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Karnataka Students’ Innovation Uses Rainwater to Generate Electricity From Highways!

f this brilliant idea becomes a reality, your road trips could literally power street lights in villages. How cool is that! #Innovation #GreenIndia

Despite the Indian education system’s unfortunate emphasis on rote learning, students across educational institutions in India continue to come up with innovative solutions to real life problems. Since its inception, The Better India has sought to highlight these innovations that sometimes manage to attract the upper echelons of this country’s governance structure.

Thanks to two students of Civil Engineering from the KCE Society’s CI Munavalli Polytechnic College based out of Hubbali (also known as Hubli) in Karnataka state, an innovation which can generate electricity from moving vehicles on the highways and rainwater, besides recharging water bodies, has come to light.

The project titled ‘Strategies for enhancing local water bodies with the production of electricity through water and Enlil turbines’ won Pruthviraj S Sarangmath and Prasanna Kalkoti, who are final-year engineering students, the first prize in the Indian International Science Festival in Lucknow, which was held last month.

So, what is an Enlil turbine? It is originally a vertical axis wind turbine that generates electricity from wind power.

How does it work?

Students from the civil engineering department of KLE Society's C I Munavalli Polytechnic College in Hubballi have come up with a way to generate electricity from moving vehicles. (Source: Facebook)
Students from KLE Society’s C I Munavalli Polytechnic College in Hubballi have come up with a way to generate electricity from moving vehicles. (Source: Facebook)

“The turbine works on wind power. These are vertical axis turbines, and when wind passes through them, it turns in a circular motion due to which electric energy is produced. The best place for the implementation of Enlil turbines is on highways or roads where vehicular traffic is more. Due to the movement of vehicles, the turbines will start rotating and thus produce power. These turbines can produce 1KW power per hour, which can be stored and later used to power street lights and also provided to nearby villages,” says Pruthviraj, in a conversation with Edexlive.

According to the students, one turbine can generate up to 1 kW of power per hour serving the electricity requirement of two households, reports The Hindu.

Meanwhile, this award-winning innovation from Karnataka also ensures that surface run-off water (rainwater) does not merely end up in drains, but through the process of slow sand filtration help recharge water waterbodies, generate drinking water and further electricity.

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“The rainwater run-off has increased, and groundwater recharge has declined. As the roads are built sloped towards the sides, rainwater falling on the road is guided to the side drains. The rainwater which is then collected from the drain is made to fall from a certain height into the tanks that help to produce a certain amount of electricity through dynamo and stored for use later,” adds Pruthviraj.

Both students were ably guided by Nagraj Ganachari and Akshya Vastrad, two professors in the varsity’s Civil Engineering department This Karnataka student project that won the IISC Festival over 100 such entries in Lucknow was judged by a jury of 11 faculty members from IIT Delhi, NIT Suratkal and MNIT Jaipur.

(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)

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