Nov 28, 2008

Now, animal power can light up your house

Forget horse power, it is over to cattle power! They can provide a solution to the energy crisis faced by rural masses. A
pair of them and a generator can light up a house.
The process called as "energy generation through animal power'' is simple - rotate the generator with a pair of cattle. This is a simple equipment with only a shaft, gear box and a permanent magnet alternator. As the animal rotates, like in a traditional gana (place where oil is extracted using animal traction), the central shaft moves in sync. By making the alternator run, electricity is generated.
This is, then, stored in battery and used, as and when required. KREDL managing director V P Hiremath said this does not depend on seasonal conditions, requires no maintenance and does not need any fuel.
The Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL) has come out with the generator, which was originally conceived by retired electrical engineer L Nanjaiah. The animal-driven generator or the permanent magnetic generator, can produce up to 2 KW electricity per hour, which can meet the power requirement of a household with a tubelight slim - 20 W/ hour; ceiling fan - 75 W/ hour and TV - 100 W/ hour.
Response: Cost and fear of animal activists has hindered the promotion of this novel method.
However, even without the subsidy, the investment can be realized in five years.
The officials feel under the scheme of rural electrification, this project can be beneficial for zilla and taluk panchayats. Meanwhile, efforts are under way to develop an instrument, which can generate up to 10 KW/hour.