MJCET Students Invent A Solar Powered Charkha!

By: Syed Khaled Shahbaaz,

A solar-powered Charkha was inaugurated by Mr. Khan Lateef Khan, Chairman, Sultan-ul-Uloom Education Society during the Annual Day celebrations of Muffakham Jah College of Engineering and Technology on 27th March. Developed by students Farhan Ali Khan and Aditya Mekala of B.E 4th year, the solar-powered spinning wheel aims at easing worker burden, doubling yield and promoting employment in rural areas of India where poor women use these Charkhas to earn their livelihood.

Support TwoCircles

The project funded by MJCET and dubbed as “Solar–powered Charkha” involved transforming two manual operated ‘Charkhas’ (popularized in India by Mahatma Gandhi during the freedom movement) to an ultra-modern and self-sufficient spinning machine with a juice-pack of its own. The introduction of solar charkhas is expected to contribute in raising income of spinners and weavers, increase employment generation, and to stop the migration of rural people to cities. Since the solar charkha can also be operated by physically challenged people, it is expected to create more employment opportunities in the rural areas.

The Solar Charkha yielded 50 yanks per 8 hours when tested by actual women users at the site, which doubles the yield obtained by using manually operated charkhas. For example, a woman who earlier used to work on only one simple charkha would now be able to work on two solar charkhas simultaneously and earn about Rs. 250 per day (or about Rs. 6250/- per month with 8 hours of work on each of 25 working days).

The cost of refurbishing the manual chakra into a solar gadget is Rs. 75000 for two machines. With the current price subsidy of 30% by government of India on solar powered devices, the actual cost is Rs. 52,500 with 12 months as payback period of investment. The solar powered chakra can help increase the wages of rural people from Rs. 22,500 to Rs. 75,000 annually.

In its new avatar, the Solar Chakra is equipped with sufficiently large solar panels that charge the rechargeable batteries fitted into its chassis. As the solar panels generate Solar energy into electrical power, the accompanying inverter automatically converts the incoming alternate current (AC) into direct current (DC) to power the motors to run two charkhas. The spindle motor rotates at 60-90rpm that drives the charkha (Chakra) with the help of a speed regulator. Excess powered generated is stored into the battery to power the charkhas and lights for up to 4 hours after sunset.

Mr. Zafar Javeed, Hony. Secretary, SUES, felicitated the meritorious students with gold medals and certificates of appreciation. Mr. Mohammed Waliullah, Vice Chairman SUES, Dr. Mir Akbar Ali Khan, Mr. Mohammed Jaffar and Mr. S.A.Wahab were among the audience comprising of students and others.