Performance Characterization of a Wind-Powered Water Pump for use in Rural Bolivia


Wind energy has been used for hundreds of years to provide people with potable and irrigation water. Today it is still used in developing parts of the world, where electricity and fossil fuel technology are too scarce, expensive, or difficult to maintain to provide a sustainable means of pumping water. The objective of this paper is to characterize the performance of a Hamburg Germany Engineers without Borders designed wind pump. Specifically, the paper aims to express the flow rate and head rise of the wind pump relative to wind velocity. A wind pump was constructed and tested to determine these relationships. Results indicate that the relationship between flow rate and wind velocity is linear, as is the relationship between flow rate and angular velocity of the wind pump rotor. The relationship between head rise and wind velocity appears to be quadratic. With average wind velocities of 2.5 to 4 m/s, the pump can displace approximately 0.2 to 1.4 L/min of water, and provide a head rise of approximately 8 to 24 m. This type of characterization of wind pumps could allow for proper placement of wind pumps and storage tanks given regional wind resource data.

Meeting Name

World Environmental and Water Resources Congress: Water Without Borders (2014: Jun. 1-5, Portland, OR)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering


Environmental and Water Resources Institute (EWRI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

Keywords and Phrases

Digital storage; Flow rate; Irrigation; Potable water; Pumps; Velocity; Wind power; Engineers without borders; Fossil fuel technologies; Irrigation waters; Performance characterization; Storage tank; Water pump; Wind resources; Wind velocities; Water resources

Geographic Coverage


International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2014 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jun 2014