Relevance of our thesis and subject of blog

What attracted us the most to this thesis was the fact that we can go to a foreign country and actually build something. And by doing so we can help poor people in an emerging country. We see it as volunteer work for engineers, we get the opportunity to see more of the world, have a great experience and the local people get very cheap technical support.

Our goal is to develop a very cheap solar boiler that isn’t complex. In this way the community can learn how to build it and spread their knowledge to others. So by its low complexity and low cost it can be built cheap and easily. To give you some numbers, if you want to install a solar boiler in Belgium it will cost you about € 5000 (€ 850 thanks to subsidies) and our goal is less than €800.

We will improve an existing program (written in Matlab) which determines the best design according to the given parameters.

On this blog we are going to talk about a bigger picture of our project, sustainable development cooperation. We will talk about the difference with development aid by explaining  the four pillars of development aid/cooperation. We will also discuss the following question: “Development cooperation, why?” . We think that the key in the whole search for answers will be ‘sustainability’!

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3 thoughts on “Relevance of our thesis and subject of blog

  1. deckersbram says:

    Sounds like an interesting subject to blog about, I’m looking forward to reading more about it.

  2. tijlcrauwels says:

    Going from €5000 to 800€ seems like a very big difference and a great challenge. Is the goal to make a competative boiler, or will it be a lot less efficient than the ones we have here in Belgium? Are these boilers optimized for those specific countrys, or could they be used anywhere? Good luck in any case!

  3. Our model is specific designed for this region. It probably wont work in Belgium because our design works with only one circuit, if it can freeze in your region you will need two circuits. We also work with natural convection, this probably only works in regions with a sufficient high average temperature. Models here build are with a pump and after heating. And like you suspected, our model is less efficient than the existing models. The only goal is that it is verryyyyy cheap, low complexity, use of local materials and that it just works. But we have to be sure that every day a temperature of 60°C can be reached, otherwise there is danger of Legionella pneumophila bacteria.

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