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Healthy Child Makes a Happy Home!

  • Saturday, 18 October 2014
  • by
  • Rajesh K

  • Don't you think that's right? Healthy child makes a happy home. If you have a child in your house, you'll realize the truth in that sentence!
    A healthy child maybe naughty, may create a ruckus in the house and around, may break carefully bought utensils and toys, may shout at the loudest of decibels, may run all over the house and the street, may do everything possible to avoid eating food, may cry at will, may demand your time, money, and love.
    But, just when we feel we are tired of their very presence in our lives, they may fall sick. And then we realize what a precious source of activity/energy we miss, even if only for a few moments. 
    When I was young, I have fallen a prey to many types of illness. Right from common cold, fever to measels. It is possible to take medicines and temporarily cure diseases, which is what I did back then, but isn't it better to prevent illnesses before they even take root?
    It is not for nothing that wise old people tell us food is the best medicine. But with food getting contaminated with all kinds of chemicals, and families not having time anymore to cook carefully prepared healthy meals to kids, it's the kids' health that goes for a toss.
    Not to forget all that money spent at hospitals, and more chemicals that go into our body in the form of drugs and medicines. The less said about our modern medicine, the better.
    That's a good reason why it is important to take healthy supplementary food options like the Dabur Chavanparash that boosts immunity and prevents diseases at its core. Healthy food = Less ailments. As simple as that.
    It is easy to be tempted with all the modern day foods like pizzas and burgers, but all of us know they are not the healthiest option out there. Especially for kids. Fast food is one of the unhealthy result of our unsustainable development, but as with anything else, that too is fine only if eaten occasionally.
    Is it possible to stop kids from eating tasty (and unhealthy) fast foods, especially when they are available all around our place? That's why it makes a lot of sense to invest in children's health by providing them with healthy supplementary foods made of natural products and herbs. Our ancestors knew how to maintain a good health and their formula has not been totally lost, thanks to a few companies like Dabur.
    It is always better to improve the immunity of the body (especially for kids) instead of trying to cure illness caused due to bad lifestyle practices and wrong food habits. Dabur Chavanparash contains herbal ingredients like Ashwagandha, guduchi, satavari, bala, vidarikhand, etc. that help children boost immunity and stay healthy.
    Have a look at the Dabur Chavanparash website for yourself.

    Switch to healthier living. Switch to Renewable Energy!

    What Diwali Means to Me & My Parents

  • by
  • Rajesh K

  • What Diwali Means to My Parents/Others:

    Diwali means joy to (almost) everyone around me. That includes a previous version of myself until a few years back!

    Early morning oil-bath, competition to burst the first cracker in the apartment/street, showing off by bursting the fanciest and flashiest crackers, finding out where atom bombs are being burst and staying safely away from it, looking at all those million lamps in the streets, enjoying the lights and sounds in the sky.

    Eating tasty sweets/food specially prepared for the occasion or bought from shops, exchanging sweets with neighbors/relatives, visiting relatives/grandparents, watching special Diwali programs on TV, watching new movies released on Diwali, calling and greeting others.

    Buying more crackers because every single one has been burst, taking up the challenge of crossing a street/ground from one end to another while people are bursting crackers all over, alerting others when they are about to step on live bombs, walking through all the paper bits strewn across the street, visiting a Temple, playing and shouting with friends/relatives. 

    Wishing people on Facebook/Twitter, sleeping like a robot in the afternoon after all that action in the morning, lighting up homes with lamps, watching others' homes lit with lamps, sending Happy Diwali SMS/greetings to friends, feeling bad about the rain that interrupts cracker-bursting sessions, shopping for the best deals due to Diwali discounts.

    Buying loads of new clothes, wearing (at least) two different sets of new clothes, decorating homes, dressing up kids in the best of colors, traveling, taking loads of photos/videos and sharing them on Facebook, lighting and playing with flowerpots and chakras, launching rockets that illuminate the skies with different colors, watching the Diwali special movie shown in the TV.

    What Diwali Means to Me:

    Silence & Doing Nothing. 

