Ox-driven generators set to solve power crisis - BIT Mesra's non-conventional energy gadget promises to steal show at Udyog Mela

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Ranchi
  • Published 12.11.08
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Ranchi, Nov. 12: An oxen-driven generator set, developed by BIT Mesra’s mechanical engineering department, is set to draw crowds to the forthcoming Jharkhand Udyog Mela 2008 at Morabadi grounds.

BIT Mesra has booked a stall in the 11-day fair slated to start from November 15. The fair promises to be a good platform to inform the rural masses, NGOs and, most importantly, agencies working in the field of non-conventional energy about the importance of pollution-free power generating machines. A single unit of such a machine would be able to provide power to at least eight households.

“The oxen-powered generator uses a simple formula. An ox is used to rotate a vertical shaft with which an arm attached to the ox’s hump revolves at 3RPM (revolutions per minute). Four back-to-back gears would multiply the revolutions beyond the 1,200RPM capacity. The gears would be attached to either a water pump or a generator of 500-600W capacity,” said Arvind Kumar, a professor in BIT, Mesra’s mechanical engineering department.

The water pump can then be used to lift water to a height of around 3m and then fields can be irrigated through drip irrigation. Proper care and maintenance is needed for the oxen-driven generators.

Experts feel this non-conventional energy option has better potential than solar energy devices that cannot function during the monsoon, as the batteries do not get charged. They feel that the problem of irrigation and minimum requirement of electricity can easily be solved in the rural areas of the state if this model is adopted.

“We have roped in Kokar industrial area-based PL Grandsons & Company to manufacture and fabricate the design of oxen-power generators for which we got the patent in 2006-07. Considering the large bovine population in the country, the invention has the power to change the power scenario in rural India. A total of 38,000MW of electricity can be produced by converting muscular energy (technically known as animal draft power) to electric energy,” said Arvind Kumar.

However, PL Grandsons would not use oxen during the industry fair as the animals can make the venue dirty. Instead, some labourers would perform the task.

Sudhir Aggarwal, the proprietor of PL & Grandsons, said they are working overtime to ensure that they are able to complete the fabrication work much before the fair starts.

Meanwhile, this new ox-power driven wonder is already generating interest in power corporations, universities and among NGOs. It has received enquiries from the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), agriculture universities and NGOs in Mumbai, Nagpur and Ranchi.

A single unit, driven by two oxen, has the capacity to generate up to 2KW. The power can be multiplied by using more oxen and machines. The capacity might go up to 2.5KW if four oxen are used. A single unit will require an investment of around Rs 20,000.