January 16, 2006

Inspiration for the day

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P.J.Abraham, Puravan Thuruthil, Chempalam, Idukki

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Layers of chicken mesh surrounded by iron frame and supported by wiremesh, placed as a vertical stack 2 inches apart; an exhaust fan above the top layer; 9 small burners running on LPG at the bottom; the whole thing enclosed in a cubicle like a steel almarah – the cardamom drying unit of P.J.Abraham is complete.  A simple design employing locally available resources.  But the output is quite dramatic – dried cardamom retaining the strikingly greenish colour.

In his unit cardamom is spread in layers and the burner and exhaust fan are turned on.  Within 50 hours the dried seeds are ready to be taken out.

The other advantages of his unit when compared to the existing smokestack designs include savings on cost, savings on fuel and convenience to workers who do not have to struggle in the heat of traditional ovens.  Besides, the unit can be operated economically for small quantity of seeds.  The 2 factors which control the output are the rate of burning and the speed of fan.  During the initial 15 hours, the heat is applied at low rate and the fan runs at full speed.  Later the trend is reversed with increased burning and reduced exhaust.

Everything should be as simple as possible, but not simpler.  Perhaps this Einsteinian dictum applies to 10th-standard-passed Abraham’s invention that won him a National Innovation Foundation award.


Courtesy: Karshakashree, June, 2005
Contributed by: Administrator 


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