Vietnam’s engineer invents cheap wind-powered generator

Mini wind-powered generators made in Vietnam are expected to hit market at cheap prices in the middle of 2012.

Caption: Tran Quoc Hieu with the wind-powered generator he made himself

Tran Quoc Hieu, 24-year-old graduate from a joint engineer training program between Vietnam and France, has invented the device that costs only around VND1 million (US$48) for production.

“I hope people would raise their awareness of using renewable energy by using wind-powered generators,” Hieu said.

The device would reduce the burden of power shortage and help save the environment, he said.

Hieu said he heard French professors and students talk many times about renewable energy during the engineer training program at Ho Chi Minh City University of Polytechnics.

Then he thought about the wind resource in Vietnam, which is rich. Yet wind-powered generators available on the market are expensive, such as those made in China that cost around $450 each.

“All those inputs inspired me to invent a cheap wind-power generator,” said the young engineer, who is now mechanic engineer at Intel Products Vietnam, Ltd.

It took Hieu three years from mid 2009 to June 2010 to come up with the final product that can generates 60 kiloWatts of eletricity a month, enough for lighting and television use at a household in rural areas.

The product has three differences from those available on the market. The propellors are made of wood and designed according to the aerodynamic principle. The product uses motorbike dynamos which help generate stronger electricity current and optimum electronic charging board to save energy when the battery is full.

Yet the wooden propellors made them not as durable as those made by synthetic fibers used for current generators, Hieu said.

The inventor is working with a company in the southern industrial province Binh Duong to bring the product to the market.

Hieu is worried that few people in Vietnam know about renewable energies and the importance of using them, which will be a problem when his generator is introduced to the public.

Yet he said he believed that in one year, the product will be better known and more people will be willing to give it a try.

After information about the wind-powered generator made in Vietnam was published on several newspapers, Hieu has received calls and emails from several people and interested businesses.

Nguyen Thi Phuong, a newspaper reader, commented on an online post about Hieu’s generator that “It would be great if all families in Vietnam, from rural to urban areas, learn about renewable energy. The idea is great.”

Another reader named Nguyen Quyet Thang said Hieu is an example for young people to follow.

Hieu is a regular volunteer at many campaigns for the environment and poor people.

Source: Tuoi Tre – Translated by Thuy Minh

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