The ‘flat pack’ renewable energy solution
Published: 6 January 2020 - Carly Wills
QUBE Renewables, creator of ‘flat pack’ anaerobic digestion (AD) kits that create energy from waste, is working on a project with Haryana University to install fifty QUBES in the paddy fields of the Punjab in a bid to tackle Delhi’s air quality crisis.
QUBE is an innovative self-assembled kit that converts biodegradable wastes into energy to provide heat, power and sanitation. The QUBE’s flexible, fabric design can be used virtually anywhere in a warm climate and with any biodegradable waste. Each year, India’s rice farmers burn the stubble of their harvested crops, contributing to a seasonal smog that damages the health of those in and around the capital. By harnessing QUBE’s technology, farmers will now be able to turn 150 tonnes of stubble into 50,000m3 of biogas, the equivalent of 584,000 hours of cooking on a 1.5kw biogas stove. All whilst negating the harm that burning their crop causes.
Hearing of the success of QUBE Renewables’ deployment in the Philippines, Haryana Agricultural University have partnered with the British company to make better use of the Punjab’s problematic crop stubble. A QUBE can be built and operating in under two weeks, turning waste rice straw (the crop stubble) into fuel (through a process of anaerobic digestion) for clean cooking, generators and even running vehicles. QUBE also creates a fertiliser, enabling waste rice straw to be used to grow the next crop. Crop burning in the region is estimated to make a 40 per cent contribution to Delhi’s hazardous pollution levels. It is estimated that 150 tonnes of rotting rice straw releases approximately 16 tonnes of methane, it is anticipated that QUBE will provide a GHG CO2 equivalent saving of 413 tonnes per batch processed.
The instillation of QUBEs in the Punjab is a grant free, commercial venture with Haryana Agricultural University. QUBE Renewables manufactures and distributes ready to assemble flat pack energy from waste kits that are used by retailers and farmers. The kits, originally designed in partnership with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to turn soldier’s faeces into something more useful, come in a range of sizes and capabilities, dependant on the volume and nature of the biodegradable material.