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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Water mill designed by an illiterate Farmer - Siddappa

Siddappa, an illiterate farmer from Somapur village in Gadag district of Karnataka, has designed a water mill to generate electricity. Right from conceptualizing to materialisation, the farmer has done everything on his own. He operates the water mill in the canal near his house.
Using timbers, Siddappa prepared a giant wheel that joined at a central hub. There are eight arms, five feet each, extending from the central hub. A plastic bucket is dangled at the tip of each arm. When the water from two pipes gushes into one of the buckets, it generates the pressure that turns the 10-feet wheel in an anti-clockwise motion. The bucket could also be spun in the horizontal plane using a central steering wheel, similar to a teacup ride. As one after another bucket is driven by the flowing water, the first arm declines back to the ground while the other rises in the air. This process spins the black wheel attached to this giant wheel. The spinning black wheel rotates another wheel connected to a dynamo.
(He used eight plastic containers, a wooden pole, and waste spare parts, from agriculture equipment like harvesting machine, and tractors to prepare the structure. A dynamo is used, to convert the energy from the force of the water into electrical energy. He claims that he can run at least three bulbs of 25 watts, round the clock.)
A converter converts the Direct Current from the dynamo into Alternating Current through a battery and inverter, which help operate television, radio, and fan in his house inside an agricultural field. Siddappa claims to have spent a mere Rs 5000 on building the entire apparatus. This is his second attempt to show the villagers that anybody can produce electricity for self-consumption using the resources at hand. “Many people who have canals flowing near their villages don’t know how to use that natural gift. I want to show them all practically that electricity problems can be solved by being creative. There is no need to beg to the government for everything,” he says.

He is also planning to lift water from the nearby Malaprabha River through the pump set, utilising the power generated. Siddappa stays in his 16-acre agriculture land, along with his wife, three sons and a daughter. Siddappa also supplies power to his brother’s house situated in the same farm.
His creative work has paid dividends, as the children have access to electricity round-the-clock for studies. He has already received widespread appreciation for generating wind power, through an axle fitted with iron sheets.
“We lived without power supply on our farm for more than 20 years. Now, we have our own power through wind and waste water,” he said.
He gets 150 watts of power from this water mill when water flows in the canal. Siddappa claims he can create electricity for the entire village through his machine. But the problem is that the canal in his village flows only for three months a year!

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