Engineers and Environment

" Fledge" The GREEN CAR

Posted by Susan Sharma on June 01, 2006

 
Forum Post

Seven mechanical engineering students of the Delhi College of Engineering (DCE) put together the prototype of the country's first gasoline-electric hybrid car. Named "The Fledge".  The DCE hybrid car participated in the annual green car festival organised by the North-East Sustainable Energy Association of the United States in May 2006.

The model was worked on by a team of sixth semester students -- Abhinav Bhatia, Abhinav Duggal, Abhishek Agarwal, Anubhav Jain, Ashish Dudani, Nitesh Gupta and Siddharth Arora.

"Necessity is the mother of all inventions and the mounting burden of petroleum prices on the common man had kindled a spark in the DCE students to unearth this new technology with a revolutionary drive train," said Abhishek Agarwal, the leader of the seven-member team.

 A 200-Ah lead acid battery with a 1.3 litre fuel tank will provide the energy storage system. Power transmission in the car occurs on the engine as well as the motor mode providing the user with the option of switching to either mode at any point of their journey. A powerful 18 BHP, 346 cc engine along with a 3.5HP, 3000 rpm permanent magnet DC motor serves the very purpose.

Made with the support of the Central Department of Science and Technology and Mahindra and Mahindra, `The Fledge' a one person hybrid vehicle competed with 55 other participants at the "TourDeSol" competition. With a goal of reducing oil use and climate change emissions, the 2006 Tour de Sol, America’s #1 green car show and competition driving toward zero carbon emissions, showcased a variety of cutting-edge technologies that address the energy and climate change crises, offering both short-term and long-term solutions including some that are available on the market today.

"The current hybrids available in this world are very expensive as compared to normal cars, so we have tried to reduce the cost and we have tried to think of simple systems by not using the complicated systems," says Anubhav Jain, adding, " We are making a vehicle for the common person in India who commutes to his office, which is in the range of about 30 kilometers. So ... he has the option [with a vehicle like ours] for electric mode, which has more range." He says it would cost about $10,000 to go into production with Fledge.

The top honors in the competition went to West Philadelphia High School and St. Mark’s School, Southborough, MA. However, the entry from India was commented upon as

"This vehicle was designed to address the transportation needs of millions of people in India that presently use highly polluting motorcycles by presenting them with a practical, very efficient hybrid option." says the TordeSol communication.

 

Engineers and Environment

Assam first Indian State to use Bamboo-generated power

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 28, 2006

 
Forum Post

Bamboo flowering and eventual death of the species in the seasons  make available large scale bamboo residues. This has to be utilized continuously and on large scale so that the residues are consumed quickly after generation and there will be no storing leading to other menaces like rat infestation.

 National Mission on Bamboo Applications (NMBA) along with IISc(Indian Institute of Science), Bangalore addressed  the issue of value addition of these residues. Their findings,

  • Gasification of bamboo/ bamboo waste for electricity/ thermal applications produced clean, cheap and renewable source of energy.
  • The energy Stabilised to 1 Mwe level for off-grid, remote area, captive – & flowering areas.
  • 15% charcoal was generated as by-product to meet rural fuel needs.
  •  Also, Quality, species, maturity of bamboo was not an issue. 

The two pilot projects, set up at an estimated cost of Rs.100 million, were designed and developed by scientists at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. Both the plants are nearing completion at two paper mills in Jagiroad and Silchar towns in Assam.

Engineers and Environment

Soil Biotechnology

Posted by Susan Sharma on May 26, 2006

 
Forum Post

A new method called Soil Biotechnolgy(SBT), developed by IIT, Mumbai, is being used for sewage treatment at Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi.

All the plastic and solid waste is removed from the sewage as it passes throgh a mesh on the top of a tank. "The tank has a bio-reactor containing microbes and natural additives that purify the water by removing odour, colour and bacteria. Above this tank, there is an evergreen garden with some native species of plants that serve as biological indicators. The water flows into a collection tank where it is pumped for irrigation." Said Rajesh Jain managing director of Enhanced WAPP Systems (India) Private Limited, the company that set up and is at present maintaining the plant for DTTDC.

The entire purification process takes place underfround and it removes 99% of the bacteria in the sewage, he added.

The technology is also being used in Taj Hotel, Gwalior, ITC Mughal Sheraton, Agra and Vazir Sultan Tobacco Industries in Hyderabad.

"Another advantage is that the plant uses very little electricity, except when water has to be pumped for drip irrigation or sprinkling," said Ashok Khurana, the superintending engineer of the plant.

 

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