Pani Ghatta – Water Mills

PPvQVzQ                 

               Himalaya are boon and curse. These are the mountains that’s helps to tranquil our soul and assemble our hopes in solitude. The same mountains stand tall to hinder the progress to modern development and technology. The mighty rivers starts as rivulet in lap of these mountains. The kinetic energy of falling river among the slopes are used to harness power to grind grains to empower human body. The conservation of energy works perfectly fine satisfying scientific society of rich nation who want’s to keep nature pure and make big shout out for being agrarian while doing so.  

              These turning machine are popularly known as Pani Ghatta a.k.a water mills. The water mills are very popular across Himalayas, as it is only reliable machine to grind grain for people living across the regions. The water mills is not limited to Nepal but you can see across stretch of hills of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tibet, and Bhutan. Traditionally limited to grinding, now many are modified to generate electricity for local use.

Construction:

          The water is diverted from the main stream via open or closed duct towards the turbine placed on lower section of mill house. The turbine used to be made of wood, but majority of wooden turbines are replaced with metallic as improved water mills these days. The vertical shaft connected to turbine on the floor of mill house runs, and turns the upper section of stone. The lower section is stationary, and grains stored in wooden settings above the stone drops grains through hole in upper stone to lower stone via feeder mechanism, and then grains are grinded in between the stones.

Improved Water Mills (IMW)- New Name for Modern era

                         Improved water mills is one of the clean technologies promoted by government of Nepal with many other stakeholders. Nepal has about 25,000 traditional water mills scattered throughout the country. 6,500 of them already have been converted to IMW. Replacement of wooden parts (rotor and shaft) with metallic parts is the main improvement made in the technology. The technology can also generate electricity up to 3 kW, sufficient for lighting as well as for operating small electric and electronic home appliances.

Advantages of IWM

Employment :The installation, advocacy, operation, maintenance and promotion of IMW will create lot of opportunities at national and local level employing skilled as well as unskilled labor.

Income Level :It helps to improve income of mill owner as well as user. It helps to increase living standard of local people.

Boosting the local Economy : The water mill will remove drudgery of traditional grinding. It will save time which people can invest in income generating activities like animal husbandry, agriculture, and others. People will get familiar to new technology and electronic devices which is powered by electricity from water mill.

Gender Mainstreaming and Social Inclusion: Water mills helps to reduce stress of grinding grains for women. Traditionally grinding was done manually by women. This replaces huge burden on women. The mills will be melting point for women to socialize and get connected to each other. It helps to remove social evils like un-touch-ability, status quo and others.  

Environmental Impacts :The IWM is powered by gravity-driven water, a renewable source of energy, which essentially does not produce air pollution or sound pollution. Therefore, the technology is environmentally sound and acceptable.

Sources:

  1. http://www.aepc.gov.np/old/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=66&Itemid=108
  2. http://www.inforse.org/asia/pdf/Pub_Nepal%20water%20mill_2014.pdf
  3. http://www.dw.com/en/nepal-efficient-water-mills-produce-electricity/av-15950902
  4. http://alumni.media.mit.edu/~nathan/nepal/ghatta/ghattas.html

Image Source: http://nepalitimes.com/article/nation/Flour-power

 

 

Advertisements

Celebrating World Environment Day with Global Power Shift Nepal

13346412_1037608122993211_493039592774163185_n

                           June 5, 2016: The World Environment day is celebrated with various actions for environment conservation and promotion throughout World. The theme for this year environment day was Go Wild for Life: Zero Tolerance for Poaching. To embark this day, Global Power Shift Nepal (a organization under 350.org) organized a platform for sharing complete work of change workshop and community team. The main theme of event was to display art and creativity reflected by student in various theme regarding environment conservation and promotion, eco school demonstration, stalls for impromptu demonstration of solid waste management, use of 3R solutions, video and documentary show, presentations about environment and clean energy use and many similar environmental demonstration.

