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Essay on Alpine Hydro Village
- Essay on the Introduction to Alpine Hydro Village
- Essay on the Need for Change in Alpine Hydro Village
- Essay on the Appropriate Technology Used in Alpine Hydro Village
- Essay on the Use of Hydraulic Ram in Alpine Hydro Village
- Essay on the Use of Himalaya Mill in Alpine Hydro Village
- Essay on the Use of Floating Mill in Alpine Hydro Village
- Essay on Hydro Village
- Essay on the Conclusions to Alpine Hydro Village
Essay # 1. Introduction to Alpine Hydro Village:
India is a country of villages. These villages vary in size and population and are scattered all over the country. Some of these are located on the hills and in dense forests and can be reached only on foot or by pony. They have no road connections to other villages, towns and cities.
The population of these villages may be one hundred to two hundred people. Most of them earn their living by cultivating the land, growing fruits and some of them may be craftsmen who earn their living by weaving woolen carpets, by making earthen pots, by weaving baskets and even by making beautiful carved articles from wood, brass or other local materials. Some of them keep catties like cows, sheep and goats and make their living on animal yields. In a nutshell, life is hard and hilly villages are very low income areas.
The main wealth of hilly areas is vegetation varying according to temperature, soil and rain and mainly depends upon the altitude. Near the base of the mountains the vegetation will be thick evergreen forests while the top of the mountains will have no vegetation, but will be covered with eternal snows. The vegetation belts of the Himalayas are given in Table 1.
The valleys are surrounded by the mountains and are protected from the cold winds blowing on the mountains. The climate is warm and the soil is more fertile than that of the mountains. In almost all valleys, there are rivers and sometime lakes. Good crops especially fruits like apples, pears, cherries, etc., can be grown in the valleys.
India has made great strides in industrialization during post-independence year. This has brought prosperity to a selected few and created concentrated centres of employment near the industrial complexes and big cities where economic activities have flourished. The material and energy resources have been diverted to feed these industrial and commercial ‘gluttons’.
The high technology industry could not penetrate the hilly areas. The population of these areas felt neglected and many of them are flocking to the new economy centres in search of their livelihood.
The continuous migration of population and uneven distribution of wealth, material and energy resources have created many social and political problems which can lead to very serious consequences, if not further checked.
Essay # 2. Need for Change in Alpine Hydro Village:
The continuous flux of population to new economy centres has created the problems of mushrooming of slums and destruction of social life; the introduction of high technology will give birth to widespread unemployment. These problems can explode with very serious consequences. These can be checked only by adoption of Gandhian model of socio-economic development with village as the unit.
Each unit must be self-sufficient economically and the ratio of exports to imports of goods into a village must be more or equal to one. The development, welfare and prosperity of hilly village depend upon the availability of cheap an abundant energy for domestic cooking, heating and lighting, community development, irrigation water, mechanised agriculture and small industrial parks based on local materials.
Transportation of commercial fuels like coal, diesel and petrol over long distances to hilly areas is very difficult and transmission and distribution of electricity through power grids to far flung areas are prohibitively expensive. The farmers and craftsmen are not in a position to pay for high costs of energy, thus small scale industries in these areas are reduced and there are limited irrigation possibilities in agriculture.
Essay # 3. Appropriate Technology Used in Alpine Hydro Village:
The modern high technologies do not adapt to rural ecology. Only appropriate technology involving local resources, manpower and raw materials can ensure environmental harmony and sustainability of the development. However, there should be provision for upgrading of technology in the future. The wealth of the hills can be increased by inputting ample energy and technology to increase agricultural, forest and animal yields.
Appropriate technology can be worked out by a technical institute specially established for the development of hilly areas. An energy production technique based on local resources and appropriate technology which can be taken care by trained local people for its design, manufacture, installation, operation and maintenance is ideally suited. The utilisation of energy flowing water through small hydel schemes is a good example of appropriate technology for the development of hilly areas. An alpine hydro village should meet most of its energy requirements from small hydel schemes.
One such model is described in the following paragraphs:
The utilisation of hydroenergy to operate agricultural and industrial devices is one of the oldest and widespread techniques of human achievements. Hydraulic rams have been used to raise water for lift irrigation and drinking purposes. Water mills of various types have been used to generate mechanical power to drive irrigation pumps, machine tools and small electric generators.
The Himalaya Mill is well known in the mountain areas from Afghanistan to Burma which is mostly used for grinding grains. The present model of alpine hydro village is based on these devices and hydro model proper.
Essay # 4. Use of Hydraulic Ram in Alpine Hydro Village:
Hydraulic ram is a contrivance to raise a part of large amount of water available at some height, to a greater height. This can be employed in hilly areas where some natural source of water like a spring or a stream is available at some altitude. Work done by a large quantity of water in falling through a small height is used to raise a small part of it to a greater height. Action of water hammer makes it feasible.
No external power is, therefore, required to work this machine. Other attractions are – negligible amount of maintenance and supervision costs continues operation, high efficiency, quiet operation and possibility of automatic adjustment of water supply. The liftable volume of water diminishes asymptotically with lifting height. In case of medium lifting heights, the hydraulic ram operates with efficiency absolutely comparable to a piston pump of the same performance.
As the hydraulic ram does not need a driving unit, it is to be considered as ideal for lift irrigation and supply of drinking water for hilly areas, where the supply in fossil energy carriers or electricity is problematic. The hydraulic ram operates with water streams of 1 to 40m3/s and fall heads of 1.5 to 30m and with lifting heights up to 300m. These are a number of different types which can be distinguished by the operation of oscillating valves.
