Pump bicycle reaches Ideas360 final

Two Indonesian TU master students entered the Shell Ideas360 competition with their Unipump, a modular pedal-powered irrigation pump. Next week they’re one of only five teams left in the final in Amsterdam.

Januardy Djong studies policy analysis in Delft while his team partner Dimas Priawan studies environmental and energy management at Twente University. In Indonesia they founded the non-profit organisation scholar4id.org, which organises scholarships for Indonesian students to travel abroad to Singapore.

Once in the Netherlands, the widespread bicycles caught their attention. Not only as an efficient and clean mode of transport, but also as an elegant way of converting leg movement into rotation. And once you have a rotational movement, the applications are endless.

Their original idea features a pedal-powered water pump. Farmers in Indonesia and in many other countries need to water their crops in order to increase the yield. But the technologies available are mostly very basic indeed: a garden watering can if you’re lucky. This makes irrigation a long and arduous task.

That’s where the Unipump fits in: while one person is pedalling away, another can walk around the allotment with a garden hose and water the plants. Height differences up to 14 meter can be met by the simple two-piston pump. That’s what their calculations say, because there is no working prototype as yet. The students did work out other uses of the same pedal-powered units which may interest farmers: rice-husking or corn-trashing.

On 14 May they’ll present their UniPump at the Shell Technology Centre Amsterdam in the final of the Shell Ideas360 competition – a global competition for students to develop game-changing ideas for tackling energy, water and food issues.

Other finalists are Skywell (using large sails to collect humidity from the air); Plug N Play (monitor power consumption to reduce peak loads); Smart Water (Saving water with Smart Water Metering devices) and Fire in Ice (harvesting methane by injecting CO2 in gas hydrates).

More info on the Ideas360 website


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