Friday, May 30, 2014

Haryana Computers – a hole in the wall place but an excellent repair centre for mother boards, CPU and more


Obsolete in computers is an oft repeat word. With every new technology, the old not only becomes redundant, it becomes infinitely difficult to find a part or worse still get it repaired. More so finding a good repair shop which is reasonable, is efficient and understands the parts well, more so actually takes pride in the repair is next to impossible. My father, the ever optimistic usually says, there is nothing that cannot be repaired in Delhi! And his prophecy came true at this little hole in a basement in Nehru Place regarding computer repair. I had been sounded on it by a visiting Engineer who came to repair my computer. A visit to Nehru Place, Modi Tower to be precise and then making one’s way to the basement. Believe me, it is one place anyone will happily avoid. It is neither plush or sophisticated, entirely basic. However, there are plenty of hardware, software, stationery and photocopy shops in the basement. Haryana Computers is run by Girija Shankar Singh and he works diligently with two of his assistants out of a 10X6 ft or so space. The fact that in the surroundings he can find all spare parts and actually get a computer working in a jiffy is unbelievable.

Location – Nehru Place is around 17 or so kms from Connaught Place. Read the post on Nehru Place shopper’s paradise for IT products and fabrics for further information on the place. Modi Tower is located behind Paras Cinema theatre. It is one of the old classic cinema halls surviving ole fashioned way unlike the modern PVRs and DTs. The address is : B-8, 98  Hemkunt Tower, (Modi Corp.)Nehru Place.

How to get there -  Very well connected by the Metro, Buses, Autos, Taxis… Parking though is a nightmare. 

Highlight – The shop is much sought after for repairing lap tops especially mother boards and all cards. The way mother boards are brought there to be repaired and sent back is amazing to watch. How he remembers what came from where and not loose a single part is simply incredulous. They do not do doorstep service. One has to cart the computer to their shop. It is well worth the trouble in my opinion.


Insider Tip – Do not reveal this, I had gone to him to get my PIII going!!! It had a lot of data which had to removed before the comp could be found another place. I am not sure what was the problem but some spare parts which were “bloated”, voila the PC was working. A bit of pleading, a promise to be written about here, he copied the data on to my external HDD and deleted all the files. Am I happy, you bet at a very affordable price too!!! When waiting, you can indulge at the Revlon company outlet on the ground floor of Modi Tower. They have a lot of combo offers with free gifts which is not available in the open market. Also the entire range is on display with free testers.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Solar Energy Centre or National Institute of Solar Energy


Next to Teri’s RETREAT or Teri Gram as the board proclaims, is the Solar Energy Centre or National Insitute of Solar Energy which is run under the MNRE (Ministry of New and Renewable Energy). The non-descript building houses the testing centre and it can be called to be nerve centre for the pioneering work being done in Solar Power in the country. The centre has got a further boost after the launch of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Mission on Solar Power. The centre is good kilometer or more from the entrance. There is work in progress and the plenty of construction activity going on. But it is inside the place that one sees the remarkable work being done using solar power – solar thermal and solar photovoltaic system. There are air conditioning systems being run on solar power. Solar power is being stored in batteries, invertors. Solar thermal energy is being used to produce heating which inturns works on cooling. This is used to cool building, air conditioning systems and more. Similarly the same technology running water through panels results in brackish or bad water being converted into good quality drinking water. This replaces conventional RO system using solar power. The waste of water in RO system which throws out good quality of water is avoided. Apart from saving on water wastage, this uses solar power so there is saving on both the front.

There are agricultural pumps which are operated using solar power. There are umpteen number of solar panels available with higher and greater efficiency. The centre in itself is a fine example of how solar power can be harnessed for homes and day to day purposes. More so, the staff and those associated with the place are extremely extremely courteous with a passion for energy efficiency, alternate power and more. The building when run on solar power runs akin to any other place supporting all modern electrical and electronic equipment. So, computers, airconditioners, water coolers, printers et all run work on solar power. The connection with the grid ensures that on a day when solar power cannot be generated as the sunshine is not there, the place functions smoothly.

