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Retd engineer develops solar-bio hybrid power plant

According to reports, an electrical engineer from Punjab Mandi Board has developed a concept of a micro hybrid power producing unit, which is an amalgamation of biomass, biogas and solar power.

Bulwant Singh Brar, who has conceived the micro hybrid power plant of 250 kilowatt generating capacity, said tonnes of garbage, agricultural waste, cow dung and solar energy could be utilised as fuel to generate clean power and provide additional source of income to the small and marginal farmers. “Fuel is in abundance in north India,” said Brar.

 Addressing reporters on Wednesday, Brar, giving example of Punjab, explained that currently all major power generation projects in Punjab were thermal-based run on coal supplied from far-off coal fields and mines.

There were a series of power plants coming up in the state which faced fuel shortage and were not cost-efficient. Disposal of fly ash from these plants was also a challenge, said Brar.

He said that an area of 2 to 2.5 acres, an investment of Rs. 3.5 crore and a manpower of 20-25 people was required to operate the plant and the per unit cost of electricity would be Rs. 4.29.

The construction time for the micro hybrid plant is six months as compared to a few years on constructing the conventional thermal plants. “For 27 tonnes of cow dung (biogas), 2,700 to 3,000 cattle heads are needed, which are available in one village. This would enable each village to own and run its own power plant. The additional units could even be sold off,” said Brar.

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