The AIDFI Ram Pump is a perfected model of a forgotten technology: the Hydraulic Ram Pump. A Ram is a device which utilizes the energy contained in falling water (hydro power) to lift a portion of this water to high elevations 24/7. For the AIDFI model there are hardly any operating costs since it doesn’t use electricity or fuel and has very cheap locally available spare parts (ordinary door hinge and valve from an old car tire). The AIDFI model is a crossbreed (best of both) of expensive-heavy-duty-cast models commercially available and inferior-low-cost models developed by Appropriate Technology Groups and Universities. The AIDFI Ram Pump compared to other ram pumps uses a steel to steel impulse valve mechanism, making regular and costly replacement of gaskets unnecessary. This unique mechanism makes the model also very efficient. The highest elevation reached so far in actual setting has been 240 meters and can most probably go beyond that. Another uniqueness is that the pumps are made one by one as per order and are already available in ten different sizes with each pump having a specific flow range making it a perfect solution for either drinking or irrigation projects.
There are thousands of upland villages in the world where people daily need to walk/overcome dangerous tracks to a water source below their houses. In most cases this is done manually and the families spent a lot of time with only a limited amount of water. Kids are often involved in the fetching and many of them skip some classes because of that. Often health is affected: skin diseases errupt as well as diarrhoea. An AIDFI Ram Pump can provide much more water to households 24/7, completely changing the lives of the villagers. The overall health improves, as people can breed their animals and fish and grow their vegetables near their houses.
Currently, there are thousands of farms which rely on rainfall for irrigation which results in low production. Many of these farms, however, have lower elevated sources nearby. High fuel or electricity cost keeps them from pumping motorized. AIDFI Ram Pumps can supply water to these farms 24/7 in an environmental and low cost way and increase production.
The cost of AIDFI ram pumps compared to imported commercially available ram pumps is 10%. Besides the cost of purchasing and freight it is mostly costly to get pumps through the customs. For this reason AIDFI is stimulating the production of its model in the countries itself. Local production comes with local promotion and this will spread the technology faster. In the Philippines AIDFI prefers to work with community projects in terms of installation of ram pumps but also sells units to individual people, groups or companies which may install the ram themselves. AIDFI can survey their sites and come up with a technical study with design and costing and if requested guidance on how to install. A Ram Pump System has more components then just a ram pump and depending on the available budget, a system can be scaled down. For the poor individual systems are costly and support mechanisms are needed. For community systems, either drinking or irrigation, there are available sponsors.
Stage of development: ready for serial production
- AIDFI models comes in 10 sizes from ¾” to 6”
- Installed in some 300 villages benefitting 150.000 people
- AIDFI works with some 15 installation teams
- Production of ram pumps in 2013 was 150 units
- Simple spare parts available in local hardware’s
- High efficiency
- AIDFI model installed in already 10 countries
- Technology Transfer to 3 countries
- Steel to steel valve mechanism eliminating need for rubber gaskets
Organization: Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation Inc. (AIDFI)
Contact: Auke Idzenga
Used by: Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Nepal, Afghanistan, Peru, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, Cameroon