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Posted by Sathyamurthy www.sathyamurthy.com on September 14, 2008

Engineering student’s solution to power crisis

Invention: The windmill developed by K. Senthilkumar

SATHYAMANGALAM: Of the 400-plus computers at the Bannari Amman Institute of Technology, 20 are greener. They do not run on the conventional power the college gets. Powering the machines, instead, is a small windmill, put up by K. Senthilkumar, a second year engineering student.

The wind turbine is designed to run in winds blowing at three miles an hour. The regular ones operate at 23.5 miles per hour. “I wanted the windmill to run in low speeds, be small, compact and home-usable,” the budding engineer explains.

At a wind speed of three miles an hour, the turbine makes 60 rotations per minute, which is enough to generate around 850 watts. Greater the wind speed more is the power produced.

Mr. Senthilkumar, pursuing computer science and not mechanical or electrical engineering, says with the wind speed, all household electrical equipment, including a two-tonne air conditioner, compressor for drawing water and grinder, can be operated. “In my calculation, a household requires about 1,000 watts a day, which the windmill can easily provide. The excess power the windmill generates is sent to a battery with an eight-hour backup,” says the boy who pursues computer science and not mechanical or electrical engineering.

He says the windmill can be set atop any building and in open space as well, as it requires only 16 sq.ft. “It will work even in congested residential areas because it has been designed to operate at low wind speeds.”

Designing the windmill took him about a year and Rs. 75,000. “I got the idea at my farm, on seeing the water flowing out of a compressor. Initially it started as a water turbine and then became a wind turbine.”

He did it as part of an engineering competition.

Source: http://www.hindu.com/2008/09/14/stories/2008091454880600.htm

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