PlanetNepal Blog

Ideas for Nepal

Archive for the ‘infrastructure’ Category

cheap pallet based housing

Posted by Sandeep Puri on December 20, 2010

houses made from discarded/discardable shipping pallets and shipping containers.


More at :

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brick laying machine

Posted by Sandeep Puri on November 15, 2010

brick laying machine

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windbelt .. aeroelastic flutter based wind power

Posted by Sandeep Puri on May 2, 2010

Remember the tacoma narrow bridge disaster… that every structural engineer studies (or should study).. well, the same forces that made that disaster happen is being tapped to produce electricity..

‘Typically aeroelastic flutter is a destructive effect. But what the Windbelt does is try to capture it for the purposes of electricity production,’ explains Frayne, the brains behind the Windbelt and the founder of Humdinger Wind Energy.

The Windbelt’s key component is a taut membrane of mylar-coated taffeta, which vibrates as wind flows over it – this movement, triggered by airflow, is what is known as aeroelastic flutter (see the windbelt in action in the video below).

‘That oscillation moves a set of permanet magnets that are on the membrane itself at one of the ends,’ Frayne continues. The motion of these magnets between two copper coil induces an electrical current.

A version of it called the “windcell” measuring about a meter in length may be particularly suited for the developing world..

The Windcell, measuring a metre in length, is particularly suited to providing electricity in isolated areas of the developing world where solar or conventional wind power are too costly or simply inaccessible. Producing around 0.2 kWh (enough to power 10 energy saving lightbulbs), its energy output is not enormous, but it’s enough to make a real difference in some areas, replacing kerosene lighting in Haiti for example.

‘It makes sense for situations when you don’t need a whole lot of power and you’ve got some wind. You could have just a few Windcells that harvest enough energy from the wind to power up lighting or charge some batteries,’ says Frayne. ‘There’s a couple of governments that we’re talking to about rolling out the Windcell to dispersed communities.’

Fully story at
Company behind the technology at

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India to look at exporting nuclear reactors

Posted by Sandeep Puri on January 5, 2010

Thorium-fuelled exports coming from India

India has announced intentions to export power reactors to other nations and is developing an advanced design for that purpose..

The reactor design is based on the thorium fuel cycle which supposedly produces less waste..
This probably doesn’t count as a source of alternative/green fuel, but the merits of it as opposed to large-hydro, coal or natural gas need to be explored..

Full article at

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Green Projects

Posted by nepaliaashish on April 1, 2009

via Wired

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rocket stove

Posted by Sandeep Puri on June 27, 2008


Boing Boing has a post about the rocket stove.

The rocket stove was invented about 10 years ago by Dr. Larry Winiarski at the Aprovecho Research Center in Oregon. It consists of an elbow-shaped combustion chamber (usually made from metal cans) surrounded by insulating material (often a large can filled with sand). It uses twigs for fuel, so it’s ideal for areas where the trees have been depleted.

It maximizes the efficiency of heat conversion of the burning fuel and reduces the amount of particulate matter and carbon monoxide seen in traditional open wood stoves.

They have an instructional video about it up on their site.

The 10 Rocket Stove Priniciples as written by Dr. Larry Winiarski:

1.) Insulate, particularly the combustion chamber, with low mass, heat

resistant materials in order to keep the fire as hot as possible and not to

heat the higher mass of the stove body.

2.) Within the stove body, above the combustion chamber, use an insulated,

upright chimney of a height that is about two or three times the diameter

before extracting heat to any surface (griddle, pots, etc.).

3.) Heat only the fuel that is burning (and not too much). Burn the tips of

sticks as they enter the combustion chamber, for example. The object is NOT

to produce more gasses or charcoal than can be cleanly burned at the power

level desired.

4.) Maintain a good air velocity through the fuel. The primary Rocket stove

principle and feature is using a hot, insulated, vertical chimney within the

stove body that increases draft.

5.) Do not allow too much or too little air to enter the combustion chamber.

We strive to have stoichiometric (chemically ideal) combustion: in practice

there should be the minimum excess of air supporting clean burning.

