November 2, 2010
School of Engineering, Amritapuri
What if one could mount a micro wind turbine on the rooftop of his or her home to produce electricity?
One would not only save on electricity bills, but also, and perhaps more important, contribute to the global fight against carbon dioxide emissions by using this clean energy.
Now an innovative new design developed at the National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) by Amrita engineering students working on their final-year project may well make this a reality for Indian households.
This government research and development institution provided the students Thejas Menon, Shreyas Narsipur, Vishnu Hariprasad and Vishnu Saseendran of the Amritapuri campus with all possible support to complete the project. The students estimate that the lab spent approximately one lakh rupees during the four months it took them to build the design.
NAL is now planning to patent the student design. It will also begin to install these micro wind turbines in large numbers in the city of Bengaluru.
The students explained the work that they did, at length.
“Wind turbines are of two types: vertical axis and horizontal axis. Horizontal axis turbines are used for commercial purposes and are highly efficient. But ours is a vertical type which is usually used for small scale power generation.”
“NAL designs large wind turbines for commercial use, but we were specifically asked to develop a micro wind turbine that could generate one kilowatt power, was safe and easy to install.”
“Our micro wind turbine is based on the same principle as that of a sailboat’s circular movements. Our turbine has an efficiency of 36%, which is much higher than the average 15-20% that was expected.”
“Based on the design, detailed drawings were generated and fabrication and assembly were monitored. The device was then tested for its operating principles and has been found to be working satisfactorily.”
Commenting on their decision to use indigenous materials, the students added, “Turbines components used in India are mostly designed, manufactured and imported from abroad. These are most suited to prevalent wind conditions abroad, not India’s unique wind conditions.”
“If produced on a large scale, the product can be made within the cost range of Rs. 25000 – 30000,” they confidently stated.
“We could achieve this positive outcome due to the skillful guidance provided by Mr. M. Jayaraman, Scientist-G, Propulsion Division,” the students summed up.