Design and Commissioning of a Community Scale Solar Powered Membrane-Based Water Purification System in Haiti

  • Shavin Pinto Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Yung Wong Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Kyle Fennesy Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Yan Tang Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Mark Compare Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Keywords: Community Development, Water Purification, Solar power, Off-grid electricity, Membrane Filtration, WASH Training.


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 systemsupplies clean drinking water to the 200 children who live and go to school at REHC and also tothe community in the form of a micro-business. This micro-business is the mechanism for incomegeneration for sustainable system operation. The purifier uses a three stage filtration system witha disc-type sediment filter, a 0.1 micron ultrafiltration membrane, and an ultraviolet light fordisinfection. The backwash cycle extends the life of the ultrafiltration membrane to 4 – 7 yearsbefore a new filter is required. Simplicity in operation was an important design considerationbecause it facilitates local operator training, and understanding. To further ensure completeunderstanding of operation, a pictorial quick-start manual was developed so that operators onlyneed 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. Testingbefore shipping and after installation to ensure proper operation upon installation and on-sitewater quality testing ensures it will promote improved community health.

Author Biography

Shavin Pinto, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering



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