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Design and Commissioning of a Community Scale Solar Powered Membrane-Based Water Purification System in Haiti
Journal of Humanitarian Engineering
  • Shavin Pinto, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Yung Wong, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Kyle Fennesy, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Yan Tang, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Marc Compere, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Submitting Campus
Daytona Beach
Mechanical Engineering
Document Type
Publication/Presentation Date

This paper presents the design and commissioning of a solar powered water purification system at the Ryan Epps Home for Children (REHC) in Michaud, Haiti. This system supplies clean drinking water to the 200 children who live and go to school at REHC and also to the community in the form of a micro-business. This micro-business is the mechanism for income generation for sustainable system operation. The purifier uses a three stage filtration system with a disc-type sediment filter, a 0.1 micron ultrafiltration membrane, and an ultraviolet light for disinfection. The backwash cycle extends the life of the ultrafiltration membrane to 4 – 7 years before a new filter is required. Simplicity in operation was an important design consideration because it facilitates local operator training, and understanding. To further ensure complete understanding of operation, a pictorial quick-start manual was developed so that operators only need to follow the diagrams laid out on the manual. The design folder with CAD drawings, schematics, datasheets, and troubleshooting guide are left with the local operators. Testing before shipping and after installation to ensure proper operation upon installation and on-site water quality testing ensures it will promote improved community health.

Engineers Without Borders Australia
Citation Information
Shavin Pinto, Yung Wong, Kyle Fennesy, Yan Tang, et al.. "Design and Commissioning of a Community Scale Solar Powered Membrane-Based Water Purification System in Haiti" Journal of Humanitarian Engineering Vol. 4 Iss. 1 (2016) p. 18 - 25
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