Develop Alternative energy supply system

Like the water situation in Bambui, the rapid increase in population has placed significant stress upon the energy system. Presently, obtaining access to electricity in the Bambui region is a complicated process, and the limited supply of energy that is available is insufficient for meeting the growing demands of the Bambui community.

Subsequently, Bambui experiences frequent power failures and must function largely upon low voltage power. This affects the Bambui community both at an individual level and collectively. Some families must still use candles in their houses during the nights, posing a serious safety hazard, whilst low and unreliable sources of electricity significantly inhibit the execution of community developmental projects. Low energy supplies also contribute to unemployment and limits business opportunities. This is especially pertinent to the food and produce industry. As the Bambui market is a major contributor to the Bambui economy, an inability to store and preserve food through refrigeration means that local vendors are ultimately constrained to the quantity of food they can keep fresh. Conversely, local consumers who cannot store and preserve food also encounter this problem and inadvertently contribute to the food wastage problems that Bambui experience.

Whilst power is currently sourced externally, the Bambui community and its elders have made attempts to establish locally generated power. A hydroelectric project was initiated but has sadly been unsuccessful. This project conceived utilising streams located near the Bambui area to concentrate water flow through pipelining to a major water flow, which would serve as the location for the construct of a major dam. A number of factors contributed to the failure of this project. These included a lack of required funding to sustain the project, an increase in the population that created shortages in the streams water volumes and the pressure required to generate the power and miscalculations during the initial research for the project regarding the water volumes and current during the wet season, which led to the destruction of the infrastructure.

Alternative energy sources have since been proposed for supplying the Bambui community with power. This includes a suggestion for the installation of solar panels, a project that could incorporate the entire community and remains relatively cheap. However, a fundamental issue that may be encountered is the viability of installing solar panels in a climatic region that experiences extended wet season and subsequently minimal sunshine for long periods of the year. A further proposal was the installation of wind turbines. The mountainous regions that encompass Bambui and the Tubah municipality generate constant wind flows. Members of the Bambui community have discussed how a power project utilising the winds created from this natural topography would be extremely beneficial for its people. Its potential reliability as an energy source, low environmental impact and the relative simplicity of wind turbine installation mean that it is a well supported proposal within Bambui.

Design Projects
Reignite and the Bambui community leaders have identified the following energy projects. Students are invited to address a single issue or provide an integrated design solution for two or more design areas. Alternative projects may also be considered.

Alternative energy supply system
Design and propose an alternative electrical energy supply for the residents of Bambui. As highlighted current electricity supply is unreliable, illustrated by many people in the Bambui community still requiring candlelight during the evenings. Solar panel, wind turbine, hydroelectric dam and biogas plant construction have all been proposed as potential solutions that are both environmentally sound and economically feasible. Students are also encouraged to see what other alternatives may meet the communitys needs.