Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Jo sees installation of biogas plant at SKG

My last field visit was to see some biogas plants installed by our 2007 winner, SKG Sangha, with company secretary Kiran Kumar. The installations they wanted me to see were several hours drive out of Bangalore so we made a start in the afternoon. After a three hour drive we arrived in the town of Hassan to west of Bangalore where we stayed the night.

The following morning it was another two hours on the road to visit some farms. Although I have visited India several times as a tourist over the last few years, I have never had the opportunity to visit small villages deep in the countryside and it was fascinating. The countryside got more attractive the further we went, with flat land and rice paddies giving way to gentle hills where coffee, pepper and other spices are grown.

The village I visited is one where SKG has been very active – of 70 homes 40 have had biogas plants installed, with those which have been built more recently including a vermicomposting unit.

The really interesting thing about this visit was that we were able to see biogas plants at all stages of construction.

The mason I saw building this digester was obviously very skilled and worked really quickly. As always in India he had a big audience watching with interest as he, helped by members of the family who were having the plant, made rapid progress.

Once several courses of bricks had been laid they started sealing the outside with a very loose mortar.

Then the space around the digester is then back-filled with the excavated earth.

The unit for the vermicompost is where the slurry from the digester is turned into a rich compost by worms. This compost is used on the farmers’ own land with any surplus being sold and increasing income.

The biogas is piped from the unit into the house through the roof:

Ready to cook on.

Of course none of this would be possible without these:

You can find out more about this technology all of our winners by visiting our website.

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