By: nkolola halwindi
26th April 2002
Australian inventor Andrew French, who was recently in South Africa during the launch, said that with the water and sanitation problems in developing countries, particularly in Africa, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is interested in the MGT concept, a radical drive-motor system that minimises energy losses, with particular emphasis in a water-pumping application.
He reports that the South African-based company API has begun building machines that have a single motor running four pumps.
"MGT South Africa will be manufacturing and supplying pumps for domestic and agricultural purposes to those in need in the country, as well as to neighbouring countries," said French.
These pumps will be supplied to Angola, Botswana, Burundi, the Comoros Islands, Gabon, Congo, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius and Mozambique.
Other countries include Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The firm is currently running a pilot project at a rural area on the outskirts of Johannesburg, where the pump is used to supply water.
French invented the pump on his farm, where he used magnets to excite rotation in a wheel.
Further developments resulted in the construction of the first portable fully-operational unit that can pump water, compress air, run refrigeration and hydraulics off a 24 V motor with no belts, chains or lubricants required.
"It allows for efficient power transmission to run machines efficiently and with no loss of energy through heat in the drive system," he explained The pumps and compressors are mounted on top of flywheels, which can be mounted on top of alternators.
Energy that would have been spent as heat is recycled through the alternators and stored back into a battery bank as chemical energy, while its central-drive motors get power from the same battery bank.
"There are thousands of applications, portable or permanent, large or small in engineering and industry, manufacturing and production, electronics and robotics, agriculture and mining, and transport," he said.
"The basic unit with four flywheels can have eight drive shafts, one each end, and eight water pumps could be driven from one motor on the same level with high efficiencies," explained French.
The drive system has reportedly been proved to be 18,8% more efficient when using a 'V' belt drive system.
"Experts estimate that about 90% of African diseases are waste borne due to pollution and stagnant water, therefore this machine has the ability to pump water and purify it too," assured French.
"We saw the need in Africa and opted to bring the technology where it is needed most as it pumps about 30 000 l/day," he adds.
WHO recommends that each person be entitled to 30 l/day, therefore the pump would serve about 3 000 people a day.
Worth noting is that it can also be run from a car or truck battery.
Other uses and industries to benefit from the technology include conveyors, processing and packaging, fishing and forestry, mining and primary industry.
The rest include automotive, transport and aviation uses, refrigeration and heating, construction, building and maintenance, emergency relief and disaster-rescue teams. In addition, benefits could be found for urban and rural fire-fighting, computers and electronics, food and beverage, petrochemical and plastics, hygiene and health and space exploration.
"Many other applications will flow from this mechanical, engineering and scientific advance," said French.
He reports that the firm will enter into 50:50 joint-venture arrangements with suitable partners in countries in need.
There will also be special application licences granted to companies that wish to develop machinery for individual applications in which they specialise.
Edited by: nkolola halwindi