Saturday, December 9, 2017

नेपालीमनले देखेको अमेरिका

सामान्यत मेरो मनले बिदेसमा देखिने भौतिक संरचना देखेर Wow !! भन्दैन तर यो पहिलो तस्बिरमा देखिएको Liberty Island देखेर मनले भित्रै बाट Wow भनेको थियो/ त्यो देखेर चाई अमेरिका प्रति मन लोबीएको थ्यो येहा पनि त प्रकृतिको काखमा रमाउन पाइने रहेछ/ तर र्ज वाशिङटनको भनेको एउटा कुरा याद आयो; “संसारको सबैभन्दा सुन्दरी तिमी लाग्छ आमा…” त्यसैले होला बिदेशमा बस्ने हरेक नेपालीलेत् एकदिन नेपाल फर्कने सपना पालेको हुन्छ, म त् एउटा यात्रु न परे दोस्रो तस्बिरमादेखिएझै नेपालका हरेक ठाउँबाट देख्न सकिने यो मनोरम दृश्यको मायाले त्यो लोबलाइ दिगो राख्न सकेन/ आशाले मानिसलाई जिवित राखेको हुन्छ र आशाले उर्जा सिंचित गर्दछभनेझै आफ्नो मन अझै पनि देस भित्रकै संघर्समै रमाउन थाल्यो एउटा सुन्दर दिनको पर्खाईमा/

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

NEA Election: Appeal to Candidates

Dear all,
I am viewing the profile of different candidate from different panels and also viewing election manifesto of various panels.  Till now i found most of the candidate following the same political culture and agendas, which the candidate of our preceding generation follows. Likewise, it is very sad to say that even young candidate also follows the same. So, how we believe them that they will work for our vision of transformation of current status of engineering education and practice in Nepal. So i am putting questions to all the candidate, so that i can support and make other to support them in the NEA election.

To begin with, lets have a quick review of our past culture and activities. The preceding generations follows the rituals of joining a political party during their higher studies in universities and supporting the agendas put forwarded by the leaders, either they like or do not like that. And they keep their support in their professional life too. This political attachment is mainly due to fact that they cannot progress themselves without being attached to any of leading political parties. Conclusively, they give candidacy form same political party with the same non-progressive agendas put forwarded by the party. So, we do not have to looked after their personal profile while voting them. Although some of them argue that we are politically conscious but it is not clear where is self consciousnesses if one thinks only for one party mandates.

In contrast to preceding generations, i believe voters who are engineers themselves are not willing to cast vote to the single panels, which are also panels representing major failure political parties of Nepal. In addition, the candidate themselves mostly form the government and bureaucratic level are can be regarded as failure personality as most of them suggest their succeeding generation to go abroad. Moreover, according to them they itself become unskilled enough to struggle in other/foreign environment as they contribute their productive age in developing political career and supporting agendas of political parties. Therefore, this generations voters are finding their ideal candidate who can lead and apply their vision of internationalization of engineering education and practice in Nepal.

Here are some of my key question to candidate which will influence me and many other voters and make mind either to support them or not.

1. What are your professional and academic achievements so far in regards to which we can take u as our leader.
2. What is your key strategies to unify all other your co-members in NEA form different panels to implement your vision.
3. How will you address the aspiration and expectations of new generation Nepalese engineers who want internationalization in every activities. So what are your international exposures and linkage so that you can ensure this.
4. How you will address the issues of brain drain and immigration of bright and productive engineering manpower who should actually led the responsibility of advanced infrastructure and economic development and what are your key activities for reverse migration.
5. How will you address the issue of  de-politicization of NEA and other institutions.
6. How will you promote innovation and standardization of engineering practice in Nepal.

Hoping to see your answers so that we can make mind to support you.
Thanks



Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Journey battle of home made archery to battle of machines ABU ROBOCON 2012

The best work is work that is fun! You enjoy your hobby, so why not take those great ideas, a little determination and turn your hobby into a career. I used to play battle game with own made archery that show up in hobby of working with machines, the more powerful a lead these things provided in steering me to meaningful professional and career choice as mechanical engineering. Choosing a hobby as career, besides outstanding academic achievements i also got opportunity to represent my nation in the international arena amidst other nation in the very start of my career. Asia- Pacific Robot Contest-or as it is more popularly refereed to, the ABU Robocon- was the very first international exposure to my career.  


