“Learning and Innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you think yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow.” – William Pollard.
One of the most interesting concepts that one can come across in understanding the social impacts of advancing technology is the concept of “appropriate technologies.
Concept of Appropriate Technologies
The theory states that – although technological innovation is good for society, it has to focus on solving “immediate” problems of people. It says that technology should focus on developing small scale models – location specific and in accordance to the local culture – that help people with specific problems, and that are decentralized, energy-efficient and environment friendly.
At Naandi, we lay great emphasis on this way of thinking.
How to do the most with what is available?
How to make technology work for us at an indigenous level?
How to create “appropriate” technologies?
These are the questions that we constantly strive to answer. This has led us to incorporate certain methods and technologies.
HYDROPONICS & AQUAPONICS
Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using nutrient-rich water without the use of soil.
Our journey with Hydroponics started off with the following experiment.
Step 1: Water from the pond on the right is pumped, with the help of a small, submersible motor – similar to the ones found in air coolers, into the top PVC pipe.
Step 2: This pipe has holes on top in which perforated pots, called Net pots, are placed. These net pots are filled with cinder which allows water to flow through it easily. The pipe also has small holes underneath to which are attached drip irrigation pipes which direct the water into the two plant pots. These plant pots are also filled with cinder.
Step 3: Water passes through these pots and channelled back into the pond with the help of another PVC pipe at the bottom of the arrangement.
After running the submersible pump for a few days, we got the following result:
The Advantage of the Set-up
Well, there was almost no loss of water as almost everything was being sent back into the pond. Also, due to the water movement, aeration would take place and oxygen levels restored which is beneficial for the fish in the pond.
The major drawback to this experiment was that the submersible pump had to be running for a long time. To circumvent this problem, our team has come up with an innovative solution.
This floating crate is made of recycled wood with the base covered with a perforated sheet. On top of this sheet, manure is deposited. With water flowing constantly around this crate and thought the perforations at the bottom, this manure absorbs water and stays hydrated throughout.
Water is taken by the saplings from this manure which acts both as a nutrient source as well as soil. This method not only helps in growing plants without the use of soil and without wasting water, but also helps in containing evaporation of water from the surface of the pond. It also helps in reducing the growth of algae at the bottom of the pond as it acts as a shade net.
ENERGY FROM TREADMILL
“You spend money to eat. You get fat. You regret. Then you spend money again to get thin. And the cycle continues. At least generate some energy while you are getting thin.” – Nagesh Battula
With that in mind, our team created a small circuit board that can charge a battery when you run on a treadmill.
The power generating treadmill is simple in construction. Actual inclination of the track was modified and set at a slightly elevated level which aids the user to run smoothly. And finally, instead of the conventional power consumption, the treadmill stores the energy with developed circuitry component fitted to it.
These are just a few of the many such innovations are being taken up by us, and installed within each of our projects across India.