            There were many stalls representing various works. The few stalls present are described below:

Bio Degradable Solid Waste Management

           The know-how and preparation methods of Solid Waste Management were displayed. And students were provided with short orientation in-group to raise curiosity and building capacitance.

Use of Reuse, Recycle, Refuse Display

                   The stall displayed various paper bags made of old newspaper, penholder and flower vase made of recycled paper, old newspaper pencil, reused plastic cup holder, mats and other creative decorations. The creativity is solution to any problem was target as waste is not waste until it is wasted.

Paper Bag and Paper based Vessels Decoration Making 

                  This stall provided hands on learning of how to make paper bag and paper vessels for decoration. The students learnt and tried making such items, which they could reflect in homes, and help to manage house hold waste.

Eco Village Development Model Demonstration by Centre For Rural Technology

                  There was stall where eco model was demonstrated and one of our representative explained concepts of eco village to incoming student, parents and teachers. There were representatives from various schools and other various stakeholders.

Eco School Solution Model Display

 

          The stall displayed a model based on eco solution for promoting eco school initiative.

Video, Presentation and Orientation to Student

                The various videos, ppt based presentation and orientations were made to display  creative and innovative approach for solving environmental issues. The prize was distributed to winner of art competition.

Creative Games for Student

    Various creative games were played for inter mixing of students.

                 The day ended with clear message that students are real change maker and future climate warrior so shaping their future is essential. This is great initiative taken by Global Power Shifter Nepal team with help of Tourism Development Endeavor (TUDE).

Let the power Shift Begin.  Changing Power Transforming Nepal.

Venue: Himalayan International Model School, Dhobighat, Kathmandu

Hydraulic Ram Pump : Zero Energy Solution

dd2cd54112b6bbb06eec629184e74def

               The hydram is an automatic pumping device powered by falling water. The hydram uses a large amount of water falling through a small height, to lift a small amount of that water to a much greater height.

                 Each cycle happens very quickly, about 60 times a minute or once a second (although the cycle can be between about 30 and 120 times a minute). Since the cycle happens very quickly it is easiest to explain how it works by looking at the four stages:

Acceleration

                        When the waste valve is open, water flows down the drive pipe and comes out the open valve. The water flowing past the open valve drags past it, trying to close it. The flow down the drive pipe through the impulse valve gets accelerates. As it gets faster, it drags harder on the valve until it is strong enough to drag it closed.

Compression

                         When the waste valve closes, the water flowing down the drive pipe cannot escape through it. At the moment valve closes, the water is travels very fast and suddenly it has nowhere to go. As the water increased speed, it gains momentum. Since the water cannot escape, the momentum changes to pressure-energy and the water in the pump body compresses. This leads to a sudden rise in pressure, called a “water hammer”. The water pressure rises to a much higher level that the pressure in the pump’s air chamber.

Delivery

                        Because the pressure rises higher than the pressure in the air vessel, the delivery valve is pushed open and water flows through it. The pressure in the pump body drops quickly to equal the pressure in the air vessel. The water coming down the drive pipe slows down and the pressure in the pump body drops. As soon as the pressure falls enough to be lower than the pressure in the pump’s air vessel, the delivery valve closes. The delivery valve is a one-way valve, which stops water flowing back from the air vessel into the pump.

Recoil

                              When the delivery valve closes, there is still some pressure in the pump body and drive pipe. The valves in the pump are closed, so the only direction in which the water can move is back the way it came. The water coming down the drive pipe has stopped, so the pressure energy can be released by moving back up the drive pipe. The water in the pump body bouncing back makes the pressure in the pump body fall low enough for the waste valve to reopen. The waste valve reopens because of its own weight. The low pressure in the pump body means that a small amount of air is sucked in through the snifter valve. This air waits under the delivery valve until the next cycle when it will get pushed into the pump’s air vessel. This makes sure that the air vessel always stays full of air.

