Research Grants/Fellowships/SBIR

Development of Community Power from Sustainable Small Hydro Power Systems – A Capacity Building Project in Bangang, Cameroon

EPA Grant Number: SU835067
Title: Development of Community Power from Sustainable Small Hydro Power Systems – A Capacity Building Project in Bangang, Cameroon
Investigators: Ileleji, Klein
Institution: Purdue University - Main Campus
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Project Period: August 15, 2011 through August 14, 2013
Project Amount: $75,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet - Phase 2 (2011) Recipients Lists
Research Category: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Energy , P3 Awards , Sustainability



The primary goal of Phase II is to fabricate and install the turbine designed in Phase I in Bangang, Cameroon. In Phase II, a team of students and a faculty advisor will embark on a 2-3 week trip to Bangang Cameroon. Two trips will be planned in Phase II. These trips will be part of Purdue Global Engineering Program Maymester Travel Abroad Global Design course.


During the course of the semester, a team of student will work together to understand what it will take to build the turbine in 2 weeks in ACREST center, in Bangang using locally available materials. The target for the first trip is to have the turbine operational in 2 weeks. The target for the second trip will be to optimize the performance of the turbine via monitoring, and data collection. A proto-type to scale of the turbine will be fabricated and thoroughly tested by the team of students during the semester (Fall and Spring, 2012). Also, also travel planning arrangements will be made by the students, in addition to studying the work of the previous team conducted in Phase I. The fabrication and operation of the turbine will be documented via print (a building manual) and video which will be used as one of the technology transfer means to other communities in the region.

Expected Results:

The hydro-turbine developed in Phase I will be fabricated on-site in Bangang, Cameroon using locally sourced materials. Data of the performance tests will be collected and analyzed using appropriate engineering analysis tools. A second trip will be planned for extensive testing of the turbine, power generation and performance of the penstock. Demonstration of the turbine will be made to the community and ACREST staff. The project will be well documented by developing a hydro-turbine fabrication manual which would provide details using very simple/understandable graphical illustrations of the steps of “how to build a small-hydro power plant”. Technology transfer of our design will extend beyond ACREST. Therefore, the use of viral means of information delivery using various audio-visual modes of documentation and education will be explored. One mode of delivery will be made by documenting the site preparation, penstock construction, turbine fabrication and assembling, and testing/operation steps using video recordings which will be delivered on the web via UTube.

Supplemental Keywords:

small hydropower, community power, appropriate technology,