Enabling decentralized rural industries through a workable decentralized system of energy support – with priority to micro and small industries and working out innovative infrastructure and connectivity compatible with a sustainable vision of development.
The operational objectives of the Energy & Infrastructure Division will be:
To consider the demand sector in terms of segments needing the smallest level of energy and upwards and workout strategies to fulfill the energy needs through innovative use of local resources.
To redesign products / processes with a view to optimize energy needs and to arrive at devices / systems / energy mixes to best fit products / scales / contexts.
To demonstrate the ‘community scaling of technologies’ through designs of appropriate ‘man-machine systems’ to ensure employment without sacrificing quality and productivity needed for global competence.
To expedite innovations in the mass consumption sectors of food, clothing and shelter and help bring sustainable life styles and cost reductions through focus on ‘building-elements’, ‘passive structures’, substitution / minimization of transportation / packaging while at the same time encouraging waste recycling.
To enhance equity / human dignity through innovative energy-support in terms of working tools / systems to artisans, women, weaker sections, handicapped etc.
To help develop the ‘software’ aspects like energy audit / energy conservation/ decentralized energy strategies considering viable clusters of panchayats as units of micro level planning.
The Energy and Infrastructure Division has under it:
- Advanced Engineering Work Centre
- Engineering Design Studio
- Innovation Centre
- Energy lab consisting of engine test rigs, gasifier,
- Bio-gas plants, fuel lab, instrumentation for energy audit,
- Briquetting technique lab, LED products lab etc.
Avenues of activities
The E&I division has the following three avenues of activities:
Identification of sustainable energy technology alternatives
The following set of activity – directions initiated during the project period of MGIRI in collaboration with IIT, Delhi
- Bio-gas cleaning, packaging and use in engines
- Micro-Hydel based workstations
- Briquetting systems on community scale
- Energy conservation in potter’s kiln etc.
Infrastructure related areas like: storage system, water recycling, housing, waste recycling, transport & communication – with focus on the design of ‘housing-elements’
Energy system design for SME sector (see objectives and details below)
Recent involvements and achievements
MGIRI launched a viable solar charkha in May 2008 (details in page 4). The ‘mini solar-charkha based cotton cluster experiment’ at Wardha has proved that the price of garment could be drastically reduced while more than doubling the daily earning capacity of the workers. It is hoped that perhaps this sustainable technological initiative could be the answer for which the Father of the Nation made a clarion call to the scientists in the 1929.
Hank dyeing machine
A user friendly hank dyeing machine has been evolved with the potential of saving the dyeing workers from drudgery, imperfection and low productivity. This batch processing machine has the capacity of handling five kg yarns in eight hour day and has the innovative added functionality of drying the dyed yarn if necessary.
This innovation has elicited tremendous response when displayed in the exhibitions / khadi melas during 2009-10 at various places of the country including Surat which is the textile capital of India. The design / development is due to a team headed by Mr Deep Varma, Coordinator, Innovation Cell and is expected to be ready in the near future for commercial production.
An affordable Packaging machine has been developed by the innovation cell for the packaging of dry products like chili, turmeric, spices and many more applications at costs about one third of the traditional machines. Entrepreneurs, even from the tiny sector, can afford to have a packaging machine of their own thereby giving them a tool for modern marketing. The low cost product has been achieved by using the approach of ‘Man-Machine System’ introduced by MGIRI. The product received overwhelming response in the exhibitions across the country and is getting readied for commercial production / franchising.
Solar potter’s wheel
A Solar potter’s wheel at a cost of about Rs 25,000 has been developed by the division. It works on solar powered fractional horse power motor.
The core scientific team of Energy and Infrastructure Division: