March 16, 2011
School of Engineering, Bengaluru
At Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, there are many budding engineers with inventive minds who have much to offer.
For example, Ramesh Pakalapati, final-year student of B.Tech. (Electronics and Communication Engineering) at Bengaluru, recently crafted a device that uses the force of water to produce electricity in homes.
Working with his class-mates A. Bhargav Anand, Akhilesh G. and Anudeep Dasa, Ramesh was able to complete the project in less than one month.
The students’ inspiration for the project was the need to generate electricity from a renewable energy source.
“I always believe that an idea unimplemented is a waste,” said Ramesh. “Having great knowledge is not a great thing, applying it in a real-time scenario is the most important thing.”
The students developed a system to create electricity using the force of water flowing through pipes connected to an overhead tank.
The device, similar to a power generator, was attached to the pipes to capture the small amount of energy that is produced as water moves through pipes from the tank. This energy was converted into electricity.
The effectiveness of the device was tested with a 2.5V, 25mA LED (light emitting diode) that lit up when electricity flowed through it.
“The force from ordinary water tap was enough to light up the LED,” reported Ramesh. “This indicated that our device functioned adequately.”
The device was made of several components including a dynamo, a shaft, two ball bearings, two GA pipes and a manufactured or hand-crafted metal box. The contraption could be conveniently used during power outages, as current could be effectively generated for a small duration of time.
The device has various advantages starting with its low assembly price. Ramesh has no desire to obtain a patent for the device. Instead, the goal is to make its idea available to the public, so that anyone with a modest knowledge of a dynamo and shaft arrangement can construct their own.
“Inspired by Chancellor Amma, we are planning to make this a complete open-source project and are not expecting any commercial profits,” shared Ramesh.
“It can be useful on farms where power supply is very inconsistent,” he added.
The team plans to use high quality hardware to construct models suitable for large-scale operations. The team has also conducted educational workshops for teaching the process of building individual devices.
The first workshop was conducted in West Godavari District, Andhra Pradesh, with the assistance of West Godavari District Collector Mrs. Vanisri Prasad. Ramesh’s work was also applauded by Sri M. Ravichandra, District Collector of East Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh.
In addition to his invention, Ramesh has also written a book for the benefit of rural students. The book Science Data Bank is to be published for government school students in the West Godavari district.