Hydraulic ram is a simple and rugged device for operating irrigation schemes. This can be easily assembled from local materials. The proposed technical institute for the development of hilly areas has to put in some development work to improve the performance and adoption of hydraulic ram to irrigation.
Essay # 5. Use of Himalaya Mill in Alpine Hydro Village:
It is a vertical shaft, horizontal runner hydraulic turbine used to drive grain mills. The wooden radial blades are attached to a boss fitted into a wooden or steel shaft. The water is fed through open wooden channel. It produces about 0.5hp with a water head of 1m. There are about 10,000 such mills scattered in the hilly areas from Afghanistan to Burma producing power equivalent of about 45000 kWh daily.
The horizontal water wheel can be improved in performance to raise its efficiency substantially so that it can be adopted in a small-scale industry park as a prime-mover for flour mills, thrashers, rice husking machines, vertical lathe, circular saw, trip hammer, small electrical generator, carpet loom, etc.
The vertical lathe can be used by the craftsmen to produce wooden vessels and trip hammers for embossed copper vessels. The saw mill can be used by the carpenters. All these machines can be employed together to meet the local needs to produce domestic and agricultural implements and packing boxes for the export of fruits and other products.
The Himalaya Mill can be developed into an efficient and modern Pelton turbine using metallic buckets fitted to a vertical shaft supported on roller bearings. The water can be directed onto the buckets, through adjustable nozzle from piping system collecting water from natural streams existing abundantly in the hilly areas.
The stopping of turbine can be achieved through manual brakes and load speed regulation by the nozzle. The design documentation can be provided by the proposed technical institute for the development of hilly areas and machine can be manufactured in the small scale industry park. The output of the machines can be standardised at 5 to 10 kW.
The tail race water can be re-circulated by lifting it with a hydraulic ram for irrigation purposes.
Essay # 6. Use of Floating Mill in Alpine Hydro Village:
Poncelet water wheel or a Darrius Turbine rotor can be submerged in a river or water stream available in the hilly areas to tap current energy from water of high speeds. The mechanical energy thus obtained is used for driving irrigation pumps, small electric generators and small compressors for cold storages and ice mils. The small cold storages are necessary in the hilly areas to store potatoes and other perishable goods to get better returns. Ice mill can be used to chill and store milk before it is sent to bigger collection centres.
The electricity generated is required to light the houses, schools, community centres and to run TV sets and other domestic devices. All these measures can improve the wealth of the village multifold and raise the standard of living of the population which will arrest their migration to big cities.
The blades of the water mills can be made from fabricated steel, ferro-cement, glass fibre or timber depending upon the availability of the local materials and skills. The power output depends upon the swept area and cube of water velocity and very large energy can be tapped from hill streams flowing at high speeds.
The turbine rotor can be mounted on a pontoon or may be hung from a bridge or a beam over the stream. The pontoon can float on two rows of barges or empty oil drums under which wooden keels are fixed. The mooring cable can be adjusted with a winch to ensure sufficient angle of the keels to the current direction so that water side thrust on the keel keeps the pontoon at a distance from the bank.
A turbine with swept area of 4m2 and rotor efficiency of 25% can give an output of 8kW at a water current speed of only 2 m/s. These turbines can be adopted to run small cold storages and ice mills, irrigation pumps and to produce all the electricity requirements of the village.
Essay # 7. Hydro Village:
A typical layout of an alpine hydro village is shown in Fig. 1. The capacity and number of each type of hydro machines will depend upon the size of the village and characteristics of available water stream.
The following units have been included in the scheme:
1. A small cold storage and ice mill run by a floating water mill. The capacity of the plant can be around 10 kW. Such cold storages can be built along the flow of water stream to store potatoes, fruits and other perishable products.
This will help to avoid spoilage of such products and realize better returns by disposing off uniformly over the year. Similarly the ice mills attached to the cold storage can be used to chill and store the milk cooperatively and can be drawn for disposal to collection centres and self-use efficiently.
2. Electrical generator runs by a floating water mill. The capacity will match the village requirement of electricity for lighting, heating, cooking and running of radios, TV sets and other small electrical gadgets in the houses, schools, dispensaries and community centres.
3. Irrigation pump run by a floating water mill. The capacity will suit the irrigation water requirements.
4. Industry Park consisting of flour mills, rice mills, thrashers, saw mills, vertical lathes, trip hammers, carpet looms, etc., run by improved Himalaya mills individually. The capacities can be standardised at 5 to 10 kW each. The industry park will meet all the domestic and agricultural requirements and make the village independent of imports of implements and spare parts. This will help to produce the crafts goods like wooden, brass and other vessels, toys, beauty carvings woolen carpets for exports with mechanical aids. All packing boxes for export of forest, agricultural and animal yields will be prepared in the industry park.
5. Hydraulic ram to lift the used water from tail race for irrigation and domestic water consumption.
Essay # 8. Conclusion to Alpine Hydro Village:
The proposed alpine hydro village can meet the productivity requirements for self-sufficiency as per Gandhian Model. A technical institute for the development of hilly areas should be set up who can undertake research and development for the improvement and adoption of hydraulic machines for a hydro village.
It should also plan and implement such schemes and monitor the results, such hydro village can go a long way in bringing prosperity and self- sufficiency to these villages. The population migration can be arrested and country can be prepared to absorb high technology in the required sectors.