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Disaster relief water treatment in Indonesia: A solar powered solution

Waller, Jonathan (2019) Disaster relief water treatment in Indonesia: A solar powered solution. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Throughout Indonesia the incidence of natural disasters has been increasing in frequency for the last twenty years. In 1999 there was just 56 natural disasters recorded, this increased to 2,572 natural disasters in 2018, with over 51% of the natural disasters in that year being the direct result of water related issues. The provision of water after these disasters is of paramount importance to reduce the health impacts associated with the lack of potable water, such as diarrhoea, cholera, dysentery and typhoid.

This thesis explores the different techniques used to treat various qualities of feed water into potable water and assesses the suitability of each technology for use in a first response disaster relief situation. The technique investigated throughout this thesis is reverse osmosis membrane desalination coupled with an energy recovery device.

In this study, a water treatment unit is designed that is portable, easy to use, fully self-contained and able to be fully powered off grid, without the use of fossil fuels. The treatment unit has also been designed to be easily maintained by local people, with parts readily available from local parts suppliers. This unit is capable of producing 285 litres of potable water per hour using a maximum of 1136 W of power, while running on 24 V DC current.

This unit has the ability to provide fresh potable water for 760 - 912 people in a survival situation providing minimum drinking water, based on a minimum water intake for food and drinking of 2.5 – 3 L as suggested by the Sphere Project.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Engineering and Energy
Supervisor(s): Anda, Martin
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