    Not bursting crackers because they cause noise & pollution, because they frighten away dogs/birds and other creatures that live among us, because it will inconvenience elders, because crackers make it difficult for others to move around, because accidents and burned clothes can be avoided.

    Knowing that crackers have been made using exploited child labor in rural communities who would otherwise have had a chance to get educated/be free if not for these factories.

    Wanting to reduce the environmental impacts due to all those chemicals getting into the soil and mixing with ground/water, wanting to reduce the heaps of waste, wanting to save trees, wanting to prevent damage to a few ears, wanting to reduce air, land, and noise pollution. 

    Being a conscious citizen by not contributing towards global warming, being fine and even proud of putting the interests of voiceless beings - animals, plants, elders, toddlers, etc. before our own.

    Growing up to realize that bursting crackers which cause so much damage to the environment are not the only way to have all the fun, finding happiness in others' joyful faces and words, connecting with my soul through music unmindful of all those loud sounds outside.

    I gave up bursting crackers before a few years. Now I feel Evolved. Empowered. Responsible. Content.

    Switch to a greener earth. Switch to renewable energy.

    Declaration: This post has been written for an IndiBlogger contest sponsored by Pepsico. Have a look at the GharwaliDiwali website and their promo video -


    Zigor Hybrid Inverters: Connect Solar, Wind, Batteries, Grid & Generator

  • Monday, 13 October 2014
  • by
  • Rajesh K
  • In the recent RENERGY 2014 expo at Chennai Trade Center, I came across a stall by Zigor, the manufacturer of Hybrid Inverters for connecting multiple renewable energy technologies (solar & wind), grid, batteries, and even generators. Zigor is headquartered in Spain and has a direct office in Pune, India. 

    Among other products, Zigor manufactures Solar On-Grid Inverters, Solar-Wind On-Grid Inverters and Hybrid Inverters for Small, Medium, and High power solutions covering 0.3 kVA to 1350 kVA on four different topologies, as given below -

    • KIT assemblies of DC/AC Inverters with PWM & MPPT regulator controls, and battery controllers for low-cost requirements. 
    • HIS11 Compact for remote telecom sites, domestic users, small power grids, etc. covering 4 kW - 6.6 kW. 
    • HIT3C for medium power grid, small communities, water pumping, etc. covering 30 kW - 100 kW. 
    • HIT3D for Multi-MW generation, distributed hybrid micro grids, etc. covering 150 kVA - 1350 kVA. 
    They also manufacture and supply micro wind turbines in the range of 300 W - 6000 W. Remote control and monitoring web server based SCADA firmware is embedded into systems. 

    For further info, refer to Zigor website or this technical document

    Surge Protectors for PV (PhotoVoltaic) Systems: CITEL

  • Wednesday, 24 September 2014
  • by
  • Rajesh K
  • Surge Protection Devices in Solar Farms:

    During the recently concluded RENREGY 2014 Renewable Energy expo at Chennai Trade Center, I came across a stall put up by CITEL. It seems, they manufacture surge protectors for PhotoVoltaic systems (Solar PV systems). They have specific SPD models for different types of PV Systems. 

    CITEL supplies surge protectors for PV systems for the following applications: 
    But why are surge protectors required for PV Systems?

    They are required to protect Solar PV systems (Inverters, etc.) from transient over-voltage/electrical surges during lightning strikes. These devices also protect against Temporary Over Voltage (ToV). Depending on the application, surge protectors maybe required on both the AC and DC sides of the Inverter that connects to the grid and solar panels, respectively (among other locations). 

    Please note: Surge Protection Devices (SPD) are not a substitute for grounding. All PV installations need to be properly grounded, and SPDs work along with the grounding mechanism to provide additional protection against lightning damages.

    Surge protection devices in Public Buildings: 

    An Introduction to CITEL VG Surge Protectors for PV Systems: 


    Harness the Energy of the Sea Waves - It's possible!

  • Tuesday, 16 September 2014
  • by
  • Rajesh K
  • Think about it: Sea Waves are an endless source of energy available in all coastal areas! There are companies that manufacture equipment that can harness the energy of sea waves, now. I am not sure if any of them have operations in India, but it is useful to know what exists. 

