An illiterate Farmer designs a Water Mill to generate Electricity


Siddappa, an illiterate farmer from Somapur village in Gadag district of Karnataka, has designed a water mill to generate electricity. Right from conceptualizing to materialisation, the farmer has done everything on his own. He operates the water mill in the canal near his house.

Using timbers, Siddappa prepared a giant wheel that joined at a central hub. There are eight arms, five feet each, extending from the central hub. A plastic bucket is dangled at the tip of each arm. When the water from two pipes gushes into one of the buckets, it generates the pressure that turns the 10-feet wheel in an anti-clockwise motion. The bucket could also be spun in the horizontal plane using a central steering wheel, similar to a teacup ride. As one after another bucket is driven by the flowing water, the first arm declines back to the ground while the other rises in the air. This process spins the black wheel attached to this giant wheel. The spinning black wheel rotates another wheel connected to a dynamo.

A converter converts the Direct Current from the dynamo into Alternating Current. Siddappa claims to have spent a mere Rs 5000 on building the entire apparatus. This is his second attempt to show the villagers that anybody can produce electricity for self-consumption using the resources at hand. “Many people who have canals flowing near their villages don’t know how to use that natural gift. I want to show them all practically that electricity problems can be solved by being creative. There is no need to beg to the government for everything,” he says.

He gets 150 watts of power from this water mill when water flows in the canal. Siddappa claims he can create electricity for the entire village through his machine. But the problem is that the canal in his village flows only for three months a year!

This article originally appeared in The Sunday Indian (TSI) magazine and has been reproduced here as part of an arrangement between The Better India and TSI. The author, Suprabha Naik is a correspondent with the Kannada Bureau of TSI.
Read previous article of this author here.

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