Villagers crowd around a Dunedin-designed water turbine in
Vanuatu. Photo supplied.
When Vanuatuan villagers finally saw water flowing in
their village after waiting for more than three decades, it was
time for a celebration.
Dunedin firm EB Engineering Solutions recently completed the
installation of a Hydrobine self-powered water turbine in the
''The celebration among the villagers was like nothing I have
ever experienced before,'' said company representative Wayne
Perkins, who oversaw the project.
''When the water reached the tank, they just went berserk
''It was just the most amazing thing I've ever had happen.
Grown men were breaking down in tears, it was so important to
''It's not something I'll forget in a hurry.''
The turbine was developed more than 20 years ago by the late
Roy Martin but shelved for various reasons.
Then, three years ago, a Hydrobine was installed on a
southern farm to replace a petrol-powered water pump.
EB Engineering Solutions then undertook a comprehensive
series of tests to determine the viability and reliability of
The company has since been marketing the turbine around the
It is at present finishing a difficult installation in Papua
New Guinea that is already supplying water and power to a
secondary school on a remote island.
It was looking at returning to both Vanuatu and PNG to
oversee more installations and had been approached about
possible projects as far afield as Asia and Africa.
The company was receiving many inquiries, including from aid
companies and organisations, Mr Perkins said.
There was potential for the Hydrobine to take the company
''globally in the true sense of the word'', he said.
The system was self-powered by its internal turbine and
designed to work with low flow and low-pressure water
supplies in even the flattest terrain.
Depending on the river flow and available fall, the Hydrobine
was capable of pumping more than 20,000 litres of water a day
to heights of more than 100m.
Because it was self-powered, it was ideal for remote