Perhaps it is the odd Hollywood movie—the kind the industry churns out every once in a while—that has wrought in our minds visions of mechanical wonders and futuristic worlds often too fantastic to be true. Whimsically constructed machines are shown maneuvering in clearly  implausible environs, and these images that pop culture has to offer are largely figments of people’s imagination, yet to be released.

For those living in Kathmandu, such mechanical innovations might seem even more incongruous given our contrasting surroundings, which is why most of us will find it hard to believe that there exist groups of young Nepali undergraduates who toil every year to compete in an international robot competition. If that wasn’t surprising enough, they’ve also, till date, always been counted among-st the best teams from South Asia. In fact, the Nepali team has even fared better in the Asia-Pacific Robot Contest, or as it is more popularly referred to—the ABU Robocon—than India, a country noted for the stellar quality of its technical universities and the prowess its graduates have displayed in the field over the years.

A select, voluntary group of students in their third and fourth years of Bachelor in Engineering Studies at the Pulchowk Engineering Campus—most from the mechanical and electronics engineering departments—have been participating in the ABU Robocon every year since the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) first introduced the contest in 2002. As a non-profit, professional association of broadcasting organisations that aims to aid the development of broadcasting in the Asia-Pacific region and promote the collective interests of its members, the ABU’s involvement in the robotics competition is as much a cultural celebration as it is a technical one.Every year the organizers select a theme that is culturally significant, and unique to the country that’s hosting the Robocon. The contest itself is nothing short of a “world cup for robot and technology enthusiasts” from the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.

In the year 2012 bout was set to take place in the glittering city of Hong Kong, and the robots that participated were expected to complete a number of allocated tasks, including travelling through simulated tunnels and bridges, locating a ‘bun tower’ and snatching as many of these ‘buns’ as possible. As a city made up of some 200 or so small-sized islands, Hong Kong’s landscape is marked by a profusion of bridges and tunnels. So, the ‘landscape’ the participating robots will have to man-oeuvre through during the contest—set to took place on August 19—was a reflection of the city’s unique metropolitan feature. It is interesting to note that these robots was being taking part in a tradition that the people of Hong Kong’s tiny island of Cheung Chau have been practicing for the past 100 years. The Cheung Chau Bun Festival is an annual affair in which three giant 60-foot bamboo towers, referred to as the ‘Bun Mountains,’ must be stripped of their buns. This was traditionally achieved by young men clambering on top of the towers, but rules have evolved over the years, and these days, only one person is designated to climb each tower.

The practice is believed to bring good fortune to the families of those who manage to strip off the buns placed highest on the towers, and perhaps this is where Robocon 2012 derives its slogan: ‘In Pursuit of Peace and Prosperity.’ The Nepali team set a goal to succeeds in putting up a good show at the festival, that will mean a lot for this group of self-motivated students who have been working, oftentimes without even going home to sleep, purely for the joy of creating, reveling in the bit-by-bit progression of a machine which has come about through their collective ideas and efforts.

There is nothing glitzy, or even the least bit glamorous about the one-storied building from which the Pulchowk Engineering Campus’ Robotics  Club operates. In fact, the brick and concrete structure is rather garage-like; a small group of young men—their hair disheveled and their shirt sleeves rolled up—tinker on an assortment of greasy, noisy machines. Yet, they work wholeheartedly—there is no easy way around this—for in it they find a practical outlet for all that they’ve learnt in their three or four years of college, as well as outside of it. Having thus synthesized their minds and energies into one specific end, to get to compete with others with similar inclinations and interests on an international platform is an incredible opportunity for the team.  Robocon gives the students at Pulchowk a “creative platform”, one that helps advance their steps forward in the ever-intriguing field of technology.





