Water Mill cum Hydro Electric

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Lima Mill used for grinding 

                                                                                                                     Photo Source:angelfire.com

                                                Water mill is one of the traditional kind of grinding wheel that uses wheel or turbine to drive a mechanical process for various end use such as flour grinding,lumber or textile production.This type of technology is applicable in hill areas where there is enough head for running turbine. The water diverted from river or canal provides enough kinetic energy to drive wheel or turbine via head race channel or pipe.The force of the water’s movement drives the blades of a wheel or turbine, which in turn rotates an axle that drives the mill’s other machinery.

                                          Water leaving the wheel or turbine is drained through a tail race, but this channel may also be the head race of yet another wheel, turbine or mill.This kinda of water mill is suitable in hilly and Himalayan region of Nepal where enough head is available.Not only for milling but it can generate electricity which can empower local community which can contribute for decreasing load on central load distribution.

Water Mill cum Micro hydro in Aghakhola, Palpa

                           This is good example of use of appropriate technology helping people to live under light. The micro-hydro generates electricity to operate mill services for customer and provides power in night to local resident in vicinity. 

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Solar Training and Capacity Building : Power to the People

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                                    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.

Journey form Training to Trainer : As Light of Hope Continues

                           

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                      Energy has been one of the basic requirement of human beings. The traditional use of fossil fuel is gradually shifting with advent of cleaner and greener technology. And change in people perception and consciousness about climate impacts, global warming and green house effects. RAN (Robotics Association Nepal) is one of Nepal’s best institutions trying to promote technology for generating holistic relation between machine and human.

                             The #LIGHTOFHOPE is audacious project initiated by RAN with agenda to connect rural livelihood to basic energy use like lighting and charging system. The process is to connect rural and earthquake affected area to primary energy use. The deprivation of energy & energy crunch is not only hampering economic activities but education of students. So #lightofhope aims to bring back hope to people to re-start life. Everything is broken but there stands only hope that things will get better. #LightofHope tires to embolden resilience, empathy and provide strength to return to normal living for Nepalese people who are beyond electric grid connection.

                                The Shree Nawalpur Secondary School was place for solar training and distribution. The place being in vicinity of Melamchi, still lacked proper road and electric connection. The event was already planned and well arranged by local partner YUWA Nepal. Primary task was to train ninety student, equip them for repair & maintenance, and distribute 5W solar system with light and charging system. We could see curious, energetic and bold ninety students, school authority, local experts being in school. We were really glad despite public holiday of Saturday people were kind enough to show up. The main objective was to give introduction about renewable energy, detail about solar system, component of solar system, repair & maintenance and about how solar can good business opportunity.

                                      Personally there is great difference in being with the crowd and handling the crowd. Being in training helped me to learn and nurture self. I was always obliged and felt privileged to get such opportunities. This was time to pay back or simply spread good vibes for others. I tried as much as being basic about facts and in mean time holistic. The major point I was careful not to let voids between by talks and student listening. The sessions was quite interactive, reaching student asking them and they asking back their queries. I was able to reach their psyche to some extent inspire them to lead from grass root. It was amazing to teach, hear, learn and share among students. The latter solar as business opportunities was carried out by Binod Pangeni. This session was especially designed to promote business opportunities that can or comes with solar technology. The main idea behind this was to encourage student to find solution within country and to remind them there are possibilities as well as potentialities developing country and making money in Nepal.

                                                    The journey to and fro Sindhupalchowk was full of fun. It was great conversation with fellow travelers local resident Aunt who rose my curiosity about place, her experience after earthquake, how grateful she was to have young people like us helping them, the hardship they have been through, hope & resilience they had despite their homes were completely turned down, her future dream to rebuilt house. Thanks to volunteers from Australia and Germany for being here selflessly to be part of re-construction. It was great to catch up with you guys. Oh! Driver dai, your story and reasoning and loud music system made us inexhaustible throughout travel. It simply helped us to be cheerful. Many many thanks to Bikash Gurung dai for providing wonderful opportunity to actually go to different part and shade some knowledge I had. It was great to reach people in local level and empower them. #LightofHope continues for adding hope for rural livelihood and re-construction after earthquake, shading light raising people’s aspiration.

