As a land of agriculture, Thailand’s constant battle with major floods at the end of every rainy season has caused so much damage to the country’s economy. Besides the floods, some areas, particularly the northeastern region, are also prone to draughts, leaving a large part of arable land unusable. One solution to help farmers survive through draughts is to draft groundwater, for usage in farming as well as within the household.
The problem is the cost of drilling into the ground is very high, and there’s also a lack of efficient drilling machine. To solve this problem, a team of researchers from RMUTT, comprising Asst. Prof. Dr. Sirichai Tor-sakul, Asst. Prof. Kunthon Thongsri and Asst. Prof. Bodinchart Sukabot, in collaboration with Promotion of Appropriate Technology Co., Ltd., conducted a study and developed a driller with improved efficiency for usage in the agricultural sector in Thailand’s countryside. The objective of this collaboration is to invent a quality drilling machine to replace imported machines, which are much more costly. A pilot test was carried out in Kalasin Province, with a satisfactory result.
“In this pilot project, the machine comprises the external structure, a hydraulic-powered drill head, diesel-engine motor, 2-inch spindle, hydraulic-powered mud pump and 12-bar air compressor,” said the team. The drill head’s special design can achieve up to 139 minutes (2hrs 19mins) per well, at the cost of 7,490 baht per well. The break-even point is at 151 wells, and the machine is priced at 3.0-3.5 million baht, depending on the size and equipment.
The handoff ceremony took place on 26 May 2012, at Somdej District, Kalasin Province. RMUTT’s President, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Numyoot Songthanapitak presided over the ceremony. Also present were Kalasin’s Governor Somsak Suwannasujarit, Member of Parliament Peeradej Sirikul and members of the local agricultural communities.