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In Award Winning Invention, Mangalore Boy Uses Kites to Harness Wind Power & Generate Electricity

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A young boy in Mangalore bagged the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation Award for his innovative project that harnessed the power of wind, through kites.

22-year-old Royston Vijay Castellino, who studied at the Srinivas Institute of Technology, Mangalore, looked into the impact of wind power systems, and concluded that they have limitations to produce electricity. However, his innovative model, which uses a kite to harness wind from high altitudes, wipes out those inefficiencies.

Calling it the “Winds of Change”, he has also applied for a patent.

Representational image
Source: Wikimedia Commons

In 2015, he had completed a project on this as part of his BE electronics and electrical engineering course in his final year. The aim of his project, according to Castellino, was to make wind power generation low cost, increase efficiency, and make it useful in generating electricity in rural areas.

When he experimented on kites, he discovered that the power is at its peak from a kite when it is rotated to make an infinity symbol in the sky. “I also observed that a four-line kite gives more power than a dual-line kite. So, I started to build a strong base with a four-line kite control system,” he said.

To work on the model, he said that he first ordered a four-line power kite from China. Then, he found bicycle parts, crank wheels and sprockets to use as materials. He modified a ceiling fan with permanent magnets, and then wound the rims of the bicycle wheel with threads. He used a wireless transmitter and receiver circuit to control the kite through a motor, and a chain drive to increase the speed. “The output can be improved by increasing the area of the kite,” he explained, “And the project can be made fully automatic by installing sensors on the kite which determine the position of the kite and send data to the base station.”

Since wind energy can be intermittent, he said that two similar kites can produce continuous power. “By installing two kites, energy can be transferred to the utility grid directly. This project can be made highly portable by using a vehicle as a base station which consists of a generator and control system.”

Last year, he was awarded the Project of the Year Award by Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology, at a competition organised by Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru.

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