                                    Figure. Ram Pump Installation at Badegaun, Godawari

                        During each pumping cycle only a small amount of water is pumped. Most of the momentum harvested from a large amount of water is transferred into a small amount of water. The high pressure in the pump body pushes water through the delivery valve and into the air vessel. It provides the power to push the small amount of water much farther uphill than the big amount of water fall downhill.

                        While a hydram is working, water flows out of the waste valve. This happens during the ‘acceleration’ stage of each pump cycle. It is the noise of the “water hammer”, the splashing of water, and the closing of the waste valve that people notice when they see a working hydram. The noise varies from pump to pump. The water leaving the waste valve is often called ‘waste’ water. Although ‘waste’ water is not delivered by the hydram it is the movement-energy harvested from this water that pumps the water that is delivered. A better name for ‘waste’ water would be ‘used’ water.

                                     Figure. Ram Pump Installation at Badegaun, Godawari

Components Of A Hydram And Their Functions

  1. Intake: structure at source that diverts flow of water to the hydram system;
  2. Feed pipe or canal: delivers water from the source to the drive tank;
  3. Drive tank: provides storage to ensure a constant flow to the hydram and removes sediment from the water;
  4. Drive pipe: feeds water to the hydram;
  5. Hydram: pump unit that delivers a small amount of the drive flow to the delivery pipe;
  6. Pump house: to protect the pump and fittings from accidental damage or theft;
  7. Delivery pipe: delivers water from the hydram to the delivery tank;
  8. Delivery tank or pond: stores the water pumped by the hydram. Can be a cement based structure or a lined pond;
  9. Distribution system: distributes water to the users. Piping can take water to households, tap-stands or fields.

Starting a pump

                Although ram pumps often start very easily they can require a little coaxing particularly the first time that they are run. Procedure varies according to drive head in the system with large drive head requiring extra care to starts a pump.

  1. Open the waste vale fairly quickly.
  2. Water will flow out through the open waste valve until it suddenly shuts.
  3. If waste valve automatically reopens, the pumps should continue to run on its own. Some time you need to reopens the waste valve until it creates delivery head.
  4. If waste valve does not reopen automatically for long time, you must prime the delivery system manually by filling the delivery pipe until sufficient delivery head is available for the pump to operate.

    Figure. Installed Ram Pump at Dhungkharkha, Kavre

Source: Centre for Rural Technology/Nepal(CRT/N). All right reserved to CRT/N.

Solar Training and Capacity Building : Power to the People

DSCN2369

                                    March 29, 2016 Before dawn of warm and fuzzy morning I woke with sharp shrill of mobile alarm at 5:00 am. As it was planned to meet at 5:45 am at Old Bus Park to move into another adventurous travel on off load leading to Dhunkharka, Kavre. The bus ride from Old bus park took us to Panauti via Bhaktapur, Sangha, Banepa. The real journey began from here accompanied by Mr. Subash Lamichane and Mr. Kancha Tamang. The 14km dusty, bumpy, narrow and scary road begun from Panauti steadily uphill climb in bus cramped with people, animals (chickens), kids crying, people yelling at each other. It was perfect like Hindi film melodrama at bus. Irony was that we were not able to get any seat through out two hours ride. Even within bus we had to wear mask and continuous shake up really made me tired. But internal motivation to go there and help people to sort things out, teach them, connect them to more reliable energy was continuously pushing me up.

                                        After travel of 2 hours we reached Dhunkharka. The bus stop was on top of hill to reach to our destination we had to go downhill and again uphill. The slow down hill walk began interacting with each other knowing about peculiar things about location. It was good to be back on hills among tress, clam and serene country side where nothing bothers you except cool breeze, birds chirp and perennial flow of river. I encountered various rural technology like water mill, hydraulic ramjet pump, fodder cutting machine, solar system. The very delicious meal was waiting for us, prepared from organic vegetables, grains crushed from water mills, cooked in improved cooking stove, rice grown in nearby fields. This was perfect amalgamation of technology with rural livelihood.

