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The Power of slow moving water

While Bangalore, basks in the glory of its achievement in IT, in a remote village at the outskirts of the city, a revolution had been taking place unnoticed. For almost two years K Balakrishna, the former councillor of Seegahalli had been slogging ov

The result was SKB apparatus for power generation. An invention by just a seventh class educated person, who speaks only in Kannada and understands Tamil and Telegu, has really put him in the category of 'unsung heroes'.

Energy-starved countries continuously search for alternative sources. Balakrishna tapped the energy from small streams and flows seen in our daily lives. Water and effluent drains in urban and rural areas of India are one such source whose dynamic energy is utilised via a cylindrical drum with helical blades. Balakrishna's 30 KVA pilot project holds vast potential for energy generation and conservation. He got patent for his SKB power generator in May 2010 and a proposal for higher capacity,-5 MW SKB, hydro power generating rotating apparatus by slow flow of water is under consideration. It would cost only Rs 21.5 crore if approved, which is much below compared to conventional hydro projects.

"The tragic scenes of destruction created by Tsunami, baffled me. It made me spend sleepless nights, pondering on the power of water. With only common sense for a tool and determination, I made the first protype," he said.

The device he invented is up and running in Seegahalli, near Bangalore. He made use of sewage water that flows in his village to experiment his invention. The prototype measured only 3 ft long. Balakrishna connected the turbo to a chain bracket and a dynamo, allowed water to flow into the device.

"The prototype was ready in 20 days but it took nearly two years for perfection. The final and present device weighs 5 tonnes, is 35 ft long, 4 ft in diameter at the front and 7.5 meter in diameter at the rear," Balakrishna explained. The implementation of this project will give farmer electricity at Rs 2 per unit compared to Rs 4 being charged by state agencies. Today 15 KV wind power costs Rs 1.10 crore.

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