09/02/2014: Plan to install 'Bio-Socket' in 35,000 biogas plants for electricity

Plan to install 'Bio-Socket' in 35,000 biogas plants for electricity

DHAKA, Feb 9, 2014 (BSS) - The SNV Netherlands Development Organization, a pioneer in promoting biogas plants in the world, plans to install 'Bio-Socket' in the country's 35,000 biogas plants to generate electricity for rural households.

A source in the SNV said the organization is nearing completion to develop a prototype of the Bio-Socket, a new technical innovation where heat of a biogas flame is directly transformed into electricity and a socket can produce electricity up to five watt.

"We've developed the Bio-Socket fuelled by biogas to generate electricity...Initially our target is to introduce it in 35,000 biogas plants in Bangladesh" Rajeev Munankami, Senior Technical Adviser (Renewable Energy) of SNV Netherlands Development Organization, told BSS here today.

Munankami said besides cooking, from a bio-socket a villager can charge mobile phone and light kitchen and students of a family can also do their homework in the evening.

Cost of product will be affordable for villagers as a rural family can have the bio-socket spending only Taka 2,000 with easy installment for years, he said.

The expert said the SNV felt the necessity of developing the technology as villagers seldom used to tell whether any option to
use extra gas for another purpose.

Villagers want to charge their mobile phone but they don't have power whereas solar is expensive, he said adding that villagers having biogas plants in place can easily use the affordable and user-friendly bio-socket.

"Technically we have proved that it (bio-socket) works, we want to transfer the technology through local entrepreneurs," he said and added that the new product is also being developed in Tanzania and Rwanda.

He said, "If we have a good manufacturing base here,Bangladesh, after meeting local demand, can also produce it for India, Nepal and Bhutan."

The first prototype of Bio-Socket was tested in Bangladesh during August 2013 and the prototype was upgraded based on the feedback from the potential users.

Currently from December 2013 onwards, the second phase of field-testing is underway in kitchen of four households at Nolam (Savar), Bathuli (Dhamrai) and Garpara (Manikganj).

Rehaj Uddin, a dweller of Garpara village of Manikganj district, has recently introduced the Bio-Socket in his biogas plant, is benefitting from multipurpose use of his biogas. Earlier, Rehaj Uddin installed the biogas plant in front of his house borrowing Taka two lakh from Bangladesh Bank's green fund.

"Now I can not only cook but also charge my mobile phone and educate my children in the evening," beamed Sharmin Akhter Lipi, told this correspondent during a visit.

Redwanoor Rahman (Bulbul), managing director of Rahman Renewable Energy Company (RREC), engaged to provide local support for the testing and development of the Bio-Socket, said it was found in the field testing that the Bio-Socket can supply electricity for four hours daily.

There are 300 biogas plants in Manikganj, he said.

Bangladesh has now around 75,000 bio-gases built under the Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), the Bangladesh Centre for Science and Industrial Research (BCSIR) and the Department of Youth Development (DYD).