Local Innovation to Solve Electricity Problems

Siddappa, a farmer from Somapur village in Gadag district of Karnataka, designed a water mill to generate electricity. Believing that electricity problems can be solved by being creative and innovative, Siddappa took up the challenge to show the villagers that anybody can produce electricity for self-consumption by using the resources at hand.

Right from conceptualizing to materialisation, the farmer has done everything on his own. Using timbers, he 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.

A converter converts the Direct Current from the dynamo into Alternating Current. Siddappa claims to have spent a mere Rs 5000 on building the entire apparatus. He gets 150 watts of power from this water mill when water flows in the canal. He 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!

The brilliant innovation, as discussed in an article by NK Suprabha, shows how creativity and innovation can provide solutions to many daunting situations. This is what we intend to do at our fourth edition of Design Public Conclave: come up with innovations to solve the biggest challenges facing our country today.

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