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Gulu University students wins big at Efficiency for Access Design Challenge 2020/2021

News | The Northern Link UG| Gulu University Students win a Bronze prize in the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge, with support from Engineers without Borders UK. 2020-2021

A team of Gulu University Students from the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment participated in the Efficiency for Access Design Challenge and won the Bronze Medal. Students from 21 Universities from all around the world participated in the Challenge. This is another milestone towards community transformation by Gulu University, and vivid evidence of excellence in our training.

Ogwal Moris, Tamale Raymond Kiggundu, Adong Peace, Alicwamu Moses, and Mayanja Andrew, all final year students of BSc in Biosystems Engineering presented a project “Point of Use Solar UV Water Disinfection For Emergency Situations”. They pointed out that methods commonly used to disinfect water such as boiling are inefficient and unreliable due to high fuel costs and considerable time invested. Their design solution uses a low-cost but highly efficient solar energy disinfection system, which is applicable to households in refugee settlements and off-grid communities in Uganda.

Point of Use Solar UV Water Disinfection For Emergency Situations machine

The system consists of a raw water tank plus a bio-filtration unit where raw water is filtered at a flow rate of 10L/hour and then fed into the UV-C disinfection chamber. This allows for sufficient exposure to intensive radiation to enable a >4-log reduction of pathogens. The designed system uses solar-powered, direct current (DC), ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (UV-C LEDs) that expose pathogens to electromagnetic radiations of 100-400nm, which are then absorbed by the proteins in DNA and RNA, damaging their structure.

The design contributes to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation) and 3 (Good Health and Well-Being) by ensuring access to safe and clean affordable water in refugee settlements which consequently improves health through safe water.
A social consideration made during this design process was to ensure the product can be operated by everyone at ease.

The environmental impact was considered through the use of renewable energy (solar), by ensuring no air pollution was emitted by the system, and by fitting a bio-filter to filter out pollutants. Economically the design used locally available materials, the bio-filter is affordable with low cost maintenance.
The Efficiency for Access Design Challenge 2020-2021 was made possible by; Engineers without Borders, of the UK; Energy Saving Trust; Efficiency for Access coalition and IKEA foundation.

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