Here is a revolutionary technology that is helping farmers to pump water from rivers without using any electricity or fuel. Know all about the man behind it and how the machine works.
“When a poet writes poetry, he does not learn it from somewhere. He has this quality and creativity granted by God. Similarly, an innovator is also born with ideas – he just has to identify them,” says Mangal Singh, creator of Mangal Turbines, a revolutionary technology that is solving one of the biggest issues faced by Indian farmers in an affordable and simple way.
Born in a small village, Bhailoni Lodh of Uttar Pradesh, Singh, a farmer recalls his childhood when he would play in the nearby river. “We would play with a firkin (top) every day and I used the same idea to design this technology,” he says.
Singh has designed a patented technology that is low-cost, efficient and does not require any fuel or external energy source to lift water from the river and water bodies.
The technology, called Mangal Singh Water Wheel Turbine Pump-cum-PTP machine, aka Mangal Turbine is built from locally-available materials, runs entirely on sound mechanical principles and needs no source of energy other than the flow of water.
“Because I am also a farmer, I know very well the problems that are faced by them. Because fuel is very costly and electricity is not very regular in the villages, I thought of designing a machine that can harness the energy of flowing water and operate a pump using that energy,” he says.
He designed the technology in 1987 when his electric pump broke down, crops failed and the banks refused to give him a loan. He developed the prototype and pumped water for the first time in his own farm. He then implemented this technology in his village on an infertile land which was soon transformed into a green space due to Mangal Turbines. The technology worked and the water reached to places located even one to two kilometres away without any diesel or electricity. Then he used this machine on a forest nursery where over 1,20,000 litres of diesel was saved.
The instant success of his turbine gave Singh recognition and brought him into the limelight when many experts came to see his work and were amazed by the impact.
Mangal Turbines has reached and improved the lot of thousands of people across the nation in many states including Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, etc. Not only this, he has also recharged a dead canal using his revolutionary technology.
“The technology is unique because it is a one-of-its-kind machine where water is being lifted without any fuel or energy. That is where Mangal Turbine stands out when compared to other technologies” he says.
The success of the machine lies in the specially-designed water wheel which can rotate even on a low water head of one metre. Singh first made a water wheel and increased the RPM (rotations per minute) of that by using a step-up gear box which helped it reach an RPM of 1500 to 2200.
“The pump requires low waterheads of up to only 1 meter, created by low-cost check dams. The turbine machine consists of a water wheel firmly mounted on a steel shaft fixed on foundation supports. The shaft is coupled with a gearbox with universal couplings to step-up the speed of rotation. A centrifugal pump lifts the water from one end, while a pulley is used to derive power to operate the machine. The water wheel turbine’s design is simple and it can be made in different sizes to meet varying location-specific requirements anywhere in the developing world,” he explains.
The success and impact of the innovation is unmatched and the the amount of water lifted is much greater than that with other alternative fuel-driven pumps. It can also be used for agricultural works, operating flour mills, sugarcane crushing, threshing, expelling oil, chaff cutting, and many other places.
His amazing work won him instant on-ground success, but he still had to struggle hard to make his place in the market. Despite his path-breaking innovation and international recognition, he has had to fight against bureaucratic indifference and corruption.
He is still fighting for his rights where he can actually put his amazing technology available in places where it is required the most.
“I have even sold my house to work for this. I am left with nothing. All I need is the government’s support and transparency so that I can put it to use. They should install a pilot plant in villages and then see the result themselves. Give me the royalty for the technology and take this to different places,” he says.
Despite being completely neglected, Singh did not lose hope. He is currently talking to a private company which is willing to take up the machine and help Singh with its marketing.
In the future, Singh is willing to make this machine available to more people only if he receives some financial support from the government or larger companies. “I cannot do it all by myself. I have no resources to pull it off,” he says.
The proud innovator, through his amazing innovation, has simplified the lives of many farmers. If put to proper use, this technology can bring a revolutionary change in Indian agriculture. Lets hope it receives the right support from government and private sector alike.
To know more about his work, check out his website.