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Vigyan Ashram

Posted by SebastienBailard 
Vigyan Ashram
February 08, 2008 04:51AM
Has anyone read Neil Gerhendfeld's book, FAB?

He mentions a school, Vigyan Ashram, in a drought-prone, Indian town of 10,000.

BBC NEWS | In pictures | Vigyan Ashram

It is interesting to see what they are up to.
Reports (pdfs)

blog - hearing aids, led lamps, bio gas generators, etc.

fablabinnova - Pedal Power
"This (bike generator) mechanism is a big success in a Thane school where 32 children pedal for 15 minutes a day and develop uninterrupted power for their classrooms"

also relevant:
Barefoot College in Rajasthan
Re: Vigyan Ashram
February 12, 2008 11:52PM
Here's a project in a similar spirit, to create an industry making cargo bikes in Ghana. They make the bike frames out of bamboo, epoxy, and metal bits.

Re: Vigyan Ashram
February 13, 2008 01:37AM
Wow, that cellphone charger project seems like something useful reprap could make easily. Just build something a akin to those shake flashlights. Just a tube covered in insulated copper, a magnet, and a couple of diodes.

Hmmm... I wonder if a reprap could be made out of bamboo?
Re: Vigyan Ashram
February 13, 2008 01:43AM
Hi Seabstien,

... i've already mentioned building a 'giant' bamboo-tripod as eyecatcher for exhibitions - why not trying to source the reprap-parts from grown hardware too winking smiley

Re: Vigyan Ashram
February 13, 2008 03:13AM
Sure, after the 1.0 release, when we've got all the machine time we need, Viktor.

Gene, check out:
It's a small wind generator. It gets its power from a small taut band which flutters in the wind. A magnet is glued one end of the band, where its oscillations induce currents in two wire coils.
Re: Vigyan Ashram
February 13, 2008 04:06PM
That is excellent looks like a real breakthrough and real invention, now I have to find the time to make one. I have to say your post are always interesting.

Re: Vigyan Ashram
February 13, 2008 04:43PM
So you'll be offering a full parts kit for Darwin for
Re: Vigyan Ashram
February 13, 2008 04:54PM
Hi Sebastien,

... some years ago a guy at Fraunhofer showed me a similar kind of a 'waving plane'-energy-generator.

He set some PZT-foil-elements on a thin sheet of steel (but tis could be a sheet of any other material too) and set it like a flag in the wind.

When flapping and oszillating, the bending PZT-elements created sinusoidal high-voltage-peaks.

But i think winding some coils and flapping with magnets is a simpler way and easier, faster and cheaper to realize ...

Re: Vigyan Ashram
February 17, 2008 04:24PM
I've just told my mate Sam to go and work for Vigyan Ashram seeing as he's been staying round India recently. He's been looking for a place that he can do ongoing development of an ergonomic user interface for computers that is called JediPad - [www.jedipad.org]

He's trying to get this interface built because he used to be a programmer but from doing that has now got the worst case of RSI that I have ever seen.

So far he's emailed them and they seem very interested... I'll keep this thread posted with any news on this and any more info that he gets on the place, beyond what is already here or on their web-page.
Re: Vigyan Ashram
February 23, 2008 04:13AM
In the UK

Folk to look in on are CAT (Centre For Alternative Technology) they are in Wales at a place called Macllyneth (I think welsh has never been my strong point)

Another outfit UK based that seem to have changed name/shape were the ITDG Intermediate Technology Development Group. I have quite anumber of their books on subjects from Charcoal stoves, though micro hydro and wind power to hand diging wells. Worth looking out for.

They now seem to be around as practicalaction.org

Overall the message I have picked up is that no matter how clever the technology, if people can't implement it with localy available materials/tools it is as in accessible to them as if it were on the moon.

Used Auto parts can be at a premium in some countries but can also be a ready source of materials.



Necessity hopefully becomes the absentee parent of successfully invented children.
Re: Vigyan Ashram
August 23, 2010 01:18PM
Pity that I only saw this old post because it got spammed, but I liked the basic design of the windbelt so much I just emailed them a free patentable upgrade. The biggest problem with their current windbelt design is that it needs to be loose for low wind speed, and taught for high wind speed. So I just sent them the following email describing how to do both with a simple mechanism and no extra power.

mike bushroe
Shawn Frayne
Here is a free patent idea to improve the windbelt.

The belt, like many wind generators, works best at some ideal angle to the wind. Steering it around to match prevailing winds might make up for the slip joints needed to allow the power generating coils to rotate freely in any direction, or perhaps not.

However, as wind speeds increase, the ideal tension of the belt needs to increase, and then decrease again when the wind speed drops. This is particularly tough in gusty conditions, But if you add a pair of opposed wind vanes to the top of the windbelt, they will act just like the fronds of palm trees in high winds. The wind vanes are geared such that the tension of the belt keeps them spread apart, so that when the wind pushes them together, they pull harder on one end of the belt, increasing the tension.

When the wind is gentle, 4-10mph, the tension of the windbelt keeps the vanes approximately 90 degrees apart from each other, and the entire windbelt rotates to have the midpoint between the vanes point away from the wind. With the wind vanes far apart, the belt is at minimum tension and oscillates in light breezes. When the wind picks up, the pressure against the wind vanes pushes them closer and closer together, and the gearing causes the belt tension to climb as the vanes come closer together. Then when the wind slacks off, the tension of the belt is greater than the force pressing the vanes together, and the vanes move apart and the tension on the belt declines. Even in gusty conditions, the windbelt dynamically changes to match the instantaneous wind speed.

Thus the belt can be optimized dynamically without external power, or tapping into the small amount of power it generates, or requiring continuous external (often human) intervention. And the self adjusting mechanism is still simple enough for third world countries to build and maintain.

Mike Bushroe
reprap self replicating rapid prototypers

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/23/2010 01:20PM by rocket_scientist.
Re: Vigyan Ashram
September 09, 2010 06:20PM
Pity that I only saw this not-so-old post because it got spammed. But darn, Mike, that's quite clever.
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