As a volunteer in Bichpuri, Uttar Pradesh, Uday Bhatia was moved to find a solution to the problem of frequent power outages in the village.
Uttarakhand faced a shortfall of 18 million units of electricity every day in January 2023, which was 40 percent of the daily demand, according to a Moneycontrol report.
The 18-year-old started working on a solution for this power crisis, intensified by the lack of financial means of India’s rural populace, which meant that they couldn’t afford inverters.
Uday first realised that there was no cost-effective solution which led him to start working on a solution using renewable energy.
In April 2022, the Class 12 student set up a workstation on his terrace and started experimenting with a soldering iron and a couple of wires.
After many failed attempts, he conceptualised a bulb with the capabilities of an inverter. He learned to assemble it by watching YouTube videos.
After 24 prototypes, thousands of hours, and eight months, the 18-year-old built the solution — an inverter bulb that can provide a backup of almost 10 hours in case of a power cut.
He applied the concept of control systems to increase the backup from 4 to 10 hours, optimising energy consumption.
By adjusting the bulb’s brightness, the backup time can be extended. The bulb comes with settings to change brightness. One can lower it to increase the backup.
“When the bulb is connected to a power source, energy gets stored in the battery. When the power supply is cut off, the bulb uses the energy stored in the battery to glow. I have done this using a rectifier, to make it glow during a power outage,” he explains.
He set up ‘Uday Electric’ in May 2022 and sells his bulbs at Rs 250 a piece. Each bulb comes with a one-year warranty.
He works with local farmers and villagers to sell the bulbs inRajasthan, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and the outskirts of Delhi.
Uday has, so far, sold over 7,000 units of which, 950 were donated to households in the Kabadi Bazar, Dehradun, through Aasra Foundation.
He won the Diana Award 2023, which is set up in memory of the late Princess of Wales, and honours “outstanding young people selflessly creating positive social change”.
Uday now wishes to illuminate more rural households and wants to make a tube light using the same design.