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When all trees have been cut down, when all animals have been hunted, when all waters are polluted, when all air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money. - Cree Prophecy

Friday, August 13, 2010

Energy kid

Sanjeev Rao- u r gonna hear this name in the coming years for some very interesting products or awesome projects, am sure.
I heard about this guy thru a friend who stated that this maverick had designed and implemented a wind turbine (generator?) to harvest the wind for electricity in his house in Bangalore and that he was also doubling it up by designing a hybrid version that will make use of the solar energy too!
Hmm, sounds really interesting..so I couldn’t wait to visit Blore..
When I did last week, his house was one of the main agendas.

Meanwhile I happened to see his tamil blog. So when I enquired him ‘how come a Blore Rao had a tamil blog’ he said he was from Neyveli! Oh! Now I know why all this genius and green ideas..
(ahem, am from neyveli too as u all know)
So more reason to visit.

His room has all signs of a genius at work. Spares all around! Open(ed) circuits, half broken/dismantled toys and equipments, hanging wires, meters reading..
Then when we get to see his equipment, am even more baffled. It just has PVC pipes cut across (in to threes) that make up the horizontal wind mill! There were many reused parts and the whole thing was amazing. This design itself was to avoid any questions if a standard typical fan like wind mill was installed. Now, to enhance the harvest and to get the most, he has mounted this on a circular plate which itself is isolated with another one. To ease friction I thought, but this guy had more grey matter. He had opposite pole magnets on each of the plates and so for every small rotation the magnetic levitation would aid more revolutions! Stroke of genius, eh?

So this is helping him with 600 watts- at a cost of around 25k! He is trying many ways to improve the efficiency and to better the cost.

I thought the idea of using solar to trigger the wind turbine and to to have a hybrid device is sooper! The wind alone will need a good wind speed (9mts per sec) and so the hybrid can be a great model for urban users. see video here and more here

Magnets- I mentioned their use already right? But did u know China dominates that too? He needs quite some good quantity of them and they were pricey it seems. The Chinese dominate that area inspite of them having to import iron ore! So if you do have some good contacts, do pass to me/him. He needs some 64 magnets for one turbine and the Chinese ones cost 450 INR, where as in India the same costs 1350!

He is in the process of designing a bigger wind turbine as a special case in pollachi and wud supply to the grid. (that’s for another day)

Ever thought about the wind throw behind every vehicle when it whizzes past on the road? Our man did and so he took this small horizontal model and installed it on the median of the highway near Krishnagiri. On an 8 hour stretch with 9600 of the 4/6 wheelers passing by, he says he could harvest so much that the numbers point to 1Mega watt a day!
Its so simple and easy and if the govt were to do that at say 400 places, u don’t need the recent nuclear project at koodangulam that is making so much noise! (its ofcourse an ecological disaster) .
Then he goes on to show how with just a small strip of solar panel(costing Rs.20 a piece) on the car roof and a rejected (re-used) CPU fan from a PC he circulates the air in small cars to increase the efficiency of the AC. He says this can be bettered and implemented in the buses in Chennai so easily (regulating the air by better circulation) and even could make it work like an air cooler, thus doing away with the AC vehicles and so save fuel and the environment!

What more – he also had made some useful gadgets from used/rejected parts, like a torch from an used up mobile phone battery. There are some other items that he had made but not in any commercial scale or even replication in mind, but just to overcome any shortcomings he wud face. (like while cycling he felt light was an issue so he made one). Even the wind turbines shall be open source. He just plans to share his ideas/experience and help people build cheap ones and generate their own power. Just reduce our dependency on the grid/government he says.

He has accepted to design a cycle operated washing machine for me. He has also offered to work on trying to harvest energy from such cycles to run standard equipments like TV, fridge, washing machine etc. Here again he is contemplating using Magnetic levitation so that more revolutions happen. This, he says, if incorporated in to our genric cycles can help with minimal energy!

There is so much this energykid can do that makes me feel so good that he is not one of those who was merited way high in our academic system. So much for our education system as Sriram rightly points here.

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