Alappuzha: A young engineer from Mavelikkara discovered that electricity could be made from flying kites. Sobin Sabu Thankachan has developed a device that coverts the wind’s kinetic energy into electrical energy.
A prototype made with a power kite created 200 watts electricity. Though similar studies and experiments are being done in foreign countries, this is the first initiative in Kerala, said Sobin. The experiment conducted in Vagamon and Ramakkalmedu costed Rs 20,000. Sobin has won a grant from Kerala Startup Mission to develop an automatic unit of kite that could generate 1000 watts.
Sobin who completed graduation in mechanical engineering from Pala St Joseph Engineering College is a research associate in International Centre for Technological Innovation. His research is on renewable energy.
How was the experiment
For his experiment, Sobin bought a power kite from China through online which is used in foreign countries for adventurous flying. It costed Rs 2000. Generator and motor costed Rs 5000 and Rs 2000 respectively.
Thread of the kite is tied to a shaft of the motor placed on a stand. As the kite flies upward with the help of wind, the shaft in the generator rotates and generate power. Thus it was stored in a battery. Once the kite is fully flown upward, it is pulled down systematically avoiding the wind. Kite is again flown to the sky to function the motor. This activity is repeated to create power.
Power kites are less expensive than wind turbines. A wind turbine has the height of 150 meter and costs nearly Rs 3 crores. Power kite could be flown to a height of 1500 meter. It could also be installed at platforms anchored in the sea.