Ref: Article on The Kathmandu Post in title Battle of Machines Jul 27, 2012












Encourage innovation: A relatively new technology has the potential to end the country’s energy crisis

Government of Nepal declared an energy emergency last February – the third one in the last eight years – and targeted to end the energy crisis in two years. With the recent change of government, the fate of the plan is in limbo. Hydropower, the major source of Nepal’s electricity generation, can’t end Nepal’s energy crisis in such a short time by virtue of its capital intensive and time consuming nature. Alternative technologies like solar, micro-hydro, biogas, and wind have been explored, and for several reasons they have not been enough. More appropriate energy generation technologies have to be explored to widen energy access to different parts of Nepal.

A relatively new technology invented in Austria in 2007 and improvised by researchers of Nepal, shows promise of delivering small amount of electric power, from few kilowatts up to 25 kilowatts, generated using the vortex of flowing water. The technology is named Gravitational Water Vortex Power Plant (GWVPP). When water passes through a strategically designed basin, vortex of water is formed causing the turbine located at the center of the basin to rotate. The energy of the turbine can either be used mechanically or be used to generate electricity. Compared to most hydropower plants of Nepal that need hundreds of meters of head (difference of height between the points from where water is first released from river or dam to the location of turbine), and micro-hydro power plants that need tens of meters of head, GWVPP can operate in less than a meter of head.

With relatively lower installation costs and low head requirement, these plants can be installed in many places in Nepal, including Terai, thus providing a novel alternative for electricity generation for places without access to national electricity grid. Small power plants like these can be beneficial for small and medium enterprises in using local and renewable energy resources, thus greatly reducing operating costs and carbon footprint.

Nepali researchers started research works in GWVPPs in Nepal since 2012. After continuous efforts of several researchers of Nepal, two major innovations were accomplished. Instead of original design with cylindrical basins, conical basins were found to be more efficient in forming water vortices. Similarly, if the turbine is positioned at 60 to 70 % of height from bottom, efficiency would be optimum. These innovations were a result of rigorous mathematical modeling, laboratory tests, and design efforts. The researchers overcame problems typically faced by researchers in developing countries including lack of adequate funding, lack of technical expertise, difficulty in manufacturing, and little support from government and non-governmental bodies.  The results obtained have been peer reviewed and accepted by the scientific community in international conferences and academic journals, including Elsevier’s Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.   

Only few research efforts make it from academia to industry and society, which is even less so in Nepal. Besides academic and professional recognition, scientists and researchers covet the potential impact and implementation of their ideas and findings for society the most. The improved design of Nepali researchers, currently patent pending, is finding few takers in Nepal. Currently, a GWVPP of 1.6 kW capacity is being installed in Bagmati River at Gokarna, Kathmandu. The plant will supply electricity to a nearby orphanage and Martyr’s Park.

Technical and commercial feasibility of installation of these plants have been studied for several locations. The goal of the innovators is to install a minimum of 50 such plants ranging from 5 kW to 20 kW capacity in the next 5 years. The initiative led by Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk Campus has garnered support from Kathmandu University and University of Bristol. More research into financial, economic, social and policy dimensions and implications of the technology are in pipeline.
Low head small scale hydro-electricity generation is feasible in many places of Nepal, including Terai and has the potential to help abate the energy poverty Nepal is facing. Innovations made in Nepal’s universities should find its way to society and international scientific community. Research and innovation initiatives like this should be supported by government, people, media, and all to encourage Nepali innovators to develop appropriate solutions to Nepal’s pressing problems.

http://kathmandupost.ekantipur.com/news/2016-08-02/encourage-innovation.html

Rabin Dhakal and Kshitiz Khanal

Rabin Dhakal is a lecturer at Kantipur Engineering College and Kshitiz Khanal is a researcher at Kathmandu University. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

My Experience of Research to Practice of Gravitational Water Vortex Power Plant in Nepal

It is often claimed that scientist and researchers are the citizens of the world; they have no boundaries. But as a researcher of third world countries like Nepal the real challenge is when making the research works recognizable to the world. Almost all of us researchers have dream to discover new ideas which induce high impact to society and also want the ideas be implemented in real world. To represent one’s nation in the international arena, to hold its flag high amidst other nations, is a matter of great pride. And the Research and Practice on Gravitational water vortex power plant was the perfect opportunity for me and my fellow researchers at Institute of Engineering, Central Campus Pulchowk.

