium for local technicians, maintenance, upgrades and expansion (if possible).
We are also looking at deploying the monitoring app to more associations to allow for proactive easy monitoring and to provide access to associations with new innovations around the ram pump.
Internationally, we continue to look for new areas to expand the ram pump through a complete technology transfer. In the pipeline, we are targeting India and Bhutan in the coming years.
Main Target Group
Funding agencies, local government units, contractors and individual buyers.
Upland villagers and farmers.
Price (in USD)
The cost of AIDFI Ram Pumps compared to imported commercially available ram pumps is 10%. Besides the cost of purchasing and freight, most costs go towards getting pumps through customs. For this reason, AIDFI is stimulating the production of its model in the countries itself. Local production comes with local promotion and this will spread the technology faster. In the Philippines, AIDFI prefers to work with community projects in terms of installation of ram pumps but also sells units to individual people, groups or companies which may install the ram themselves. AIDFI can survey their sites and come up with a technical study with design and costing and if requested guidance on how to install. A ram pump system has more components then just a ram pump and depending on the available budget, a system can be scaled down. For those with low income, individual systems are costly and support mechanisms are needed. For community systems, either drinking or irrigation, there are available sponsors.
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