ESTABLISHING THE CARIBBEAN MARITIME INSTITUTE AS A LEARNING CENTRE FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY PRODUCING WIND ENERGY/POTABLE DRINKING WATER
The CMI is located on the Palisadoes peninsular - the only such training facility of this kind in the English speaking Caribbean. Access to fresh water has always been a challenge more so with the recent drought which has affected the efficient operation of the school. As a result the management has now developed a plan to establish a supplemental water efficiency system using the reverse osmosis technology that will provide approximately 1000 gals of potable water daily for the school community, which includes rainwater harvestings system (catchment and storage). The facility will be accessible to surrounding communities and other schools for replication. The project will be implemented under Climate Change Mitigation – OP 5 & 6.
The recent drought served to raise awareness and concern regarding this problem that is now posing an increasing challenge to the efficient operation of the school. The extended drought has also resulted in frequent water lock offs that has also affected students health and attendance and the full operation of classes. As a result of these challenges, the management has now developed a plan to establish a supplemental water sufficiency system using the reverse osmosis technology that will provide approximately 1000 gallons of potable water daily for students and staff. This includes a rainwater harvesting system that includes catchment and storage. The system is powered by small integrated wind/solar energy facility that will provide the required electricity needed to purify the water. Simple slow speed wind generators that produce 1 to 2 KW of power will be used to run the reverse-osmosis (RO) system that will be used to convert sea water to fresh water. The wind generator will be constructed using locally obtained materials, some of which are recycled. These include used 45-gallon metal drums and PVC pipes that will be used to construct the wind turbines. Batteries will also be provided to increase potable water supplies if necessary.
Benefits of the Project
The system is designed to produce fresh water from normally unused sources of water for potable supply. Rainwater, brackish water and sea water will be treated and purified on-site to minimize distribution losses and increase the efficiency of the water resource system. Additionally, renewable energy sources will be used to run reverse-osmosis devices for producing the potable water. Alternative energy education is a distinct part of the school’s plan and this project will help to build the capacities of the community and particularly the Engineering students who will be trained as they work on the fabrication of components and measure wind velocity and direction for sighting of the unit. The system is intended to be scalable for easy replication in other schools, households and communities.
The objective of the project is to enhance the technical capability of the CMI in the use of renewable energy and the production of low cost potable water. These are activities that are important to the overall operation of the school.
Expected outputs/outcomes will have far reaching benefits to the Institute and the wider public and will include:
(1) Provision of a reliable source of potable water for students and staff.
(2) Increased public awareness and training in the production of water through curriculum integration and observation of the outputs in operation.
(3) The use of indigenous technology in the production of renewable energy to operate the system.
(4) Production of a reliable source of potable water- approximately 500 gallons potable water per day for over 1000 persons at the Caribbean Maritime Institute through the processes of reverse osmosis and renewable energy systems.
(5) Reduction of waterborne diseases and the effect on the school attendance, medical cost and student performance.
(6) Creation of a new industry.
(7) Manufacturing of low cost wind generators using mainly recycled materials like used oil drums.
(8) Reduction in the production of green house gas from using fossil fuel to produce energy.
(9) Savings in electricity via mini wind generators not only for the user but for oil imports as Jamaica gets 90% of its electricity from oil.
(10) Reduction of the use of plastic bottles.
The project is also intended to initiate a system which will be replicated to build capacity and empower the community in manufacture, sales and maintenance of the unit. Based on the power of the unit it this unit could save up to 6 tonnes of green house gasses per annum.