SCI-TECH & AGRI

An alternative power source proves to be a windfall

Necessity, invention: Subramaniam and his windmill on the rooftop of his house in Rasipuram, Tamil Nadu.

Necessity, invention: Subramaniam and his windmill on the rooftop of his house in Rasipuram, Tamil Nadu.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: M.J. Prabu

M.J. PRABU

About 20-30 volts of electricity is generated when there is a strong wind

Good growth of a crop depends mainly on timely irrigation. For irrigation, electricity supply is required (though some use diesel pumps).

A group of farmers in Rasipuram taluk, Namakkal district, Tamil Nadu, who do not want to be identified say:

“Even though the government grants free power supply, timely supply and the procedures for obtaining the connection are complicated.

The local officials who should be giving the connection simply do not bother. Several attempts to even meet the higher officials proved futile.”

A farmer C.M. Subramanian says:

“Already we farmers experience the effects of regular load shedding and frequent power cuts, which make our daily lives miserable. I never thought that getting a power connection would be so tedious and the supply erratic.



An alternative

“Even though my house and fields are near the main highway, the electricity board officials made me run from pillar to post. After months of running around I realized they expect something more than the required documents.

“Determined not to pay a single paisa more than the required deposit.I decided to find some alternative. Since our region experiences a good wind flow I decided to erect a windmill on top of my house,” he says.

With some basic ideas and some imagination I scouted around for the required materials. I made the blades of the windmill from thick iron sheets, which I bought at a local hardware store.

Except for the used inverter, (which he bought at a second hand price), I personally fixed all other materials including the wiring,” he claims.



Electricity generation

By using the current generated by the windmill the farmer powers his two tube lights, a table fan and a mobile charger inside his house. A strong gust of wind generates 20-30 volts of electricity stored in three automobile batteries. The batteries are connected to an inverter, which supplies the current.



Financial constraints

“I am also planning to erect another windmill for irrigating my fields soon. Due to financial constraints I am unable to work on it now,” he says.

The farmer spent about Rs. 20,000 for erecting the windmill which he terms as “once in a lifetime investment.”

Unlike power connection, windmill power does not require bimonthly payments. There are no power cuts during summer or heavy showers too.



Initial expense

“Though initially farmers need to spend about Rs 20,000 to Rs. 25,000 for erection and laying the pipelines for irrigation, in the long run they will realise its benefits, as it does not require regular maintenance and does not breakdown due to frequent powercuts,” says Mr. N. Janardhanan (mob: 98942-48272), agro social educator, who runs an NGO called Tamil Nadu V.O. Chidambaranar Centre for Agro Social Education near Salem.

“Individual farmers can erect such windmills on their roof tops or a few of them form a group and erect bigger ones to meet their domestic and irrigation needs.

Save money

This will greatly bring down the electricity consumption and also save money for both the farmer and the government,” says Mr. Janardhanan.

But has the invention been patented?

“No, I do not know the procedure nor have the financial resources to apply for the patent,” he says.

But he is ready to help interested farmers or organisations in erecting similar windmills on their land.

For more information and personal visit readers can contact Mr. C.M. Subramaniam, No 4/82H, Attur road, opposite Tiruvalluvar textiles, Kakavey post, Rasipuram taluka, Namkkal district, Tamil Nadu: 637408, mobile:9443392814.



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