Improvement of a wind-powered water pumping system in the Patagonian steppe of Argentina

IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee

Project Overview

Project Location: INTA Esquel, Chubut, Argentina

Sustainable Development Goals

Goal 4: Quality Education

Year Funded by HAC

$26,000 USD
Funding Provided by HAC

Region 9
IEEE Region

IEEE Section

Technology Types

ICT, Energy, Agriculture

Table of Contents

Project Video

The project video is in Spanish.

Project Details

Project Overview

The project consists of building and installing a small wind turbine (Piggott) with an electric-electronic water pumping system in the Municipal Agroecological Demonstration Unit of Esquel-INTA in Chubut Province, with the aim of disseminating technology and training local users, promoting the community’s active role, and providing a solution to the most widespread problem of the rural inhabitants of the Patagonian steppe: access to water.

Example of wind turbine in Buenos Aires (500RPM –LCA-UNSL)


Build and install a water pumping system with a small wind turbine to solve the need for access to water in rural populations, developing an open source electronic system and training local actors who contribute to sustainability and replication.


  • National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) – Esquel
  • Municipality of Esquel
  • LCA-UNSL together with LAAS CNRS
  • 500RPM Foundation
  • Cruzada Patagónica Foundation
  • Local producers of the Demonstration Unit


  • Funding from HAC
  • Funding from LCA-UNSL and 500RPM NGO
  • In-kind resources from municipalities and communities
  • Time of IEEE Argentina Section volunteers from LCA-UNSL
  • Benchmarking and project expertise of NGO


  • Build and install a Piggott wind turbine, together with rural dwellers and local multipliers.
  • Develop and strengthen the improvement of an open-source electronic system adapted to the water pumping system.
  • Disseminate the development of the electronic system of the pumping system and the technology of Piggott wind turbines adapted to the water pumping system.
  • Train the rural population and local multipliers in the construction, installation, operation and maintenance of the pumping system.
  • Generate specific socio-technical applications adaptable to the needs of water pumping in the local environment.

Outputs & Outcomes


  • Develop hardware and software of and open source electronic system. (Done)
  • Build 3 electronic systems, one for LCA_UNSL (San Luis), one for 500RPM (Buenos Aires) and one for INTA ESQUEL (Chubut). (Done)
  • Install a Piggott wind turbine in the Inta Esquel Demonstration Unit. (Done)
  • Carry out surveys and analysis of information on productive uses in rural communities in Patagonia. (Done)
  • Install electronic system in the Inta Esquel Demonstration Unit. (Pending)

Outcomes (anticipated)

  1. Promote renewable energy in the area, generating new possibilities and sustainable development in energy production.
  2. Work in a global community ( to disseminate the open-source technology of the water pumping system adapted to the Piggott wind turbine.
  3. Generation of higher income and new ventures from the installation of the pumping system.
  4. New possibilities of work in the maintenance and repair of pumping systems based on renewable energy.
Construction on Piggott wind turbine by high-school student of ESQUEL (500RPM)
Construction of Piggott wind turbine by high-school student of ESQUEL (500RPM)

Current Status

Project Status

The project is scheduled to end in April 2020, however due to COVID-19 complications, the last trip in April where the electronic system would be installed in Esquel was canceled and is pending for the next few months.

Volunteer Opportunities

There are volunteer opportunities for IEEE Argentina Section members and interested non-IEEE members, particularly students, located in Argentina to participate in the project. Please contact

Collaboration Opportunities

The project is also open for collaboration with international stakeholders. Please contact

Lessons Learned


Sustainability and Scalability Plans

The project has striven for replication since its beginning through the use of open patent and open source technology, the implementation in the INTA Demonstration Unit where the objective is the training and dissemination on the appropriate technologies, and the alliance with Cruzada who works with the same dissemination of technology for rural development focus from its Agrotechnical School. Additionally, the mission of 500RPM is to disseminate the Piggott wind turbine and the work of the LCA-UNSL seeks to create links between avant-garde scientific knowledge and the improvement of the quality of life for those who live in rural communities.

The membership of Wind Empowerment will become another great space to disseminate the technology directly to similar terrain in other countries through the different members of the network that also work for rural development.

Piggott windturbine in Demonstration Unit of INTA-Esquel (500RPM)

For More Information