We are all too familiar with the high-level exploitation of non-renewable energy sources, and its consequences on the environment. The need to utilise renewable and clean sources of energy is paramount, but at the same time, the cost, logistics and power generation density might not always be viable.
A team of mechanical engineering students from Karukutty, Kochi, have engineered a device that can utilise naturally flowing water to generate electricity. The team from SCMS School of Engineering and Technology (SSET) consists of six students—Christo Varghese, Delo Devassy, D Achuth, Dion C Mathews, Anand Rajeev and Gijo George Netticadan. Mentored by their professors, Dr Sheeja Janardhanan and Vidya Chandran, the students have engineered a device called Hydro Vortex Power Generator (HVPG) that could generate electricity from the irrigation canal that runs near their college.
HVPG is capable of generating around 5 watts of power on water currents flowing as slow as 0.5m/s. Needless to say, such devices can be beneficial to bring electricity to the remote areas of Kerala as well as other parts of India.
HVPG includes an elastically mounted horizontal cylinder that vibrates. “HVPG works on the principle of vortex-induced vibration of bluff bodies. This evolving technology of clean energy generation can be counted upon as the future power for our state/country, especially for powering tribal and remote areas, which are usually blessed with perennial rivers and streams flowing at comparatively steady pace,” Dr Sheeja Janardhanan told The Better India.
Computational Fluid Dynamics experts in SSET helped optimise this device.
The source of energy can be regarded as a revolutionary step towards harnessing power through clean sources.
According to SSET, “It [HVPG] can be made useful as a single standing power unit, which can light up remote and tribal areas of Kerala, and also as a multi-unit module which can supply power to the grid. HVPG can harness power not only from rivers and streams but also from currents of [the] ocean.”
“It can also be used to generate power from industrial wastewaters,” Dr Sheeja informed TBI, adding that, “the installation of HVPG creates no harm to aquatic life and also preserves the natural beauty of water bodies since it operates underwater. HVPG has very high energy density as compared to any other renewable power production systems like wind farms and tidal power,” she added.
It is the perfect way of lighting up lives without harming the environment!