:: Specific Design Brief

Practical Action
3:
Sustainable Power

PRODUCT DESIGN KENYA, SRI LANKA

GENERIC DESIGN CONTEXT
There are several sources of renewable energy. In many countries, micro-hydro power is a potential source wherever there is a reliable water supply. Investigate the appropriateness of micro-hydro power for an area of your choice and design and make a small machine that could harness that power for use in a small enterprise.

SPECIFIC DESIGN BRIEF A. Product design. Flour mill.
Micro-hydro electric power has just been developed in the Kirinyaga area of Kenya. Flour is milled extensively using diesel and by hand at the moment. Design and make or model an electric flour-milling machine capable of being used by a small enterprise in the area. Consider the implications of scaling up in order to operate the machine in Kenya.

SPECIFIC EXAMPLE B. Product design. Small machines.
There are several other small enterprises that could be set up in the Kirinyaga area. Other possibilities include sunflower processing, welding, curing, cooking or carpentry. Design and make or model a machine suitable for any small enterprise in this area.

CLIENT DETAILS
Practical Action works in several towns as well as the capital of Kenya, Nairobi. They are in regular touch with individuals and groups trying to improve their own and their community’s well-being. Your first point of contact will be Practical Action UK, who can provide answers to many of the questions you may have about micro-hydro. Contact the Education team by email,
education@practicalaction.org.uk, or telephone, 01926-634441. They will contact Practical Action East Africa and, if necessary, individual clients on your behalf if they are unable to answer any of your questions themselves.

SUSTAINABILITY ISSUES
• For many people in Kenya, developing ideas that would help them lead a more sustainable economic life is a priority. They do not lack ideas themselves but sometimes do not have the time or resources to be able to develop them. Your ideas could lead to greater economic stability for individuals or groups.
• Many items available in Kenya have been made overseas and imported. The aim of your project should be to develop a product that could be made locally using local skills, techniques and resources.
• Resources are scarce in Kenya, especially outside Nairobi. Designing and making that enables recycling or reuse of materials is therefore advantageous.

FURTHER INFORMATION
KEY QUESTIONS
USEFUL REFERENCES
BACKGROUND
POSSIBILITIES
LIVELIHOODS & MARKET PLACE
MACHINERY

If you decide to work on this design brief, don't forget to consider the issues of sustainability in the different phases of your designing and making.
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