This project is about designing a low budget windmill for farmers in India. Our team is an international and multidisciplinary design team, consisting of four TU Delft students studying Industrial Design Engineering (IDE).
The strength of Industrial Design is that we have strong practical design skills, a broad technological grounding and extensive knowledge of innovation processes. We will combine these strengths and work closely together with the local inventors and entrepreneurs. In this way we will come up with a windmill that is especially designed for the Indian farmer. The windmill will be locally produced therefore creating jobs and the windmill will be easier to repair. By applying this sustainable technology we are aiming to replace the polluting diesel generators that are currently used. With this booklet we hope to provide you with information about the project, our study ‘Industrial Design Engineering’ and the team. Furthermore, we request your support to make this innnovative project happen.
Weather conditions in India are characterized by long dry periods, added to the fact surface water supply are very scarce, making agriculture a difficult job to do. A solution to this issue is finding underground water and pump it to the surface in order to use for it for irrigation. In most rural areas there is no power grid, so some pumps run on diesel, in other cases water is pumped by hand, which requires a great deal of human effort and drudgery. Having this solution, people found water pumping could also be used for salt mining.
A salt-water mixture is pumped from underground into ponds, water evaporates and salt gets harvested. India is the third largest salt producing country in the world. The state of Gujarat contributes almost 70% of the total salt mining, with an estimated number of 54,000 salt mines. When using diesel-powered pumps, in order to produce 1000 tons of salt, the total expenditure is Rs.1000.000 (€1.600), out of which Rs.60.000 (€950) are spent on fuel. Economic conditions of farmers are very harsh, making their buying capacity very low; this fact is exploited by salt traders, who give the farmers advances for their recurring expenses and then enter a buyback agreement at a very cheap rate. The supply chain generated in this business model makes that middle men (traders, transporters and retailers), take most of the profit, being the farmer the most disadvantaged.
Mohammad Mehtar Hussain (32) and his younger brother, Mushtaq (28) came with a solution to pump water, a low-cost, and relatively easy to build windmill. This solution came from their own need to pump water in their fields for the winter crops. It was a basic windmill made of bamboo and tin sheets. After three years of optimizing the windmill, it has turned out to be a mature product with a large scale testing around Gujarat (20 prototypes). A windmill has become a better solution for salt mining than for field irrigation, due to the fact that Gujarat is one of the main salt mining states and the strong winds found in this area.