Improving irrigation in remote areas: Multi-objective optimization of a treadle pump

Pablo S. Santaeufemia, Nathan G. Johnson, Christopher McComb, Kenji Shimada

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    4 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Water-lifting technologies in rural areas of the developing world have enormous potential to stimulate agricultural and economic growth. The treadle pump, a human-powered lowcost pump designed for irrigation in developing countries, can help farmers maximize financial return on small plots of land by ending their dependency on rain-fed irrigation systems. The treadle pump uses a suction piston to draw groundwater to the surface by way of a foot-powered treadle attached to each suction piston. Current treadle pump designs lift water from depths up to 7 meters at a flow-rate of 1-5 liters per second. This work seeks to optimize the design of the Dekhi style treadle pump, which has gained significant popularity due to its simplicity. A mathematical model of the working fluid and treadle pump structure has been developed in this study. Deterministic optimization methods are then employed to maximize the flow rate of the groundwater pumped, maximize the lift height, and minimize the volume of material used for manufacturing. Design variables for the optimization included the dimensions of the pump, well depth, and speed of various parts of the system. The solutions are subject to constraints on the geometry of the system, the bending stress in the treadles, and ergonomic factors. Findings indicate that significant technical improvements can be made on the standard Dekhi design, such as increasing the size of the pump cylinders and hose, while maintaining a standard total treadle length. These improvements could allow the Dekhi pump to be implemented in new regions and benefit additional rural farmers in the developing world.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publication40th Design Automation Conference
    PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
    ISBN (Electronic)9780791846315
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
    EventASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2014 - Buffalo, United States
    Duration: Aug 17 2014Aug 20 2014

    Publication series

    NameProceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference
    Volume2A

    Other

    OtherASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2014
    CountryUnited States
    CityBuffalo
    Period8/17/148/20/14

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Modeling and Simulation
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Computer Science Applications
    • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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  • Cite this

    Santaeufemia, P. S., Johnson, N. G., McComb, C., & Shimada, K. (2014). Improving irrigation in remote areas: Multi-objective optimization of a treadle pump. In 40th Design Automation Conference (Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference; Vol. 2A). American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). https://doi.org/10.1115/DETC2014-35463