Wednesday, May 16, 2012

How to overcome summer energy shortage?

As the summer peaks power shortage has become a serious problem in India.Approximately 20% of electricity in India is generated from hydro projects. During summer water level falls considerably making it difficult for power generation. Add to this, the problem associated with petroleum and coal industry, power sector in India is under serious pressure during this summer. I was thinking about potential solutions for the problem and came up with some solutions. Even though I am not sure about its practical difficulties I would like to share my initial ideas.

In a state like Kerala there is plenty of rainfall during monsoon season. This high density rain fall during short period  results in flooding of rivers and excess water runs away to the ocean in no time. So it become useless.  If we can store the kinetic energy of natural river sources during monsoon we can use it later. I was thinking about a motor in which rotor is rotated using the high kinetic energy of river water to pump water from same river. The water should be pumped to tanks at some height above the ground level  so that it can be used later for irrigation projects or mini power projects.I do not know the technical viability of the project. Also I am not sure about theoretical problems associated with such a system. But just something that came to my mind when I was thinking.

Other method that can be used for storage of kinetic energy is hydrolysis of water. This high speed running water can be used to run a temporary portable  hydrolysis system which consists of a generator and hydrolysis apparatus. Hydrogen so produced can be  stored and used later for power generation. You might wonder why hydrolysis? we can directly power the grid with electricity generated, which will be more efficient. Yes that is possible but during monsoon we have excess electricity. Problem is mainly during summer so I was more thinking about storing excess energy during monsoon for a scarce summer.

Another area to exploit is lightning. There is high amount of power delivered to earth in a short time. Initially I was thinking about a hydrolysis mechanism which uses the current from the lightning. But as I searched internet it showed that amount of current[I] is relatively less during lightning.Voltage[V] is high and as a result power is also high but hydrolysis is more dependent on current[I] flowing through the circuit. So it is not commercially feasible to setup such a structure. But still we can carryout researches. This is one field where there have been limited development. If we can find some feasible methods it will help to control power shortages  across the world.

1 comment:

  1. Another doubt came to my mind is that in many parts of india daily wages for workers is less than 100 or just around hundred rupees. I would like to know what is average units of electricity that a man can produce if he rotates a generator turbine for about 4-6 hours. If it is more than 15 units then it is definitely interesting because the price of electricity per unit has gone up to 8 and above in some parts. So that will be a new job opportunity created for people.