                       The training sessions began at 11:00 am. The 22 owners of solar system were present in upper floor of cowshed. It was great to see energy and enthusiasm in people. The training started with introduction of speakers and participants. The training was planned for 2 hours and following topics were discussed:

  • The initial session explained about what is renewable energy, Solar as renewable energy.

  • Participants were introduced about solar system and its components like Panel, Battery, Charge Controller and Load.

  • Installation do how and safety handling was demonstrated with system present on the location.

  • Various Procedure for Repair and Maintenance were provided.

  • Specific care handling, minor damage and quick repair locally was provided about battery, charge controller and loads.

  • Final solar power use calculation was done and how much load people can use with technology given to them was shown.

Training Outcomes

                          The people have been following malpractice about solar system handling. The solar panel were hung as photo frame in walls, no safety precaution were taken, people were brining in & out panels in rains, their perception was heat generated more power than light. About training accomplishment participants got chance to learn about each components of solar system. They are now able to assemble and dis-assemble the system on their own. The standard parameters like facing panels on south direction, keeping panels at 30/45 degrees, keeping battery far from heat source, use of loads according to power generation, sustainability of battery system, various light symbols and their meanings present on charge controller, minor repairs was provided. Overall looking after longevity of solar system with efficient use was provided.

                  After completion of training we visited two hydraulic pump operation at Chanaute and Ladkhu. We learned about bio-char preparation, its use.

                           The return was one of the most memorable journey of my life. The last seat of bus squeezed between a women with child and old grand pa. The lady by side was vomiting throughout journey while grand pa was drunk, mumbling and fumbling with words and directions. The smell from both side was killing me, as I sat contemplating about life. I endured situation, just invigorated into circumstance.

                                              This was one of my life awakening journey. What surprised me was humbleness and subtlety of people. Obviously they are cutoff from mainstream media attention still they are happy to be living there. There are numerous challenges but somehow they have managed to be living well. I hope to see better road access, sustainable clean energy supply, educational facilities, better health facilities and access to ICT be within their reach. The natural serenity shall not be disturbed, only right technology along with nature can develop Dhunkharkha.

Pani Ghatta : A Grinding Machine

                       Water mill is one of the clean and appropriate technology for grinding at local level. The most of part of Nepal still remains far from electric grid connection. The rural electrification has been catch word just to remain safely in vaults of Planning commissions.. Nepal faces one of the longest hour of blackouts as energy crunch nation we are struggling with basic right to energy access. The geographical terrain, improper settlements of housing system, challenges of hindrances on scenic beauty and landscape as tourism being one of major attraction, losses on transmission lines might be counter acting such kinda of electrification initiative.

                       The appropriate technology is recognizing need of local people, meeting their aspirations and bringing them one step closer to energy access. There is flow of water from higher hills to lower plains. Here gravity does most of the work. The Kinetic energy of water can be directly used for generating energy. Traditionally we have been harnessing such energy through water mill. Still today lots of people in rural areas are highly dependent on traditional water mill for grinding all required household goods such as flour, rice, wheat, spices and also oil in some cases.

Working Mechanism:

                       The water from head of 20m or above is brought in open or closed conduit. Traditionally wooden blades are used as turbine on which water jets are strike upon, jets rotates the bigger wheel mounted on smaller wheel. There is continuos feed of grains in between grinds into finer particles.

A story form DhunKharkha, Kavre

                           The village has perennial source of water, water mill is located near river close to the source of water. The villagers have been using water mill for grinding their grains. It was happy to encounter old mother who was grinding her maize on mill. She was so delighted to use it, as it has reduced efforts and time that people used to devote for grinding in traditional way. She explained although she is weak and fragile, she can help her family in some way. The use of water mill popularly known as pani ghatta is free to use. The opening and closing is as simple with supplying and cutting off water supply to mill. She is happy and proud user of water mill.

                                 This is what appropriate and proper technology can transform rural life. Helps in bridging gap in energy and technology use.