After rigorous research of 3 years, we the researchers of Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk Campus have been successful in optimizing a design of new and innovative technology addressing the current energy crisis in Nepal. The Gravitational Water Vortex power plant (GWVPP) is a new type of technology in which the energy of flowing water is extracted by a turbine placed at the center of a vortex that develops in a rotation tank (basin). Since such vortex can be formed at heads as low as 0.7 m, the gravitational water vortex power plant do not need a large head like other hydroelectric power plant. The construction cost is relatively small. This makes them suitable on river across the Nepal, at thousands of locations. GWVPP designed to be installed in remote areas of terai region that would never see grid expansion and is designed to electrify a small community of up to 200 homes per pant under Nepali consumptions patterns. As most of cottage industries are located in such sector they can be benefited. This has the possibility of removing the need for mega hydropower stations. The installation of gravitational water vortex power plant can act as an exemplary project that can have huge environmental benefit with no negative environmental impact. Thus, for developing country like Nepal, this technology of power production can be a boon to eradicate energy crisis.

Low head turbine can be the most suitable option for rural electrification. GWVPP is a new and emerging technique in context of low head hydro power. The research on the gravitational water vortex power plant originates from Austria in the year 2007.After introduction of GWVPP in Nepal as a master degree research project of a student in the year 2012, it become eye-catching and interesting topic for the researchers around Nepal. Two other batches of 2013 and 2014 of mechanical engineering continued the research of GWVPP with the goal to optimize the efficiency of power plant. Conventionally the Austrain are using cylindrical basin structure to form a water vortex which is main source of power in GWVPP. So our main interest to design the parameters of the vessel to increase the strength of water vortex. With the rigorous research on the design parameters for about 3 years we have developed a new mathematical model for the design of the basin structure and got a conclusion that the conical basin structure is efficient than cylindrical basin structure to create water vortex. After finding a suitable basin structure to form water vortex, we move forward to optimize the design of the turbine of power plant. With many experimental testing and mathematical analysis we got a conclusion that the position of turbine inside basin effect the efficiency to large extent and its position about 60%-70% height of basin from bottom position is optimum for maximum power extraction. These two findings are breakthrough in research and development of GWVPP. We have published research articles in many National and international conference including world hydro conference at USA and Renewable Energy Conference at Korea, with many awards like innovative awards, best practice awards, special awards and best one is the publication in the world’s top journal in Renewable Energy Field i.e. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.

As we all know, there are large impedances to explore your capabilities here in Nepal and the challenge amplifies as it is a very small technological field. Everyone has dream to serve their country but very few people are not obliged to leave for abroad. My fellow colleagues who are involved in research project have engagements which does not allow them to stay in Nepal but I am striving here to commercialize the research findings. But some generous people form inside and outside country helped me concerning commercialization of this project which was noteworthy and made it conducive enough to test the patent pending design successfully in Bagmati River at Gokarna, Kathmandu this week which is of 1.6kW capacity. We are planning to supply the electricity to an orphanage house and Martry’s Park near the site of installation.We have also taken the initiative to commercialize this project in various regions of Nepal by doing feasibility study at many locations with goal to lessen the imbalance between energy supply and energy demand prevailing in the country by the effective utilization of this technology and bringing about economic benefit for all. We have taken a goal that by the fifth year of the project, minimum of 50 GWVPP of capacity ranging from 5kw to 20 kW will be installed with continuation of the research in collaboration with Institute of Engineering (TU), Turbine Testing Lab of Kathmandu University School of Engineering, and University of Bristol, United Kingdom.

In a conclusion, our vision of empowering the society by exploiting our own immense water and natural resource through promising technology is appreciated by all. The experiences we collected during the research and development of gravitational water vortex power plant made us realize one important fact that we can lead in research and development in globe if only we focus on the research based on technology that we have within Nepal.








Monday, February 2, 2015

Press Release of of International Capstone Design on Renewable Energy Technology, Mokpo National University, Mokpo South Korea.

