Canadian sales to west Africa

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Canadian company Dutch Industries Ltd of Regina, Saskatchewan has sold a number of its Delta 16 water pumping windmills to the Sahel region of west Africa, installing units in Mali and Niger as well as closer to the coast in Gambia. "Delta 16 units have been operating successfully for more than a year in Niger and Mali. They were used to replace other windmills that had failed in other projects," says Dutch Industries wind engineer Philip Vander Ziel. He claims the machine has substantially lower capital and maintenance costs than other windpumpers in harsh African conditions.

Dutch Industries and the University of Waterloo in Ontario co-operate in establishing water pumping systems for irrigation in Mali and Niger. The project involves mapping and predicting wind resources; simulation of wind pump and irrigation systems; investigating the social, economic, political and environmental impact of wind pumping systems; constructing and maintaining such systems; and training residents in their use, says Waterloo's Andrew Pape.

The Sahel has over 60,000 water points, many of which are tapped manually. They constitute a large potential market for wind energy technology, according to the project leaders..

The horizontal axis Delta 16 has 32 vanes on a distinctive, octagonal perimeter-bladed rotor, 4.9 metres in diameter. It was developed by John Kentfield at the University of Calgary. The rotor drives a reciprocating water pump with high torque, low rotational speed and no reduction gearing or oils. According to Vander Ziel, the Delta 16 can supply water at a competitive rate of $0.00294 per litre, assuming a usable wind envelope of eight hours per day and 7480 cubic metres pumped annually from 30 metres depth. From this depth, the Delta 16 can typically draw 36.4 cubic metres of water daily in winds averaging 17 kph. The windmill can also draw water from deeper wells, and can start up at very low wind speeds owing to a concrete counterbalance.

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