Location – It is around 10 – 12 kms from Mehrauli if one takes the short road via Chattarpur, Jaunapur to Gwal Pahari. The route via the Pahari from Gurgaon is circuitous though it is wonderful to see such empty roads so near Delhi.
How to get there -  It is better to go in one’s own vehicle. 
Highlight –  The plethora of solar equipments which are running and working. Nowhere can one get to see the entire range of solar power products. It is also an eye opener on what all is possible with solar enery.
Insider Tip –  It is an extremely educative experience. One can see the various means of harnessing solar power using more and more sophisticated technique. The scientists and directors working there are very practical and understand the limitation and cost implication. They understand the cost of generating solar power and the investment required. Will very firmly tell you if it is viable, should you venture into it. To a great extent, they are practical in the application of the technology. Go and Enjoy yourself, both the places at Gwal Pahari are well worth the trip!!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

TERI's RETREAT - an achievement in energy efficiency


The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) it was called Tata Energy Research Institute earlier has this remarkable energy efficient building called Retreat. Today, there are plenty of LEED certified buildings which manage this, but TERI’s RETREAT was one of the pionners. So what makes the RETREAT so special. Well read on....

Most of the buildings / homes we live in are virtual energy guzzlers. An energy efficient home contributes to a cleaner, healthier surrounding, adds positively to the environment, conserves resources and above all it is LIGHTER ON THE PURSE - it helps save quite a packet ; with no compromise on the degree of comfort.

Hard to believe, it has been so proved at TERI’s RETREAT (Resource Efficient TERI Retreat for Environmental Awareness and Training), situated at Gual Pahari, Gurgaon. This eco-friendly training complex a mere 35 minutes drive from Delhi is equipped with all modern amenities & its comforts- from fax, phones, airconditioners to computers & internet but at the same time conserves resources and is not detrimental to the environment. It reduces the use of fossil fuels,  there is little emission of pollutants, optimum use of water together with its recycle and recharge and reduced waste generation. The place can be called truly self sufficient in all its needs.  It is completely free from municipal services, is not connected to the city’s grid system (generates its own electricity),  provides for its own water requirements and all such infrastructure facilities.  As crunch points try this, building design and engineering has resulted in an overall load saving of 184 kW (peak), i.e. reduction in load to 96kW (peak) from a conventional high of 280 kW (peak). In rupee terms it is almost a saving of Rs. 26,86,400 p.a., assuming peak usage for 8 hours daily for 365 days at Rs. 5 per unit of electricity. The place uses sun’s rays, wind current, rain water and harnesses effectively natural conditions & seasonal phenomenon, to create a marvellous example of modern day sustainable living.

Electricity Connection - The building is run on a photovoltaic gasifier hybrid system. The 50 kilowatt gasifier runs on biomass fuel (dried leaves, twigs, firewood and crop residues converted into briquettes) with one kg biomass producing 1 unit. About 10 kW of solar energy is generated by the roof photovoltaic system. The building management system manages the power available from both the sources.  The daytime needs are met by the gasifier while the solar PV plant the night time requirements. Stand alone systems power the external lights and water pumps. This system runs all electricity based appliances including computers, airconditioners and photocopiers.

Passive design concepts resulting in reduced energy consumption - “Passive design concepts” in lay man’s language can be defined as design nuances which make optimum use of available knowledge of natural resources to reduce energy utilisation. The latticework for shading at both ends cuts off the summer sun and lets in the winter sun. As also the North South orientation of the building with shading devices which cuts off the summer sun and lets in the winter sun. The roof is insulated by using vermiculite concrete and china mosaic white finish.  This reflects the sun’s rays and reduces the roof load. The walls are insulated with Styrofoam which balances the temperature and prevents the walls from becoming heated in summers and becoming very cold in winters. The building is partially sunken into the ground.  This helps stabilize internal temperature. Skylights are designed in such a manner as to provide glarefree daylight in the conference halls, library and recreation hall.  I had to constantly pinch myself to believe that it was not the usual electric light but sunlight pouring into the place. After working under artificial lighting, it does take a while getting used to natural light. Landscaping alters the flow of wind while the deciduous trees planted on the southern side provide shade during summers while in winters they conveniently shed their leaves to allow for the warm bright winter sun. A smart approach indeed !  All this reduces the load by atleast 10 - 15%.   

There is more to this place, it will be telling if I put everything down here, go there take a look, come back convinced and use it in your home.

Location – It is around 10 – 12 kms from Mehrauli if one takes the short road via Chattarpur, Jaunapur to Gwal Pahari. The route via the Pahari from Gurgaon is circuitous though it is wonderful to see such empty roads so near Delhi.
How to get there -  It is better to go in one’s own vehicle.  
Highlight – The design concept of the building. The harnessing of natural resources to provide for light, air inside the building. The planting of trees to facilitate this.
Insider Tip – Study the use of energy efficient techniques and see what can be implemented in one’s own home. The range of technology available to reduce the use of electricity, water and treatment of sewage is mind boggling. If you are planning to construct your own house, this is the ideal place to check out before starting work. It is remarkable how this green landscape has been achieved in a pahari or mountainous area.