Cheers.

About Robotics Association Nepal.

Robotics Association of Nepal (RAN), is not-for-profit, non-governmental organization which is continuously working in the field of robotics and electronics automation since its establishment (2010). Each year we celebrate festival of art, science and technology “Yantra”. Robotics Association of Nepal has built a network of students RAN Representatives (RR).

YOUTH TRAINING ON PROJECT INITIATIVE by ECCA

                                    Environmental Camp for Conservation Awareness , organization working for bringing changes on environment by nurturing young minds, training youths as trainer, implementing clean energy to changing mindset of people for sustainable growth and development of local level. The ECCA has been regularly providing training and facilitating various programs.

                                 Youth Training On Project Initiative was training of youth to be trainer. The main objective was to produce capable youths trainer of 20 people so that they will be equipped enough to train youths, children and stake holders of school in various part of Dolakha.

                                                                 Day 1

Introduction of ECCA by Mr. Dipesh Gurung

                The session briefed about ECCA’s mission, vision and initiatives. The proud history of ECCA as independent and influential organization. The contribution and changes it brought in society were highlighted.

Activities and Current Projects orientation by Mr. Bipin Shrestha

       The session provided us details about current activities and projects that ECCA was going through. The initiatives like solar tuki project, Improved Cooking Stove, Envirolift cook stove, various school environment program, empowering local youths activities and many more.

School And Schooling – Mr. Birendra Khadka

              The difference between school and schooling were discussed. The structure of schooling and role of teachers, parents, student and stakeholders were elaborated.

Result Based Management, Appreciative Inquiry and Introduction to vision, Mission, Goal, objective, Activities – Mr. Siddhi Bajrachyra

             The session provided detail information about result based management approach(Participatory and team based management, effectiveness & sustainability, accountability, changed in behaviors and livelihood of beneficiaries ) and appreciative inquiry(co-operative search for the best in people, their organizations, and relevant world ; discoveries of what gives life to a living system ).

                                                                      Day 2

Domains of Concern, Expenditure and Structure of School – Mr. Birendra Khadka

Personal Visioning – Mr. Siddhi Bajrachyra

Explains the status of Finnish schools & Difficulties in Nepali Education system – Ms. Lydia

First Aid Principles And Practice – Dr. Hangsha Limbu & Dr. Hom Bahadur Gurung

                                                                        Day 3

Social Audit -Mr. Birendra Khadka

Strategic and Constructive Visioning for school – Mr. Siddhi Bajrachyra

WASH session – Mr. Rabindra Khatri

 

Environmental Camps for Conservation Awareness (ECCA) has been a leading organization in the sector of social mobilization and community development. ECCA works closely with youths and school children to encourage positive change and to develop innovative ideas so as to make a brighter and greener future for generations to come.

Solar Cookers

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Introduction:

Nepal was once known for its dense forest, however in present only 29% of the cover remains. About 87% of the domestic energy in Nepal is produced by firewood. This percentage is close to unity in remote regions. Wood is used for cooking as well as space heating. The shortage of fuel wood in many parts of Nepal is prominent and collection has become more and more time consuming. Usually it is women and children who collect and carry wood to their home to use for food preparation. On an average, 4-6 hours a day is spent on collection of fire wood. In this context, cooking with the help of solar energy can be one of the solutions for this alarming situation. 

Solar cooking is a matured technology which many of the developing countries like India, China etc. has successfully promoted. There are several hundred thousand solar cookers in India and China.

Principle:

Though there is various type of solar cooker. The basic principle is to convert the sunlight into heat. Some of the basic principles are – 

  • Concentrating sunlight: A reflective mirror of polished glass, metal or metalized film is used to concentrate light and heat from the sun into a small cooking area, making the energy more concentrated and increasing its heating power.
  • Converting light to heat: A black or low reflectivity surface on a food container or the inside of a solar cooker will improve the effectiveness of turning light into heat. Light absorption converts the sun’s visible light into heat, substantially improving the effectiveness of the cooker.
  • Trapping heat: It is important to reduce convection by isolating the air inside the cooker from the air outside the cooker. A plastic bag or tightly sealed glass cover will trap the hot air inside. This makes it possible to reach similar temperatures on cold and windy days as on hot days.

