Turning waste into power

Just when Bangalore is staring at a sea of garbage piling on its streets, one Bangalorean has shown how waste can be effectively converted into fuel. And he has done it in Malaysia, which has successfully adapted his technology.

KS Sivaprasad holds the patent for developing the Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) Power System — a technology that converts mixed garbage to fuel to finally produce power. Today, he is director (technical advisor) of Core Competencies, a Malaysian firm which provides electricity to 2 lakh people there. The plant daily converts 700 tonnes of garbage to 8.9MW of power.

Sivaprasad, a resident of Madiwala, has just one regret — despite the huge success rate in other parts of the globe, no one in India and Bangalore in particular has approached him to utilize this technology
“This is green power. We obtain this after removing all the pollutants, including heavy metals, from the mixed garbage. All we require is a plot of land to station this plant,” Sivaprasad said.

It all started in the 1970s when US was looking to generate alternative fuel from municipal waste in the wake of the oil crisis. “That’s when the idea struck me and I developed this technology in India,” said Sivaprasad, who set up a plant in Madiwala then. The biggest global recognition for RDF came in 1995 when he participated in a UN conference in Bangkok.
He made a presentation and got a call from the Malaysian company which wanted to introduce this technology there. In 2006, they started work on building the plant and by 2009, the plant started power generation. He is working on a second plant which will treat up to 1,000 tonnes of garbage.
How power is generated

Segregation is done in several steps at the plant Non-combustible matter is segregated and moisture content reduced by drying it Recyclable matter (like plastic) and hard material like bricks or stone are removed next Kitchen waste sent for composting Combustible matter that remains is fuel taken to boiler to generate steam Steam is fed to the turbine to generate power Pollution abatement system incorporated in boiler, which produces clean energy From 1,000 tonnes of garbage, about 400 tonnes of green fuel is finally obtained.

Set up rooftop solar panels and get paid

Install a solar panel on your rooftop to generate energy and sell it to the distribution company through the grid for money.

To encourage green energy, the Centre is planning a programme under which it will provide incentives, either financial or through a subsidy, to home owners installing a rooftop solar panel for own energy consumption, and who will sell the extra power to the grid during daytime.

The programme also contains a proposal in which a building owner can rent his rooftop to investors to set up a solar power plant.

The plan, which is still in a preliminary stage, says the electricity distribution companies can buy the power from households, either by paying money to the seller or giving subsidy in the seller’s electricity bill.

To introduce the system in India, which is prevalent in many European countries including Germany, there is a need to modify the current Electricity Act as well as develop locally suited technology, Union Minister of Power K C Venugopal told Deccan Herald.

Delhi to be first

The Delhi government is likely to be the first to implement the scheme as the government has started working on the issue. As per the Delhi Government’s proposed policy, residents can get solar power plants installed on their rooftops by signing a power purchase agreement with the company supplying power in their respective areas.

The cost of setting up such a plant in an area of 200 square metres will be between Rs 8 lakh and Rs 9 lakh.

According to the policy, house owners can either lease out their roofs to a developer, who will then set up the unit, or pay 30 per cent of the cost of installation.

The remaining 70 per cent will be financed through banks. The cost of generating each unit of power from the rooftop plant will be Rs 17.50 which the owner of the rooftop can sell to any of the power supplying companies.

The plants will be set up using the solar photo-voltaic technology as they can be easily mounted on rooftops, said an official in the Power Ministry.

The Centre which aims to produce 10,000 MW of solar energy in the 12th five year plan ( 2012-2017) with an investment of Rs 50,000 crore, has already set up 61 solar energy monitoring units across the country.

The government has started collecting radiation data from these monitoring centres and accordingly it will encourage setting up solar plants, he said.

While Gujarat and Rajasthan are ahead with installed capacity of 3,000 MW and 1,000 MW solar energy, the Centre wants other states to follow suit.

Power is money

* A house owner can install solar panel on the rooftop to meet his power needs

* He can then sell the extra power generated to distribution companies

* The owner can also rent out the space for setting up a solar power plant

* In return, discoms will either pay in cash or give subsidy in the seller’s electricity bill

As reported by – Ajith Athrady, October 14, 2012, New Delhi, DHNS:

Philips India to export solar LED street lights

Consumer electronics firm Philips will export solar LED street lights, which it has developed in India, to neighbouring nations within next one year.

The company’s Indian arm, Philips Electronics India, is currently executing a project for installing 19,000 solar LED street lights in Tamil Nadu in association with Tata Power Solar and Su-kam.

“Solar is a very efficient mode of energy. The technology for solar LED street lights were developed in India and for India,” Philips Electronics India President (Lighting India) Nirupam Sahay told PTI.
The company has designed and developed the technology at its R&D centre at Noida keeping in mind the rural market, which has a big potential as electrification has not yet touched large number of villages across the country, he added.

“We are just executing about 19,000 such street lights in Tamil Nadu and we are talking to more state governments on this front. These lights have big scope in cities also,” he said without sharing details.
When asked if the company would be interested to supply the technology to Philips’ operations in other nations, Sahay said: “We are a global company. We (Indian operations) handle Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Within next one year, solar LED technology will go out of India, first to the neighbouring countries and later to other parts of the world.”

He, however, declined to share details such as which would be the first export market for this technology.
Elaborating the technology, Sahay said the company develops and manufactures the electronics and LED lights.

“We do not make the panels and batteries. For these, we have worked with Tata Power Solar and Su-kam for the Tamil Nadu project,” he added.

The technology helps the company with options to connect each light post with a single battery or a set of street lights can be run from a centrally controlled solar panel and battery, Sahay said.

On whether the company would continue the relationship with its current partners, he said it would depend on the nature of the future project and customer.

When asked about the company’s revenue expectation from the LED division, he declined to comment saying India is moving towards “white solar street lights”.

“The entire Indian lighting market is estimated to be Rs 9,000 crore and we enjoy 30 per cent share of it. We are in the premium segment,” Sahay said.