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Human Power Washing Machine

Human Power Washing Machine

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Published by: MoreMoseySpeed on Feb 03, 2012
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Home Power #83 June / July 2001
n developing countries like India andChina, and in other parts of Asia,Latin America, and Africa, humanpower is a great asset. To bring ruralemployment, our approach should beas Mahatma Gandhi put it, “Not massproduction, but production by themasses.”
Treadle Washing Machine
Ahuman-powered washing machine is much cheaperthan an electrically operated machine. My design usesa box that is 38 by 38 by 61 cm (15 x 15 x 24 in.),made from thick galvanized iron sheet. On the ousideof the box, there is a 15 cm (6 in.) diameter aluminumpulley that is belted to the pulley on the sewingmachine base. On the inside of the box, there is a 15cm (6 in.) diameter fiberglass wheel. The inside wheelis made with a curvature that facilitates centrifugalmotion.The whole setup is mounted on the pedaling table of atreadle sewing machine. There is an opening with acover on the top of the box to put in soap powder,water, and clothes. At the bottom of the box, there is apipe that allows users to drain the used water. Theupper portion and the sides of the machine are paintedblack. When the unit is placed in sunlight, it absorbsheat that can be used to warm the water for cleaningclothes.
The box is filled halfway with water, soap powder, andabout 2 to 3 kg (4–7 lbs.) of clothes. It is covered forhalf an hour, so that all the clothes can soak in thesoapy water. Then the treadle is operated for 15minutes for synthetic fabrics and 25 minutes for cottonfabrics. The used soapy water is then drained out.The clothes are removed, rinsed, and dried in sunlight.After washing, the box can be removed to make thepedalling stand available for the sewing machine. Thewhole washing machine, except for the sewingmachine, costs around Rs 500 (about US$11), and canbe fabricated locally.
The unit is cost-effective.The unit is mobile.The fabrication of the unit will generate employment,especially in rural areas.It helps to conserve energy.Men and women are already accustomed tooperating sewing machines, and the operation of thispedal-powered washing machine is not strenuous.The life of the clothing is extended compared tohammering it on rocks.Operating the machine provides excercise.
Hand-Operated Battery Charger
In developing countries, solar-electric modules tocharge batteries for a television and one light are
A. Jagadeesh
 ©2001 A. Jagadeesh
Loads of wash take between 15 and 25 minutes inDr.Jagadeesh’s treadle-powered model.
Home Power #83 June / July 2001
Pedal Power
becoming more common. In Mongolia, wind chargersare widely used (over 150,000) to charge batteries for atelevision and one light. On average, a solar/windbattery charger costs Rs 30,000 (about US$638) inIndia. And wind chargers can’t be operated in all places,since wind is site specific and intermittent.I designed a hand-operated battery charger. It consistsof a bicycle wheel and a low-rpm generator that ismounted on a frame and driven by a V-belt. There is ahandle attached to the system. The system also has ablocking diode to prevent reverse flow of current.
Three 12 volt lead-acid batteries are connected inparallel, and then to the battery charger. By rotating thewheel for six hours, the batteries can be charged. Sincemany of the sewing machines are hand operated(especially in Northern India), people are familiar withthis sort of system.
The whole unit weighs about 5 kg (11 lbs.) and ismobile—it can be carried on the back.
Pedal-Powered WashingMachines in the U.S.
Urban Homebrew Machine
Laura Allen
 ©2001 Laura Allen
This pedal-powered washer was built in a day bytwo motivated people (Reuben and Laura). We usedwhat we had: an old 55 gallon drum, an old bike,scrap wood, nuts, bolts, and one bale of hay (to liedown on). Anyone—especially you!—could build awasher like this.It provides employment to rural people.The unit is easy to fabricate, even in rural workshops.In most countries, generators are available, and if not,they can be imported. Many countries exemptrenewable energy equipment and generators fromcustoms duty. Alternatively, automobile generatorscan be used by changing the windings.The unit is inexpensive—it costs about Rs 7,000(US$150).It can be operated with either hand.It occupies little space.Women, as well as children, can operate the system.
Dr. A. Jagadeesh, Renewable Energy Specialist, 2/210,First Floor, Nawabpet, Nellore - 524 002, AP., India++ 91 861 321580 • Fax: ++ 91 861 330692a_jagadeesh@yahoo.com or a_jagadeesh@usa.netLaura Allen, PO Box 3831, Oakland, CA94609laur_ax@lycos.comAmy Preuit and CCATstaff, Campus Center forAppropriate Technology (CCAT), Humboldt StateUniversity (HSU), Arcata, CA95521 • 707-826-3551Fax: 707-8263772 • ccat@humboldt.eduwww.humboldt.edu/~ccat
The hand-operated battery charger utilizes a low-rpmgenerator,a bicycle wheel,and human power.The author using her homebrew washing machine.

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