The Kingjung story: NEPeD shows the way to power
[dropcap]P[/dropcap]ERCHED atop a hill at 1980mts above MSL along the Indo-Myanmar border in Tuensang district, 108kms south-east of Noklak is Kingjung village comprising 90 households. A village connected by road to the modern world only in the year 2008, yet it has the distinction of being the only village having uninterrupted power supply for the past three years.This came about when the villagers approached NEPeD in 2009 evincing their need for electricity. This need became more apparent, when on instruction from NEPeD, they constructed a 2.5 km long power channel, a fore bay with de-silting tank in just four days. Also from the dim recesses of village folklore a story emerged of how in the lateseventies, it took them 45 days to transport a 25 kva transformer by head load from Shamator to their village. Upon reaching the village, it was found rusted and damaged beyond repair. A 3 kW hydroger was thus provided and installed with community participation.
As part of a Pilot project, a team from NEPeD decided to reinforce the electrification at Kingjung. In November 2012, the team successfully installed two 3kW Indigenous hydrogers provided with Electronic Load Controllers (ELC) developed at its ‘Center of Excellence for Renewable Energy Studies’ (CERES), Dimapur. Each household was provided with a 3 point connection and neighbouring villagers walk miles to charge their mobiles and emergency LED lamps. Kingjung, a village unknown to the outside world proudly has 24×7 uninterrupted and sustainable power supply.
The impacts of these small machines have been tremendous. A deep sense of ownership has developed and their understanding of technology is reflected in their ingenious method of splitting L/T aluminium wires for transmission, repair of CFL bulbs and in the fitting and servicing of the machines. Dependence on candles, kerosene and pinewoods for lighting has decreased drastically, saving time and money.
Livelihood activities, educational performances and revenue generation have been enhanced. The villagers too have passed a resolution for conservation of the catchment areas. Kingjung village can surely become an international rural tourist hotspot for what they have achieved in such a small leap in time.
NEPeD, a multi-disciplinary team comprising 7 members was formed in 2007, and has been experimenting with appropriate decentralized power generation technology that is easily available, low on maintenance, cost effective and eco-friendly. The pico machine, used in this project, is locally known as “Hydroger” (a term coined by NEPeD derived from the amalgamation of Hydro and Generator).
There are basically two types of Hydrogers: 1) Impulse and 2) Reaction. The impulse turbine requires low volume of water and high head, whereas the reaction turbine requires low head and a larger volume of water.
NEPeD installed imported hydrogers (Chinese) all over the state under the MNRE project and also as demo projects in Arunachal, Mizoram, Karbi Anglong in Assam and in Maharashtra. These machines were found to be inferior in quality and efficiency and once damaged could not be repaired due to unavailability of spare parts. Also no electronic load controller (ELC) was provided with the machines and none found in the open market that was compatible to the hydrogers.
Thus, NEPeD, in collaboration with Nagaland Tool-room and Training Centre (NTTC), Dimapur, ventured into indigenization of the Hydroger. Two prototypes of the indigenous hydrogers—a 1 kW Reaction and a 3 kW Impulse were produced in 2008 and trial tested successfully at NEPeD’s Testing and Demo site at Phesama.
NEPeD has now set up the ‘Center of Excellence for Renewable Energy Studies’ (CERES) at Industrial Estate, Dimapur. Mass production of hydrogers is now ongoing at CERES factory shed installed with state of the art machineries. At present 3kW Impulse machines are being produced off the shelf. Research and Development on 5kW Impulse and Reaction machines as well as on the ELC’s compatible to the machines are ongoing.
Under NEPeD’s Entrepreneurship Development, the Electronic Load Controller (ELC)/ Turbine buckets/ Alternator windings are all being outsourced from local entrepreneurs. Casings for the machine are at present being outsourced from a foundry unit in Guwahati conforming to NEPeD’s credo of being environment friendly. The hydroger stands are being outsourced from NTTC under NEPeD’s collaborative effort. Under this programme too, a local entrepreneur was given support for Research & Development on hydro and wind turbines, which have shown promise. It is also to be noted that support was given by NABARD under their Rural Innovation Fund (RIF), for purchase of the electro mechanical components.
The indigenous ‘Made in Nagaland’ hydroger has now been certified by Alternate Hydro Energy Centre (AHEC), IIT, Roorkee. This has been a breakthrough for the Energy Team. The team has installed indigenous hydrogers at various sites across the State. Indigenous hydrogers have also been installed by NEPeD in Sikkim and Meghalaya and have also been showcased in mega events of the state such as Agri Expo and World Bamboo Day.
NEPeD’s activities and its hydroger programme have found mention in National, local and regional dailies and audio visual media. Creating awareness on ‘conservation of the catchment areas’ amongst villagers is a prerequisite catchphrase of the team. NEPeD has also brought about the concept of ‘Rural Engineers’, where local youths/end-users are trained on operation and maintenance of the machines at the installed sites and at CERES as well.
Demands for the hydroger is increasing with queries being received from individuals, progressive farmers, SHGs, Government Organizations, NGOs etc from both within and outside the state.
The writer is Information Assistant in DIPR. Source: NEPeD