6.) The cross sectional area (perpendicular to the flow) of the combustion

chamber should be sized within the range of power level of the stove.

Experience has shown that roughly twenty-five square inches will suffice for

home use (four inches in diameter or five inches square). Commercial size is

larger and depends on usage.

7.) Elevate the fuel and distribute airflow around the fuel surfaces. When

burning sticks of wood, it is best to have several sticks close together,

not touching, leaving air spaces between them. Particle fuels should be

arranged on a grate.

8.) Arrange the fuel so that air largely flows through the glowing coals.

Too much air passing above the coals cools the flames and condenses oil


9.) Throughout the stove, any place where hot gases flow, insulate from the

higher mass of the stove body, only exposing pots, etc. to direct heat.

10.) Transfer the heat efficiently by making the gaps as narrow as possible

between the insulation covering the stove body and surfaces to be heated but

do this without choking the fire. Estimate the size of the gap by keeping

the cross sectional area of the flow of hot flue gases constant. EXCEPTION:

When using a external chimney or fan the gaps can be substantially reduced

as long as adequate space has been left at the top of the internal short

chimney for the gasses to turn smoothly and distribute evenly. This is

tapering of the manifold. In a common domestic griddle stove with external

chimney, the gap under the griddle can be reduced to about one half inch for

optimum heat transfer.

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junk fuel

Posted by Sandeep Puri on June 21, 2008

This weeks’s Cringely post is about creating fuel out of trash without carbon side-effects, one of the holy grails for today’s civilization. Sounds too good to be true?

The company
he talks about in the post aims to produce hydrogen, bio-diesel, oxygen, fertilizer and some electricity using a modified plasma burning process.
Here’s what they claim to be able to produce from one ton of municipal waste:
112 pounds of hydrogen
55 gallons of biodiesel
a little electricity
926 pounds of oxygen

May not be for all of nepal yet, but would certainly fit the bill to clear out all the trash clogging up Kathmandu’s rivers.

CWT thermal conversion process

CWT thermal conversion process

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small scale wind generators

Posted by Sandeep Puri on May 13, 2008

Amazon sells a turnkey 400 watt wind powered generator for around $500 Sunforce 44444 12Volt 400Watt Wind Generator

Make magazine published plans for a DIY wind generator.

A 1000 watt turbine is talked about in another issue. Another one is here.

Wind Works has a series of articles on wind power and links to organizations and companies working on wind energy.

Although probably not suitable for large-scale electricity production in Nepal, they’re probably a good fit for community based production and distribution in high wind areas like Mustang, Dolpo etc.

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self help CNG for the masses?

Posted by Sandeep Puri on May 7, 2008

This may work well in Nepal. Will obviously need good infrastructure planning and rollout. There seem to be discoveries of small pockets of CNG around some parts of Nepal.

here’s the video and excerpt from podtech:

FTI International Group, Inc., is an Ontario, Canada-based company specializing in dispensing systems for CNG, LNG, Hydrogen, Hythane as well as compressor systems and conversion kits. Their markets are primarliy in Asia, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh (and, perhaps surprisingly, not North America). Company President and COO Peter Wressell has his opinions as to why North America isn’t a big market for these gases and I spoke with him at the Alternative Fuels & Transportation Expo in Anaheim, Calif.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from posted with vodpod
PodTech link

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hydro-power without dams

Posted by Sandeep Puri on March 15, 2008

There was an article in the Economist about free-standing turbines.
The basic idea is to harness the power of water currents without building dams. Much progress has recently been made in the design of these turbines including vertical helical turbines allowing generators (with electrical components) to reside above water, current-aligning turbines anchored on submerged platforms and turbines with newly designed integrated generators.

Possibly something to look at for Nepal’s rivers without affecting the flow of water as dams would do.

Lucid Energy Helical Turbine

Lucid Energy Helical Turbine

UEK Underwater electric kite (current aligning)

UEK Underwater electric kite (current aligning)

Openhydro submerged turbine platform with integrated generators

Openhydro submerged turbine platform with integrated generators

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