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Shankha Subhra Das from Khedabari in Sepahijala district of Tripura has received the Gandhian Young Technological Innovation (GYTI) Award for developing a technology that uses wet clothes to charge mobile phones or medical diagnostic devices.
The award was presented to him by Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan earlier this month.
Das, who holds a PhD degree from IIT-Kharagpur, uses a cloth which he has cut to a particular size, inserts it into a plastic straw and puts it in a half-filled water container.
He then attaches copper electrodes to both ends of the straw.
“The water is transported to the top after some time, due to capillary action, and around 700 millivolts are registered in the voltmeter,” Das said.
Das and his team connect a series of 30-40 such devices to increase power as it generates 12 volts, enough to charge mobile phones, microchip, mini gadget, medical diagnostic kits and even light a small LED bulb.
“This is part of a funded research project wherein we have explored powering medical diagnostic devices that can be used in remote places. We have found cloth-based devices useful for our project. Our challenge was to eliminate external pumping input for water flow,” Das said.
(Edited by Ladiangti Rani)