    Even better than wave energy, maybe the offshore wind turbines. These are large wind turbines that are placed deep into the sea where the wind currents are very high. They are large-scale (MW(s)-sized) and efficient. However offshore wind turbines are very expensive to built and they need specialized ships, equipment and skills to mount and maintain. This technology is outside the purview of many countries, and India is just experimenting with a pilot project.

    Wave energy, on the other hand, though is less forceful, has more kinetic energy than wind. Hence it is possible to generate electricity in smaller scale using smaller/inexpensive devices, especially if they are designed and manufactured with local conditions in mind. Also, since waves are available throughout the day, even through their intensity might vary, electricity production can be achieved 24x7. 

    In this post, I want to highlight two manufacturers of wave energy harnessing devices (from Scotland, Israel), and one invention from India - IWAVE that converts wave/tidal energy into electricity. 

    Aquamarine Power: 

    Aquamarine Power, based in Scotland, UK, has devised an interesting technology to harness the energy of sea waves. They call it Oyster wave energy technology. See the above introductory video. 

    This device can be placed near the shore (500 meters) in ten-meter deep waters. It is attached to the sea bed and the large even surface plate bends forward and backward as the wave approaches and recedes. It pumps compressed water to an on-shore hydro electric power generating plant using under-sea pipelines, and the hydro plant generates electricity. This power is completely renewable. They say that the device has a life of 20 years and it is possible to maintain/repair/remove the unit whenever required. This is one company that is close to setting up megawatt-scale wave energy farms in the UK. 

    You can find more info about them from here: Aquamarine power

    Eco Wave Power: 

    Eco Wave Power, based in Israel, is another company specializing in manufacturing wave energy devices. See the above video for an introduction to their EWP wave energy devices. 

    They have two products: The Wave Clapper and Power Wing. They use a combination of uniquely-shaped buoys to convert the motion of waves into electricity. Their system also comes with storm protection and corrosion protection mechanisms. It can be arranged in a flexible modular structure, based on the required capacity. Here also, the energy of the motion of floats is delivered to an on-shore generator via undersea cables, which produces electricity. 

    You can find more info about them from here: Eco Wave Power


    IWAVE is a device that converts wave/tidal energy into electrical energy, designed by someone from our very own India. This is a floating structure attached to the seabed via cables, and can be positioned approximately 500 meters away from the coast. The energy of the rising wave drives a piston which in turn drives the crankshaft by half a turn. The receding wave helps complete the remaining half turn. This motion drives a generator which produces electricity. This generator can be placed next to the device. 

    Have a look at this page for more information about IWAVE. The contact details of the inventor is also available there. 

    India has tested two wave energy pilot projects earlier, but has not ventured into commercial wave energy generation. There is a lot of potential as we have 7500 KM of coastal area, but we need to overcome many limitations, including: Technical design that is efficient, cost effective & easily maintainable; ability to withstand high tides and forceful waves; ability to resist corrosion; nonavailability of specialized resources and manpower to design and manufacture, etc. However, wave energy is one renewable energy technology that we can start focusing on from now in order to supplement energy from other renewable/conventional sources. 

    If someone wants to design an effective wave energy device, but is finding it difficult to procure modelling software, etc., please have a look at the open source wave energy modeling initiative by the DoE and NASA of US. You can contribute to that project, as well as use it to design more efficient wave energy systems: Details here

    Data Monitoring System for Solar Plants: Innorel Systems

  • Wednesday, 3 September 2014
  • by
  • Rajesh K
  • During the recently concluded RENERGY 2014 expo at Chennai, I came across a company that makes Data Monitoring Systems for Solar Plants. The name of the company is Innorel Systems and they are based out of Bangalore, India. 

    According to their webpage, they say that their solution involves attaching a wireless sensor to each solar module that in turn creates a self-healing ISM Band wireless mesh local network. These sensors communicate important parameters of individual solar modules to a centralized gateway, which in turn communicates to the cloud-based data analytics system. They say that each gateway can handle data from up to 500 modules and hence the system is expandable. In addition to monitoring individual module status/performance, they also monitor Inverter & battery performance and present all that data using a central graphical interface for easy interpretation. 