Through the rigorous research, we the research and team of Institute of Engineering, Pulhcowk Campus has been successful in creating a new and innovative technology addressing the current energy crisis in Nepal. Our Team including 9 students and 3 professors has developed a new micro hydro power plant that is efficiently applicable in low head region like the Terai Region. The success can be a revolution in electrifying various rural communities of the country. 

The Gravitational Water Vortex Power Plant is based on the principle of converting the potential energy of water with a powerful Gravitational Water Vortex (GWV) in a rotation tank to kinetic energy. The kinetic energy is focused as rotation energy to the turbine in the center of the GWVPP. The turbine converts the rotation energy of the GWV together with a generator to green electricity.

While participating in the CORE 2015 representing research, development and promotion team of 7 of Nepal among various other participants around the globe indeed was a great honor for me. The international exposure during the competition 2015 International Conference on Renewable Energy Technology CORE-2015 held at Mokpo National University, Mokpo, South Korea was a plus point for all the Nepalese researchers as the platform gave us the international recognition. Out of total of 72 projects from various nations our project entitled “Design Optimization of basin and testing of runner for Gravitational Water Vortex power plant” received an outstanding response from the jury members and was also given the special award. 

The achievement during the Capstone renewable energy design contest helped to pay off all the hard work that we had done during our undergraduate research. The vision of Nepalese people to empower the society by exploiting their own immense water and other natural resources through promising technology was appreciated by all. The experiences that I collected during the contest made me realize one important fact that we will be able to lead the globe in research and development if only we focus on the research based on technology that we have within Nepal.








Thursday, November 27, 2014

GRAVITATIONAL WATER VORTEX POWER PLANT FOR AGRO BASED INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT

Dear Colleagues,
I want to share the concept prepared by my team for the Innovative idea competition organized jointly by AEPC and CES ''Scaling up Utilization of Renewable Energy Technologies for Green Industrial Development' in the renewable energy week 2014.



Introduction: 

The micro hydro power plants installed in Nepal are characterized with (medium and high head) which are mainly available in Hilly region. However, the Terai region has water resources with very low head and medium to high discharge conditions and there are several Irrigation Projects for cultivating land which can be utilized to produce electricity to electrify small community which can be a step toward the industrial development in that sector. Hence, the people of the Terai region are not being able to fully utilize the water resources available near them. So ultra-low head gravitational water vortex turbines are useful for power generation in the Terai region. Hence,Existing Irrigation canal can be used as power source by the farmers which will make them independent of national grid supply thus free from loadshedding. So their production will not depend upon the power source by the national supply and will also reduce their expense on power. The power produced can be used to run farms and agro machinery.

Problems: 

Nepal faces a load-shedding crisis: each year at certain times, electrical authorities cut off electric current on certain lines when power demand becomes greater than supply. As Ratna Sansar Shrestha explains in Hydro Nepal magazine, large-scale hydro projects can’t keep up with 10.7% annual increases in power demand. This is because of Nepal Electricity Authority’s (NEA) delayed completion of projects, system mismatches in the seasonal variation of water and inadequacies in much of this mountainous country’s infrastructure. As a result, severe load-shedding will continue at least into the dry season of 2017. Economic losses from these planned interruptions include liquid fuel shortages as households and businesses burn fuel in generators that was destined for the transportation sector. 

Solutions : 
These are the problems. Where are the solutions? Perhaps the best way to answer the question is to pose another one: If large-scale doesn’t work, what about small-scale?” 

We  have worked with renewable energy concepts over the last three years in Centre for Energy Studies  and I think Gravitational Vortex Power (GVP) is a solution that could work for Nepal. Let me explain how it works

How it works?
When we pull the plug from a sink that when the water gets low it starts to spin into the drain hole. It actually makes a mini-whirlpool as the last of the water drains out. Scaling that round hole up from something that is 12 cm in diameter to something with a 5-meter diameter and we can create a larger amount of spinning water with a larger amount of kinetic energy. Gravity does all the work as water flows. Now adding curved blades to dig into the spinning water, attach an electrical power generator and we have GVP. The rotational movement of water in the shallow circular basin creates a stable continuous gravitational vortex, 24 hours per day, seven days a week. 
By comparison to large Hydro project, small GVP plants can use local materials, can cost as little as $10,000 and do not need to dam the water to operate. The GVP plant merely uses the water for a few seconds as it flows on its way down stream. GVP is designed to be installed in remote areas of terai region that would never see grid expansion into local villages and is designed to electrify a small community of up to 200 homes per plant under Nepali consumption patterns. As most cottage industries are located in such sector they can be benefited.

