Goods Transportation System Research Paper Sample
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Viability of the system
The vertical ropeway system is designed to help in transportation of goods up the steep hillsides. Currently, there is a road leading to the hilltop community with most traffic being car, truck and foot. This road is gravel and can only be used for the dry seasons in a year. During the monsoon season, the hilltop communities are literally cut off from the rest of the country. The road has a very steep gradient and has dangerous turns and cliffs all the way to the top. This makes it especially dangerous to navigate with loaded trucks carrying goods to the hilltop communities. As a result, the roads are some of the most dangerous in the world and only a few drivers attempt to make the journeys.
The cost of delivering goods to such communities is astronomical and therefore most of the hilltop communities across the country remain largely under developed. In order to make transportation of goods cheaper, easier, and available throughout the year, the government has come up with alternative good transportation means. Currently, no ropeway system exists in Jumla and this has been touted as a possible solution to the problem. In addition to making transportation of goods faster, the system will also be available for use throughout the whole year. The system will be powered using a Pico hydro system, which will make it cheaper to install and run. In addition to providing power for the system, surplus power generated can also be used by the locals for their limited energy needs. This problem has been identified for the people living in this area. The ropeway system powered by a Pico hydro generator has been proved a viable solution to the good transport problem facing the area.
The engineering without borders team wants to construct a goods transportation system team to serve people living in hilltop communities. The team intends to design and construct the system in Nepal. Nepal is located in the Himalayas and the northern side of the country has ten of the world’s highest places including the Mount Everest peak, which is the highest point above sea level in the whole world. The country has a population of about 28 million people in an area of approximately 58,000 square miles. Due to these factors, many of the people in the country have settled in mountainous regions with an average of over 2000 meters above sea level. The country also receives a lot of rainfall especially during the monsoon season. This makes transportation of goods for people living in these areas a problem that has involved the engineers without borders team. The engineering without borders team has settled on Jumla as a possible site for design and construction of a vertical ropeway system to help in the transportation of goods for people living in this area.
The ropeway system is going to be powered by a Pico hydro system. Jumla is a rural community located at an average elevation of 2300 meters above sea level. The population of this area is approximately 90000 people with 52% being male and 48% being female. The main mode of transport in the area is road where there is car, truck, and foot traffic. The area receives an average of 800 mm of rainfall annually with the monsoon season accounting for roughly 500 mm of rain annually. The average wind speed throughout the year is between 5.4 and 6.3 km/h. the average temperature is between 13 and 14 degrees Celsius throughout the year. These conditions make the area suitable for installation of a vertical ropeway system for the transportation of goods.
The Pico hydro system has been chosen to power the ropeway system because this is a remote area with limited access to the national grid. Majority of the areas power is supplied by solar and 30% of the population does not use power. The remaining population uses electricity mainly for radios and mobile phones. There is no hydro power plant in the area. There is no water harvesting done in the area and majority of the population lives in mud houses.
The ropeway system has been validated by the nature of the road and the rugged landscape. The road is not usable throughout the year but the rope system will solve this problem. The elevation of the area makes it suitable for the installation of a ropeway system. The relatively low wind speeds make the area suitable for the installation of the rope system. The rope system would not be considered in areas with strong winds because of the likelihood of damage to the system. Use of a Pico hydro generator is validated because the area is not connected to the national grid and no hydro power plant exists in the area. The remote nature of the location makes it difficult and expensive to be connected to the national grid. Traditionally, Pico hydro power plants are very cost effective in bringing power to remote areas. They generally generate up to 5Kw of power. As such, they are among the cheapest ways to provide power to such projects as the ropeway system. The Pico hydro power plants usually do not need large reservoirs and can be installed using available turbine designs. This works to lower the costs associated with installation further.
Just like any other system, the ropeway system will need regular maintenance for maximum efficiency. The pulley systems used will have to be regularly inspected and oiled to ensure they are working properly. The steel cables used will also have to be inspected regularly. This is because the steel cables can fray and if not repaired, they can snap leading to damage of the ropeway system. Regular repairs will have to be carried out periodically on the Pico hydro power plant to ensure that it is functioning properly. The reservoir will also need maintenance. This is because silt can build up leading to reduced capacity and blockages in pipes.
The local community will carry out majority of the maintenance work. This is part of the overall aim of making the project sustainable. In addition to operating the system, the local community will also be educated on how to perform minor repairs on the system using locally available tools and materials. Only major repairs and appraisals will require technicians to come from outside the area. This will contribute to the low cost of operation and ensure that the project is sustainable throughout its projected lifespan.
In order for the project to be implemented, it has to show that it is sustainable for a period of at least ten years. The vertical rope system for transportation of goods has been used over many centuries in various regions of the world. The conditions for the use of such systems are rugged meaning that it is the most viable system. Typically, the system employs a pulley system, which reduces the effort needed to lift heavy goods over a vertical distance. The infrastructure to be used includes concrete pylons, which will be the main support structures and steel cables as the rope. When installed, such systems usually have a lifespan of more than fifty years with proper maintenance. The Pico hydro generator is cheaper than alternative electricity generation means. On a comparable scale, diesel generators are more expensive to maintain due to fuel costs.
In larger scale projects, biogas generators are more suitable for providing electricity. The Pico hydro generators can be sourced from mass produced designs to reduce costs. The main issue of sustainability will be the supply of water to power the generator. Because of the conditions prevailing in the area, this problem has to be solved before the project can be implemented. Currently, the people of this area have no water harvesting solution of any kind. This will have to be designed with the help of the community in order to provide the water necessary for the plant. The rainfall in the area is sufficient to provide the water needed for the plant if it is harvested, as Pico hydro power plants require only small reservoirs. After proper water harvesting methods have been designed and implemented, a reservoir can be built that is capable of holding enough water to power the Pico hydro power plant. This will ensure that the rope system has a sustainable power source that has a lifespan of more than twenty years. This passes the ten-year sustainability requirement.
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