4 billion people in the world live under conditions of severe water scarcity and around a billion people around the world have no electricity access. In India, nearly half the amount of people suffer from no safe drinking water with 200,000 people dying every year for lack of access to safe water. In the case of electricity, 200 million Indians have no electricity in their homes.
A 23-year-old engineer, Madhu Vajrakarur’s home was one among that in India, with no continuous supply of clean drinking water and electricity. Madhu Vajrakarur is from Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur district and is an Electrical Engineering graduate. Being in habitat of such a scarce village, Madhu innovated an idea of making a Wind Turbine that generates both Electricity and water and triumphed it within 15 days, that could really be a game-changer, not only in his village, but the entire world. The article explains in detail.
The Will & Reason behind the Wind-Turbine
“I was born and brought up in Vajrakarur village. Here, the main source of water supply is through borewells and water tankers. The water drawn from the borewells is heated and then used for consumption. When there are no rains, the groundwater level drops and we are dependent on purchasing drinking water from tankers. My father is a farmer and my mother is a housewife, so their income is low. On some occasions we could not afford to buy the water while other times we would depend on borrowing from neighbours,” says Madhu.
Also, wind turbines were the craze behind Madhu’s choice of engineering, that started back in school days, when he experimented model versions of the same using cardboards for Science Exhibitions. “In the second year of college, I learnt how to make solar power grids, and automatic street lights. This gave me the practical knowledge to work with such technology. In October 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Mann Ki Baat session spoke about windmills that can generate water and also explained how these wind turbines are deployed in other countries. This inspired me to make one,” Madhu added.
How it Works?
The young innovator came up with the unusual design of making a wind turbine, that fetches both electricity and clean drinking water. Madhu integrated the way of condensing air into liquid, like the one in refrigerators with the common functionality of conventional wind-turbine.
The 15-foot tall wind turbine stockpiles moisture from the atmosphere using a blower placed at the back of the turbine’s fans. The air drawn from the fans gets into a cooling compressor, for condensing and to extract water. The water is then directed through copper pipes into a three-stage filter (membrane filter, carbon and UV filter), to sort out the dust particles, if any. Finally, the clean water is accessed through a tap placed on the frame.
Madhu had also let the waters to get collected and stored in an external tank of 40 liters of capacity. And the wind turbine is connected to a 30 KW inverter via which he powers the lights, fans and plug points in his home.
Make of the turbine
Being an electrical engineer, the process was quite into his knowledge and “by watching YouTube videos, I learned more about making a wind turbine that can generate water & electricity”, Madhu clarified.
As meant to power only his house and facilitate water to his family, the make was kept simple with overall cost of only ₹ 1 Lakh; thanks to his savings and parent’s support.
The wind turbine was made using plastic pipes, iron rods and some more elements, which he purchased online. He aggregated the parts, with the help of local welders and his friends for deploying the structure.
Madhu started his work in October 2020, that ended so well within 15 days of start.
At the results, the turbine functioned up to the expectations, pouring him 80 to 100 Litres of freshwater per day; that indeed, helped him indirectly to cut down the rates of high electricity-bill, by neglecting the use of motor to pump water from borewells. “The excess water was given to his neighbors, at situations”, Madhu says.
Suryaprakash Gajjala, the founder of Archimedes Green Energys that manufactures rooftop wind turbines says that Madhu’s effort in making such a turbine is applauded. “But this dual-use wind turbine conventionally demands ₹35 lakhs to be of good quality, that can sustain all weather & windy conditions”, he confirmed.
It’s not how acknowledged we are, how resourced we are, that determines a person’s capability or extent; but in the simple move of starting out.