Specialists in Bespoke Solutions

Customised Control Panels for Off-Grid Water System

T-T Controls and Automation provided two sets of control panels for villages within the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa. The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur are a Roman Catholic institute, founded to provide education to the poor. The group provides support to people living with poverty in the most abandoned places.

The Problem

The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur through raised funds have sourced Off Grid Systems Limited to install an irrigation system to provide water to villages in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa.

The system includes a receiver tank and three storage tanks and needed two control panels to ensure correct operation of the pumps to fill and move the water between these tanks.

The irrigation system will provide water to the villages of Kitenda and Lemfu.

The Solution

T-T provided two sets of customised control panels, which operate the system to extract and transport the water into a set of storage tanks, to the villages.

Each system provides water from either a deep well or river source, fed from natural springs.

From the source, the water is pumped into ground storage tanks, which is then lifted into a tower storage tank by a second pump. The water is then either distributed from the ground storage tanks at low pressure or lifted into the tower storage tanks, then providing high-pressure water supplies for villages nearby.

Each site has two control panels. The source has its own control panel (Source Panel) with a pump starter which can be controlled at the source if needed to check the pump is working. The second panel (a Lift/Source Panel) is situated in the pump house with the ground and tower storage tanks, this panel is used to operate the Lift and Source pumps daily.

The operation of the pumps are manual only with an automatic stop if a high level is reached.

The system providing water to Lemfu Village takes the liquid from a 43m deep well within close proximity to the pump house and storage tanks. The two panels provided for this system were both single 3Ph DOL starter panels, with various protective devices, including lightning and surge protection due to the environmental factors needed to be overcome in such geographical locations.

The panels indicate when the storage tanks are at low level, this alerts the operator to open the valves and align the pipework, enabling water transfer. After both ground storage tanks are full, the operator can now in turn fill the tower storage tank.

The control equipment provided for the location at Kitenda Village, includes one single 3Ph soft start panel and one single 3Ph DOL panel. The panels have the same features as the Lemfu Village panels with a virtually similar operation, however this location proved particularly challenging due to the water source and tank being approximately 600m away from the pump house.

The complete systems provided work via solar power PV arrays, with battery and UPS storage, and provides water from natural springs, distributing to local village services including a hospital and schools.

We are currently in the process of designing a third system with Off Grid Systems Limited which will supply water to a further village, Pilenda.

Read more about the bespoke solutions that T-T Controls can provide.