Sunday, January 8, 2012

Solar collector/steam engine generator vs solar cells experimenting in the country of BELIZE.

Solar tower project, by TinyTech of India, who claims it produces 5 h.p. of electrical energy, by producing steam to run a steam engine/generator built also by them.

I had built a parabolic reflector, solar oven in Belize one time, and still have the double glass pane oven in storage. The reflector made of wood and beaverboard, covered over with aluminum foil, applied by using cheap Elmers glue, is long gone, due to weather and wind damage. However, for an experiment it did work. The process for cooking took about 4 hours to make rice at low temperatures, or stews and such. Unfortunately, we found that cooking by butane one burner gas stove was cheap enough, to do away with the more laborious and slow process of cooking one meal a day, by the solar cooker. We did not have mirrors here in Western Belize, but can buy flat plain glass. Don´t know how to make a mirror out of plain glass yet though.

Have looked at solar reflector electric generation over the years theoretically, but since it only works when you have sunshine, could not find much use for it. Nice to read Tinytech in India, have built one. For pragmatic purposes, we need something that will be automated and produce electricity 24 hours by 7 days a week. Our goal would be to feed back to the National BEL grid in Belize. There is a market for about 9 mgwatts of electricity in Belize, but how to do it cheaper than diesel generators, or at a lower cost is still not resolved. We have been exploring steam engine power, but run into the same problems of cost versus the competitive diesel produced electricity generation.

From V.K. Desai, his philosphy per rural India, much of which does not have any electricity yet.


We should think to create happy planet.

But first of all we should think what we mean by happy planet. Very nice wide highways connecting big cities is not the sign of happy planet. Big cities with tall buildings is not the sign of happy planet. Fast air conditioned trains and planes is not the sign of happy planet. Big factories producing mass products is not the sign of happy planet. Big universities, colleges, hospitals, administrative buildings etc is not the sign of happy planet.

Happiness lies in freedom. Freedom of earning the livelihood without any body's interference, without any tension, without any exploitation, without any helplessness is the real happiness. Freedom lies in working for self as per own conscience, not as per others instruction as slave simply for livelyhood. Free independent farmer with his own land producing grains, vegetables, pulses, fruits etc must be the happiest person on the earth, if he is not exploited. This should be the happiest life style on the earth. Majority must be farmers. Let us make them happy by using solar energy. Let us think how we can reshape the world.

One horse power is equivalent to 10 men power. If we create 5 horse power of solar energy, it is equivalent to 50 men power. If we create 5 hp solar power plant for farmer, he will use 50 men power free of cost. Here lies the secret of creating the wealth in villages. In fact industrial revolution used this secret to exploit the entire world for the benefit of handful of people. 1 MW power is equivalent to 14000 men power. 100 MW thermal power plant is equivalent to 1400000 men powers. So wherever men power is used, it is replaced by electricity, throwing the people jobless and enjoying the fruits of electricity by only one person. The work which is done by 100 people in 8 hours can be easily done by 10 hp ( 7 KW ) electric motor running 8 hours. This means consuming only 7 KW x 8 hours equals to 56 KWH which cost only 56 x Rs 5 = Rs 280 ( about US$ 6 only ). But if this 100 people were to work instead of electricity, we have to pay them bare minimum for their livelihood Rs 100 per day x 100 workers = Rs 10000 ( at least US$ 220 ). So look at the vast difference. If factory owner employs 100 workers, he has to pay US$ 220, but if he drives out all 100 workers and uses electricity he has to pay only US$ 6. So replacing men power by a machine power will earn him 220/6 is equal to 37 times higher profit. In this way 4 billion people on this earth have been thrown on the street to starve and to die and 1 billion people is just hand to mouth to meet both the ends together hardly and fruits of all this 5 billion people are enjoyed by 2 billion people and especially a handful of industrialist and rich people. So all these centralized thermal power plants, nuclear power plants, hydro projects, grid electricity etc is used for the benefit of handful of multi billionaire people and hence it is evil.

We can break this entire structure by solar energy which is gift of God. So let us create 50 millions of tiny solar power plants of 5 to 10 hp. It will pump water from the well, it will run the threshers to separate the grain, it will make rice from paddy, it will gin cotton to separate cotton seed, it will spin cotton to make yarn, it will weave yarn to make cloth, it will crush sugarcane to make sugarcane juice and jaggery from it, it will grind wheat to get wheat flour, it will run oil expeller to get cooking oil. All activities will be done in the farms not even in villages. Farmers will live in the farms and will get prosperity by creating value added products. All unemployed people in villages will get immediate employment. On the contrary there will be dearth of men power required to operate small industries in the farms. So unemployed people living in slums in the cities will come to villages and farms, to work under nature and to become happy in villages. Please think over the significance of 50 millions of tiny solar power plants of 5 HP to 10 HP say it is of 5 KW x 50 million equal to 250 million KW equal to 250000 MW. This is double the power than all centralized, exploitative, polluting, giant power plants produce to exploit poor rural India. In this scheme fuel cost is ZERO, transport is minimum, where transport is minimum, happiness will be maximum and where transport is maximum, happiness will be minimum.

To make this picture realistic, essential equipment is solar concentrator. It collects sunshine and creates heat energy which is converted into mechanical energy by steam engine or by stirling engine.

So first let us concentrate on solar concentrator. It is very easy to make large solar concentrator. It is so easy to construct a solar concentrator that you cannot believe it. Single solar concentrator of 90 to 100 sq mt is easy to make. I can teach free of cost how to make it, no big knowledge is required, no engineer is required, primary education is quite enough to make it. Inner skill of even illiterate person is enough to understand its technology. So village carpenter or village blacksmith can easily manufacture large solar concentrator. One large solar concentrator will produce 5 hp power. Please remember making a large solar concentrator is equivalent to producing 50 robots for us. It is not essential to use costly steel for making solar concentrator, wood also will do. Bamboo also can work, very simple workshop tools will be enough to make solar concentrator.

Desai goes on in the same philosphical vein. But the same problem arises as electricity raises the standard of living of rural people. The big problem is how to store electricity, to carry you through 24 hrs x 7 days a week, when the sun doesn´t shine. Battery banks have proven to be expensive and fairly short life time. ( 3 to 5 years ) Solar cell panels do the same as a solar collector with less labor, and our country is relatively labor expensive. With $25 usa per day for labor in Western Belize and $60 usa per day on the offshore islands, including accomodation and meals. A number of such alternatives have been explored practically in Belize, by a number of experimenters.

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