| Share facebook twitter | RSS



[Energy] #6 Appropriate technology for energy production on a case-by-case basis

by Eco Generation | 17-04-2020 09:58 Comments 6 Comments recommendations 0 recommendations

Appropriate technology for energy production on a case-by-case basis



By Science Columnist Ho-Gwan Ko


Have you ever seen the world map of cities at night? The map shows the lights of cities at night on the Earth's surface. For example, if you take a look at  the Korean peninsula, there is a stark difference between South and North Korea; while South Korea is lit up with lights, its counterpart provides a dark exception. However, North Korea is not the only exception. Even these days where excessive use of energy is a problem, some regions are struggling with energy shortages, going through difficulties in daily life.

For such areas where more social infrastructure is needed, appropriate technology is developed according to local circumstances in order to improve the quality of life. There are several conditions for appropriate technology: First, it should cost less and use locally available materials. It also needs to be easy to use so that those without special knowledge can utilize it. In addition, it should be easy for local residents to make or repair by themselves.

Well-developed appropriate technology can be used to address energy shortages in underdeveloped areas as well. Let's first look at electricity, which is essential for daily life. The first thing that comes to mind is generating electricity from human power. About 20-30 years ago in Korea, a lot of bikes had headlights that ran on electricity generated by pedaling. The headlight of a bike has a cogwheel-shaped stick, which is attached to the wheels and turned when the bike runs. The rotational energy is converted into electrical energy to light up the light bulb. The faster you push the pedals, the brighter the light. In this way, you can make electricity for recharging batteries for lights or your phones.

There is also a small hydro generator based on the principle of waterwheels. Instead of spinning bike wheels, it uses the power of water to make electricity. The portable hydro generator Uno, made by Korean startup Enomad, is a tumbler-shaped small device. When put in running water with its wings open, the wings rotate, generate electricity, and charge batteries. It can be used as a light at night or recharge other electronic devices like cell phones.


Enomad Uno

▲ Portable hydro generator, Enomad Uno (Source: Enomad Facebook)

There are many ways to generate electricity. A product called GravityLight uses gravity to make electricity. The device is hung on the ceiling, and then a heavy weight is hung on it with a string. The weight slowly drops due to gravity, and during the process it rotates the generator's shaft to produce electricity.

Children for whom the weight on GravityLight would be too heavy can generate electricity with a soccer ball called the Socket Ball. Inside the ball is a device that converts vibrations into electrical energy. While they have fun kicking the ball, energy enough to light up an LED light for hours is generated. In addition, it would be a waste if we did not utilize the rich sunlight. With solar panels, batteries, and LED lamps, you can make lighting devices that charge batteries during the daytime and light up lamps at night.

As for the sun, we use not only its light but also its heat. Make a wide, concave reflecting plate that can reflect sunlight, and install cooking equipment where the light gathers. Just as a small magnifying glass can concentrate sunlight and burn a piece of paper, the wide reflecting plate can also collect lots of sunlight enough to boil water in a pot. If you cook directly using solar heat, no carbon dioxide is emitted and no trees are cut down.

Although the energy generated in these ways can light an LED light or recharge cell phones, it is not enough to operate devices that consume a lot of electricity such as agricultural pumps or washing machines. For them, manpower is required. Therefore, researchers are working on how to use as little human power as possible.

Invented by MIT students in the United States, Bicilavadora is a manpower washer. When you push the bike pedals, the drum rotates and the laundry is washed. Though not as effective as an electric washing machine, it helps save a lot more energy than washing clothes by hand. Similar methods can be applied to different devices such as water pumps and threshers.

Even in places where energy supply is limited, you can come up with ideas to get energy depending on the situation. It is certain that some of the ideas can be developed into green energy. Developed countries where overconsumption of energy is becoming a problem also need to pay more attention to this issue.


Asmita Gaire

  • Asmita Gaire says :
    Greetings Tunza Eco Generation
    I hope you are doing well.
    Yes green energy is of utmost importance. Thanks for sharing this amazing article.
    Thank you so much for this report.
    Green cheers
    Asmita Gaire
    Posted 08-05-2020 15:52

Shreya Aryal

  • Shreya Aryal says :
    Such a wonderful report.
    Posted 20-04-2020 14:33

Dibya Bhatta

Sandhya Adhikari

  • Sandhya Adhikari says :
    Wow, what a detail report you have presented here!! Thanks for the continuation of such a great report. Glad to go through this report!!
    Hope to read more in coming days.

    Posted 17-04-2020 23:37

Kushal Naharki

  • Kushal Naharki says :
    What excites me most about these articles are they are informtive and great fun to read too. Thanks you for one more amazing article. Appropriate technology for energy production excites me to learn more on this topic
    Posted 17-04-2020 22:52

Meena Pandey

  • Meena Pandey says :
    Felt nice to go through the article.
    Posted 17-04-2020 16:35

Post a comment

Please sign in


Call for volunteers
Date: TBD to 05/02/2021
Location: Null

Call Out For Bloggers
Date: TBD to TBD
Location: null

  • attendance banner