    But what does one do with all this data? They say that their data analytics system will help predict energy generation, and will be a crucial part in operation and maintenance of the entire plant (including monitoring/notification during malfunction, faults, etc.). 

    It is possible to view reports/status using web-based or app-based remote monitoring systems like computers or mobiles. Customers can also get SMS/email reports during failures/regular intervals, respectively. 

    This article has been written to introduce this data monitoring system/concept for solar modules and is not a testimonial for their product/services. 

    Further Information: Innorel Systems

    Wind Projects: Training Program on EIA - Environmental Impact Assessment

  • Thursday, 21 August 2014
  • by
  • Rajesh K
  • I got a mail from Center for Science and Environment (CSE) informing me that they are conducting a free 3-day training program in Ahmedabad (3-5 September, 2014) on Environmental Impact Assessment for Wind Energy projects. I thought I should share it on this blog, for the benefit of readers. 

    This training program, according to their info, will help project managers reduce the environmental impact of wind energy projects and will help them make sound decisions at various stages of the project management. 

    During the course, they'll be discussing on applicable policy, guidelines, legal provisions for wind energy sector in India, importance/impact of EIA in wind power projects, importance of avian fauna assessment, technique and evaluation, how to prepare environmental management plan, best practices for wind power sector, and other related topics. 

    It seems, this free training program is open for industries, regulatory institutions, NGOs, consultants, students, among others. Prior registration is required. Lunch, course materials will be provided. 

    For further details on this training program on EIA, refer here

    SolarMobil Solar Car by Manipal Institute of Technology

  • Wednesday, 20 August 2014
  • by
  • Rajesh K

  • Video Introduction:

    There are a very few students with a game-changing vision. Fewer still, execute their vision with concrete actions. Here are 32 students from from various departments of Manipal Institue of Technology who have designed (and are building) a commercial Solar Car - The SolarMobil SERVe (Solar Electric Road Vehicle). That's not just all - They are going to test the endurance of the vehicle in SASOL (South Africa), which is a tough global competition that requires solar vehicles to cover 3000 KM within 8 days. If their solar car completes that goal successfully, driving on normal roads will be a breeze! 

    Some facts about the SolarMobil SERVe Solar Car:

    1. Four wheeled two passenger solar electric car. 
    2. L x W x H = 4.4m x 1.75m x 1.28m. 
    3. Weight: 400 Kg.
    4. Solar panels: 1 KW rated 6 sq. m monocrystalline solar panels. 
    5. Solar panel efficiency: 20%.
    6. Battery: Li-Ion; 13 kWhr; 63 Kg; 250+ KM range. 
    7. Runs at (top speed): 120 Kmph.
    They have already tested the car with Direct Solar Drive Technology for 52 hours, which enables the vehicle to run directly with the energy received from solar panels (without batteries). They were able to achieve a top speed of 17 Kmph, with an average of 14 Kmph. 

    The best part of the project is, while most teams from across the world spend around 5-6 crores to design and build a car like this, they have been able to do it by spending twenty times less. Do have a look at the above embedded video to understand how much work has been done on the technical front, to make such an ambitious project feasible. 

    However, they are still short of funds. Both individuals and companies can help them reach their crowd-funding target (5 Lakhs) which is open for contribution until 14th September 2014. Here's the link: https://www.wishberry.in/campaign/solarmobil/ (Even if you don't contribute, please help spread the word by sharing it in your Facebook wall, Twitter, blog, etc.).

    I think this is an excellent initiative by an Indian college and hope more students will take up exciting and challenging projects in the renewable energy & cleantech sector. 

    Let's make the world greener, together :)

    Further info: SolarMobil Manipal WordPress blog;
    Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SolarmobilMIT

    Intersolar Awards for Solar Projects in India

  • Tuesday, 12 August 2014
  • by
  • Rajesh K
  • This year, Intersolar Global has created a new category of awards for Solar Projects in India. If your firm or company has implemented a solar photovoltaic or solar thermal project that stands out wrt. any/all of the following parameters, you can apply for the award. 
    • Pioneering character
    • Uniqueness
    • Economic benefit
    • Benefits for the environment and society
    • Degree of technological innovation
    • Proof of innovation
    • Presentation
    There are three award categories: Off Grid Solutions, Industrial and Commercial Use, Utility-scale Projects. 

    As you maybe aware, Intersolar conducts the popular Intersolar expo & conference around the world, and this year, it will be held from November 18 - 20, 2014 in Mumbai. More details on Intersolar India 2014 can be found here

    The registration form for the Solar Projects in India requires you to fill your exhibitor profile for Intersolar expo. Hence, I guess the awards are open to companies that exhibit in their exhibition. But, Intersolar India 2014 is also an option, hence you may still apply if you intend to exhibit during this year's exhibition (I guess). 

    The awards will be presented as a part of the official prize distribution ceremony function during the Intersolar 2014 expo, is what their website says. They also say that the award will give a lot of publicity to the finalists and winners (not sure if there is a monetary award - the site doesn't say anything about it). 

    The last date for application submission for Intersolar Solar Projects in India is September 12, 2014. Here is the registration form and here is where you can get more details about the award. 

    Can you design a Smaller Inverter? Participate in The Little Box Challenge

  • Tuesday, 29 July 2014
  • by
  • Rajesh K
  • An Inverter is a device that converts DC current output from solar modules, wind turbines, etc. into AC current, which is required for powering residential/commercial (electrical) devices. Google, along with IEEE, has recently announced The Little Box Challenge that requires you to design a smaller Inverter than what is currently available. 

    To be specific, they want you to design and build a KW-scale Inverter with the highest power density (50W per cubic inch). That means, the existing water cooler-sized Inverters need to be shrunk to the size of tablets! So, if you belong to a company or research institution that specializes in designing/building such complicated electrical power engineering components, you might want to participate in this contest. 

    Because, they are giving away one million dollars to the winner. And the winner can be from any country, across the world. Only, once your design is selected, you'll need to be able to build a working model and carry it to a testing facility in the United States. If your company/org. will support you with that, anyone can participate. 

    Google is looking to build such a small scale Inverter because they want it to run their data centers more efficiently, and perhaps use renewable energy also. But such an Inverter will have many applications in everyday life, especially in the field of renewable energy and electric mobility. So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and participate if you can! Do remember: The last date for registering your team is September 30, 2014. There doesn't seem to be any entry costs. 

    Technical Details: The Little Box Challenge specifications & testing info (pdf document). 

    Solar South: B2B Solar Expo in Chennai

  • Friday, 18 July 2014
  • by
  • Rajesh K
  • Solar South is a B2B expo focused on Solar Energy that is being held at Chennai Trade Center, Nandambakkam (Chennai, Tamil Nadu) from July 18 - 20, 2014. According to their brochure, they expect manufacturers, suppliers, installers, integrators, project developers, consultants, architects, real estate developers, Govt. officials, policy makers, investors, venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, to attend this expo. Since it's a Business targeted expo, I am not sure how much space will be allocated for consumer-based products (if any). 

    I am planning to go to this expo tomorrow (Sunday). I will update you all on interesting products and services I find there. I think manufacturers from abroad are also scheduled to attend this event, will check if anything new is available with them (for the benefit of solar industry in India).

    If you are a part of business, organization, manufacturing company, or an entrepreneur looking to start a business venture, you should definitely attend this expo. With the Govt. allocating huge funds for alternative energy implementations, solar module prices are going to come down shortly. Solar energy will be the most sought after due to ease/flexibility of implementation and availability of sunlight almost throughout the year. 

    Further Info: Solar South website
    In this blog, I am taking baby steps to enable myself (and others) to adopt renewable energy technologies. Only if we know all the options available to us, we will be able to take informed and meaningful decisions, right?

    Let us learn what renewable energy technology options we have, who provides them and at what cost.

    Frankly, renewable energy in India (and perhaps the world) is still in its adolescence - Let us help it become a confident Man/Woman! And in the process, let us debate, analyze, form opinions and break them so that we can achieve the Utopian dream of Energy Security through Renewable Energy. Are you with me?

    Rajesh K - solarwindhydroenergy[at]gmail[dot]com

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