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Economics Of Tiny Thermal Power Plants

Thermal power plants is the main source of energy and electricity in India and almost all countries of the world. Most of the giant thermal power plants have capacity of 500MW to 1000 MW. Investment in such giant thermal power plants is Rs 100 million per MW including transmission lines and distribution lines. ( 60 rupees = 1 US$, MW=1000KW). So 1000MW thermal power plant costs Rs 100 million/MW x 1000MW =Rs 100 billion.

Now let us think about tiny thermal power plants. Mostly 10 HP power plant will be people's friendly as it will satisfy most of the basic needs of the people such as oil milling, rice hulling, cotton ginning, yarn spinning, cloth weaving, sugarcane crushing, grain grinding, water pumping, village lighting etc. This will be equivalent of 10 KW electric power which when converted to mechanical power will be 10 HP. This 10 HP thermal power plant without generator will cost Rs 270000/- . Let us compare this with giant power plant. One MW i.e. 1000KW cost Rs 100 million. So 10KW costs Rs 1 million. But in practice it costs Rs 270000/-. It is only 27% cost of giant power plants.
But this cost of Rs 270000/- can be drastically reduced. Tiny thermal power plant consists of steam engine and suitable boiler which generates steam, and alternator if electricity is required. But we have observed that in most of the cases, no electricity is required as direct mechanical power of steam engine can be more efficiently used by running the machines by belts. So power plant means only steam engine and boiler. Now main cost in power plant is boiler. At least 2/3 cost is boiler and 1/3 cost is steam engine. So 10 hp steam engine costs Rs 90000/- and Boiler costs Rs 180000/-.

Now when steam engines will be mass produced in thousands, its cost will reduce to Rs 50000/-. And when boilers will be produced in villages by technicians even without any mass production, its cost will also reduce to Rs 50000/- from Rs 180000/-!  So 10 HP steam power plant will cost only Rs 100000/- which is only 10% cost of giant thermal power plant compared on equal capacity. It means that 100 steam power plants of 10 HP ( equivalent to one MW)  will cost only 100 plants x Rs100000 = Rs 10 million i.e. only 10% of 100 million investment in giant thermal power plant per MW.

But how cost of the boiler will reduce from Rs 180000/- to Rs 50000/- only? It is sure that it will reduce to Rs 50000 only. Water tube boiler used in power generation is nothing but series of tubes welded in parallel with header pipes closed at both ends and housed entire assembly in enclosed fabricated structure well insulated. This can be easily done by village blacksmiths and welders and technicians. Just we have to teach them and train them how to do it. We have to explain them construction of boiler and system of hydraulic pressure testing it. This can be done in one week training for technicians already running fabrication shops in villages. Then they will make their own boilers which will be far more safer than presently available giant boilers.

Is this really possible? Yes. This is really practicable, economical and blessing to common masses. 20 million boilers can be fabricated in villages by village welders and technicians. They are really possessing enough skill to produce boilers in villages. India is the country of inherent skill. It is not found in other countries. This skill is artificially and legally suppressed by Indian Boiler Regulation Act by imposing hundreds of restrictions against manufacturing of boilers in the name of public safety. So special vested interest class of boiler manufacturers have come up who produce and sell boilers at 5 to 10 times its real cost. And small boilers are not produced saying that cost becomes exorbitant and hence not viable. So only giant technology of boiler prevails and hence only giant thermal power plants.

So Indian Boiler Act is the biggest impediment against rural industrialization, against creating millions of self enterprises, against removal of poverty and against creating wealth and prosperity in villages. The biggest paradox is that our Prime Minister shri Narendrabhai Modi is totally against Boiler Act and he understands that Boiler Act comes in to our way of real homogeneous development of our country and he wants to abolish Boiler Act. Please listen his famous speech on 5-1-2014 in which he has bitterly criticized provisions of Boiler Act. His speech is available on youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=decVCdTIBU4). In spite of this, Boiler Act is not abolished.

All the arguments in favour of Boiler Act are thrust upon us in the name of safety of people. All these arguments can be simply nullified by testing the boilers produced by villagers at four times the working pressure of boiler, while Boiler Act provides to test at double the working pressure. So all boilers produced by villagers will be double stronger and double safer than IBR certified boilers. So arguments put forward in the name of safety becomes null and void.

So if Boiler Act is abolished or at least it is exempted for small boilers below 30 sq mt heating surface, then small water tube boilers will be manufactured by village technicians and its technology will spread everywhere and cost of boiler will be only material cost plus labour of technicians just to maintain their families. No profit, no overhead cost will be counted in the cost of boiler. Boiler for 10 hp steam engine will weigh about 500kg and its cost to customer will be only Rs 50000/-. Then there will be real rural industrial revolution bringing happiness to every family. Boiler is the main source of producing prosperity. All the prosperity which we see in the world is generated through boilers. Boiler generates steam and steam generates power everywhere in the world. So Gandhiji has also asserted that "We must learn how to use steam and electricity appropriately". So once we spread the technology of boiler to our villages, millions of boilers will be produced in villages. Then all basic need industries will be fully decentralized including power industry. 20 to 30 million tiny thermal power plants and tiny solar thermal power plants will generate all the energy - almost half million MW in decentralized way - running all the industries in villages. Poverty and unemployment will become matter of past only in 10 to 15 years. Then India will become the strongest country of the world, happiest country of the world  and India will become inspiring Guru of entire world. Then Gandhiji's cherished dream of Swadeshi prosperous villages will be materialized. Then only way to Gram Swaraj will be clear and heaven will descend on this earth.
So only one injustice is to be removed. Rules made for elephants should not be applied to ants. Rules made for giant boilers can not apply to tiny boilers. So small boilers must be exempted as our Prime minister Narendrabhai desires. Then heaven will descend on villages. Government need not worry for them. They will electrify themselves. Government should give them due budget allocation village to village. Per capita budget of central and state governments is Rs 28000/-. Give them 50% with restrictions against its misuse and you will see miracle.

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