How can GVP be a Solution?
Kathmandu faces its own set of challenges, while in the countryside another set of variables limits the availability and supply of power. So how does using small hydro affect change in the national power grid? It boils down to economics and scale of raw material input for targeted output. 

Let’s look a single Large Scale Project first, the Upper Tamakoshi Hydroelectric Project. The project, which will have a maximum output of 456 MW per day during the monsoon, will cost an estimated US$441 million, excluding interest. Maximum output will drop by 60% or more during the dry season. 

Additional costs will include 132 kV high voltage transmission lines for future grid extension: between $8000–10,000 per kilometre, rising to $22,000 in difficult terrain. Then there is the cost of sub-station construction and additional road building at $20,000 per km. So assuming that everything is on budget (unlikely, based on past performance), let’s round off to $500 million. And one more thing: most of the new lines will by-pass rural communities in Nepal as they wend their way to India to serve Power Purchase Agreements (PPA’s).

By comparison, small GVP plants can use local materials, can cost as little as $10,000 and do not need to dam the water to operate. The GVP plant merely uses the water for a few seconds as it flows on its way down stream. Just the environmental advantages to its usage warrant further investigation as a solution. GVP is designed to be installed in remote areas that would never see grid expansion into local villages and is designed to electrify a small community of up to 200 homes per plant under Nepali consumption patterns. 

If we use the same figure of $500 million for one large project that provides diminishing electrical output as rains decrease from October to May each year, you could build 50,000 GVP plants. These plants generating 57 MWh per year would equal 2,850,000MWh or 2,850 GWh annually fed directly to the local communities in remote locations that need it most. Here is where the shocking part comes in: the forecast annual energy output from the Upper Tamakoshi Project is 2,281 GWh. You generate more power from GVP, save on the amount of construction materials and do not need to dam an entire river! 

With Nepal’s special set of circumstances we must think in inverse terms. The usual train of thought is to electrify from major population centers out to the countryside, but in Nepal’s case it needs to be the opposite to reduce load-shedding. This country needs to electrify from the countryside back into the cities, as most cottage industries are located outside large urban areas. The economy is stagnating from lack of power in these areas. If rural communities can generate their own power locally off the main grid, then excess power not consumed in smaller outlying districts can be diverted back into Kathmandu or other cities languishing in the dark. 

Another benefit beyond revitalization of the rural economy would be that materials used for local construction will be bought locally and those living close to the GVP plants can maintain and repair the generators themselves, not relying on German engineers being flown in to Nepal to work on a damaged large-scale generator. Under this system electrical lines are local, minimizing their cost. The can be bought from local vendors and strung up on already existing electrical poles. This means revenue circulates throughout a local area and the community sees a direct economic benefit.

Hence Gravitational Water vortex Power Plant can be a step toward a green industrial development as the materials used for construction of GVPP be bought locally and those living close to the GVP plants can maintain and repair the generators and Mechanical Components themselves. Under this system electrical lines are local, minimizing their cost. The can be bought from local vendors and strung up on already existing electrical poles. This means revenue circulates throughout a local area and the community sees a direct economic benefit. Thus GVPP installed in existing irrigation  projects is economic way of Agro based industrial Development and also for rural electrification

Reference : 
1. David DuByne is Advisor and Director of Foreign Co-operation with Energy Research Nepal. He can be contacted at David.DuByne@ERN.org.np
2. http://rbndhakal.blogspot.com/2013/12/down-drain-solution-to-nepals-power_16.html

with regards,
Rabin Dhakal
Researcher  
Institute of Engineering 
Central Campus Pulchowk