Electricity, in rural India is still not a common thing. As of 2012 only 75% of India was electrified. While the new age Indian cries for 4G net connections, currently only 60% of Indian villages have electricity and 100% is to be achieved by 2025.
Hydro-Electricity-Turbine-RMeet GK Ratnakara, a brilliant innovator who has designed a low water head turbine which can provide rural areas with hydro electricity. Ratnakara’s turbines do not need dams and heavy machinery to be installed. A low water head turbine works on the velocity of flowing water and can be installed on small scales. Dam-less hydro captures the kinetic energy of rivers, channels, spillways, irrigation systems, tides and oceans without the use of dams.
The major components of this turbine include alternator, balance wheel & belt pulley, V-belt & V-pulley. Water crush by force through nozzle, peloton wheels tarts rotating on customized RPM level.
Ratnakara dropped out of school after his tenth grade and has no technical background; but he has built close to 30 turbines installed across Dakshina Kannada, Kadagu, Hassan and Chikmagalur districts. He first generated hydel power to meet his domestic power requirement. Later, he started manufacturing turbines on demand for other users as well. The power plants, set up by Ratnakara are highly economical and require only small amount of money.
Ratnakara says that he can set up 3 such plants per month. He started the experiments on a trial and error basis by assembling the necessary turbine. Later on, he started assembling his own turbine so that it could run under the pressure of water falling from 100 ft.
Ratnakara, who lives in a hilly region having many natural water streams, believes that the Western Ghats has the potential to setup many such mini turbines. He also believes that the turbines can work on waste waters in cities which can generate enough power to light streetlights.
Ratnakara was awarded first prize by then president APJ Abdul Kalam for his innovations at Grassroots Technological Innovation and Traditional Knowledge Award.
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