Harnessing renewable energy is the need of the hour in today's fuel-driven world. In what could be a novel way of generating non-conventional energy, a group of Delhi University students have proposed an innovative way to tap the potential of wind churned out by Metros.
The project, which has been undertaken by students of Kalindi College, has also garnered the support of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
A 10-student team of the physics and computer science department, have proposed to set up a turbine at an underground metro station to check if it can be successful in harnessing energy from the wind generated by the Metros.
DMRC officials found the project viable and gave consent for setting up the turbine at the Chandni Chowk metro station. "One day, while standing at a metro station, the students realised that the wind generated in the tunnel by these trains is being wasted. They then decided to come up with an idea to harness the energy," principal investigator of the project Dr Punita Verma told MAIL TODAY.
It was decided to install the turbine alone the underground tracks at the mouth of the tunnel, where the maximum wind velocity is 6.5 m/s, without obstructing the operation and safety of Metros.
"We installed a three-blade turbine and a five-blade light rotor turbine with a cut-in speed of less than 1.5 m/s as part of the first phase. We connected it to a battery and measured the amount of power it generates. We also discovered that as stations have varied constructions, the same turbines cannot be used at all Metro stations," Punita said.
The project, which kicked-off in 2013 by a different group of students, has received a grant of Rs 15 lakh from the university. While the first phase involved research work, DMRC engineers were roped in to test the project's feasibility.
"We are working on different designs of the turbine. We will customise them according to the wind velocity and frequency of trains at different stations. Once design is approved by DMRC, firms will make the turbines," Punita said.