Bhutan is known for its mega hydro projects that involve billions of dollars and years of construction. However, Karsang Dorji an Executive Engineer for Druk Green Power Corporation (DGPC) has come up with two simple but effective inventions to generate green electricity using a few spare parts.
Both inventions are descriptively titled, ‘Human Power and Water Generator’.
The water generator is based on a modified and simplified concept of a hydropower turbine and generator. Karsang has affixed improvised buckets or blades to a bicycle wheel that turns when placed under a small stream.
The wheel turns at force to generate electricity through a small generator attached to the wheel generating 230 Voltage power. The power, he said is equivalent to that of a conventional solar-panel and is enough to power a 40 Watt bulb.
The second is the Human generator that gives the benefit of exercise and a phone charger. The device though similar to the first one does not require water force but is attached to a cycle that has to be pedaled to generate electricity.
In both the above inventions the power can also be stored in a rechargeable battery.
Karsang said, “In 2003 I used a very basic version of my current invention to generate electricity on my farm for room-heating where mushrooms were kept under the required temperature.”
“It was designed using thermostats to control the room temperature for the proper growth of mushroom. In addition to the Products being good they could even grow mushrooms during the off season,” he added.
Karsang said that it took him 15 years of research and design before he came up with this innovation.
Karsang has big plans and he wants to capitalize on his inventions and manufacture them on a large scale.
Karsang had already presented his inventions to the DGPC management earlier.
As of now he is waiting for government to approve the draft renewable energy policy.
He is confident that DGPC will finance those who come up with such projects as promoting renewable energy is part of DGPC’s mandate.
“I will help any organization or community with these inventions if needed, since most of the rural sections are deprived of all modern facilities,” said Karsang.
“Some rural areas and schools still don’t have electricity, with the help of my design I can illuminate them with light,” he said.
He said that most rural communities depended on solar panel system which is an inconvenient and unreliable source to generate electricity continuously due to storms, fog and nightfall. He gave the example of farmers in southern Bhutan having problems with their solar fencing.
Karsang has already developed a light-emitting-diode (LED) bulb by using plastic bottles.
Karsang is not satisfied with his two inventions but he is now in the process of developing a windmill generator which can light LED lamps, charge mobile phones and many other small applicants.
The young inventor is also working on creating a renewable energy pumping system to pump and store water for paddy cultivation.
He says that designing such models is his hobby and he has been working on his design after office hours and on weekends.
“The energy sources from such models would be cheaper and ecofriendly which would contribute to achieve Gross National Happiness,” he said.
Even at home he uses water heater of his design which gives a lower electric bill.
He said that through such inventions he would want to fulfill the third mission of DGPC which is to “Provide energy security for domestic consumption, fuel economic growth and explore other forms of renewable energy other than hydropower.”
He said that his main motives were to generate green electricity, reduce monthly electricity bills, light up homes from renewable energy resources, increase energy security of the country and fight global warming.