PlanetNepal Blog

Ideas for Nepal

Posts Tagged ‘energy’

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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Power of garbage

Posted by Sandeep Puri on March 10, 2010

Trapped lightning could help zap trash and generate electricity

Trash is loaded with the energy trapped in its chemical bonds. Plasma gasification, a technology that has been in development for decades, could finally be ready to extract it.

Excerpt from Scientific American.. part of a series of articles about world changing ideas.

The research could have repercussions on energy production in the developing world where trash is as much a big problem in terms of health..

Full article at

See also

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Backpack hydropower of 500 watts

Posted by Sandeep Puri on March 1, 2010

Bourne energy introduces back pack hydropower plant…

Some thing like this could easily provide power for research stations, outposts, remote schools in Nepal..

The BackPack Power Plant – Type 1 (BPP-1) is a man-portable renewable energy generator only 3 feet in length and weighing less than 30 pounds. Each unit is self-contained with its own integrated power, control, cooling and sensor systems. The unit collapses into a backpack size module with the generator, hub and folded blades stored inside.
The unit produces approximately 500 W/unit high quality continuous power
depending on river current. The BackPack Power Plant can be set up singularly
or in arrays of over 30 kW.
backpack hydro

Wired article

Bourne Energy

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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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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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