Types 

In general there are two type of solar cooker. The box-type and concentration type.

Types-of-Solar-Cooker

Solar Dryer

                     The food production especially fruits and vegetables are surplus during the harvesting season, resulting in low selling price. Towards the end of the season the produce which was not sold goes uneaten or rots. Similarly, in alpine climate the food production is limited to few months in a year. Hence food preservation is important, among the various techniques available sun drying is one of common. 

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                               Basically, drying involves the extraction of moisture from the product by heating and the passage of air mass around it to carry away the released vapor. Under ambient conditions, these processes continue until the vapor pressure of the moisture held in the product equals that held in the atmosphere. Thus, the rate of moisture released from the product to the environment and absorption from the environment are in equilibrium, and the crop moisture content at this condition is known as the equilibrium moisture content. Under ambient conditions, the drying process is slow, and in environments of high relative humidity, the equilibrium moisture content is insufficiently low for safe storage. The objective of a dryer is to supply the product with more heat than is available under ambient conditions, thereby increasing sufficiently the vapour pressure of the moisture held within the crop and decreasing significantly the relative humidity of the drying air and thereby increasing its moisture carrying capacity and ensuring sufficiently low equilibrium moisture content.

                         In solar drying, solar-energy is used as either the sole source of the required heat or as a supplemental source. The air flow can be generated by either natural or forced-convection. The heating procedure could involve the passage of preheated air through the product or by directly exposing the product to solar radiation or a combination of both.

                    Solar energy is an obvious energy source to use for drying many products, particularly food crops. Many crops are harvested in the summer months and are usually dried at temperatures below 700C – a temperature which can be readily attained by solar technology. 

                     The importance of food drying is likely to increase. Nepal suffers from serious food crisis. Out of 75 districts 41 districts have food shortage and experts from the United Nations warn that the situation is bound to deteriorate. Annually huge relief funds from international and government budget is allocated for food supply in the regions with supply deficit. Further the Government figures say food deficit has tripled in recent years with most of the increase since 2009 drought.

                        A solar dryer uses the energy from the sun to dry food efficiently and hygienically with little capital investment. The dried food life may be extended to a year or more depending on the process.  In addition to foods for human consumption there are many other products we use that require drying. These include organic crops like timber and rubber and inorganic materials like paint. All of the above arguments emphasize the importance of drying in our lives. 

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                         Drying is also an energy intensive process. The shortage of energy is an issue for many countries, particularly those in the developing world. Even where conventional energy is plentiful, there is pressure to reduce the amount of fossil fuels used. Concern over global warming is universal and this has focused our attention on energy intensive processes like drying where fossil fuels can often be replaced by renewable and non-polluting sources of energy. 

Principle

                     Drying involves the removal of the internal moisture to the surface and then to remove this moisture from the surface of the drying material. The sun has been used for drying as long as humans have inhabited the planet and laying a product out in the sun to remove its moisture is known sun drying. When sun drying, the temperature of the surrounding air remains at ambient temperature, while the temperature of the product is raised by the direct absorption of solar radiation. Although sun drying is still by far the most common method of drying it does have several inherent disadvantages. The unprotected crop can be damaged by rain, contaminated by dirt and animals and/or eaten by birds and insects. Since the temperatures attained during sun drying are usually lower than in a solar dryer, drying times are longer. This usually results in poorer final quality because of color discoloration caused by enzymic and non-enzymic browning, and often because of the formation of moulds.In a solar dryer however the temperature of the air surrounding the product is raised above the ambient air temperature. Depending on the type of solar dryer, the temperature of the product may also be raised by direct absorption of solar radiation. The temperatures in a solar dryer are higher than in sun drying and this reduces the drying time and usually improves the final product quality. Crop losses and spoilage from rain and animals are prevented because the crop is protected within the solar dryer. 

Types:

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                   There are many different types of solar dryer but they can all be conveniently classified into three distinct categories depending on the mode of heat transfer from the sun to the product.