Our pumps and solar panels

We use IP67 rated solar panels to power our high-efficiency submersible pumps, coupled with a controller that runs at varying time intervals to ensure water-pumping is possible even during low sunlight conditions. The number of panels and required power is context specific and is based on the depth of the water tables. In semi-arid landscapes in Kenya for example, the aquifers are typically much deeper, and this requires more powerful solutions. Based on the hydrogeological tests we determine the capacity of each solar installation.

By using a clean, renewable energy source, the Project Maji kiosks have virtually zero energy running costs and are not dependent on the electrical grid. The kiosks are non-polluting and emit no greenhouse gasses as opposed to other motorized pumps (diesel or other fuel).

The pumping system is controlled using advanced electronics with sensors placed in both the tank and the borehole, which switch off the pump when the tank is full. This prevents overflowing and reduces water inefficiencies. The sensors also cut off the pump supply if the water in the well drops below a preset level, in order to protect it from running dry. The flow sensor records the pumped water volume and updates it on our remote server on a real-time basis, so we can constantly monitor community water consumption and aquifer sustainability.

Transforming rural water consumption

Adverse impacts of climate change put big pressures on waterscapes and triggers water scarcity, severe droughts and unpredictability of rainfall as a result of changing weather patterns. We adhere to sustainable groundwater practices, avoiding the risk of over-abstraction to ensure future generations will have access to groundwater. As part of our site selection strategy, we prefer existing aquifers as opposed to drilling new ones. We aim to mechanize borewells with broken handpumps to reach communities currently deprived of a clean water source. A pre-installation pumping test helps us to ensure the extraction does not exceed the replenishment rates.

Schematic diagram of the Maji Cube