Undergrads produce eco-friendly battery

28 July 2017 12:12 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Targets poor people to help them survive the ‘solar power war’

Graphite electrodes

A research team of the North western university has made an eco-friendly low cost battery with special capacitors using local graphite and jelly polymer electric dissection in an attempt to boost inventions made using solar energy.  

Assembling a cell

This team has used local graphite for the negative polarity and magnesium or zinc metals for the positive polarity. Jelly polymer electric dissections have been used in the batteries. The scientists claimed that they have successfully experimented with it at the laboratory level using graphite and jelly polymer electric dissections for special capacitors.

Gel polymer electrolyte

  • The scientists claimed that they have successfully experimented with it at the laboratory level

 This research is being done by the contributions of the post graduate students W.A.D.S.Weerasinghe and Wathsala Prasadini under the leadership of Professor Kamal Widanapathirana and Professor Kumudu Perera (Ms) of the Electronic Department attached to Applied Science Faculty of the North Western University. In this connection, financial benefits have been provided by the National Research Council, National Science Foundation and the North Western University.

Supercapacitor with graphite electrodes 

  • Especially, the stored electricity is essential for the nighttime. The cost of appliances and special capacitors available at present for storing electricity is very high

This is how prof. Kamal Widanapathirana expressed his views regarding the research: “We have decided to manufacture these batteries and special capacitors targeting various electronic applications including solar panel providing programmes for one million houses in the solar power ‘war’ that is being implemented at present by the government. The main problem in the manufacture of solar power at present is its inability to store it as a profit. Especially, the stored electricity is essential for the nighttime. The cost of appliances and special capacitors available at present for storing electricity is very high. The solar power ‘war’ is specially directed at the rural poor. Therefore, it’s essential to make a battery or a special capacitor at an affordable price. We hope to use jelly polymer electric dissections that had been made earlier under several other projects. The reason for this is the problematic situation in the electric dissections of many batteries and special capacitors throughout the world,”  

Prof K. P. Vidanapathirana

  • We have decided to manufacture these batteries and special capacitors targeting various electronic applications including solar panel providing programmes for one million houses

He further said that the main reason for the use of metals such as magnesium and zinc for batteries is the insecurity in the lithium. He added that there are problems in the application as well as discarding of lithium. According to him, their aim is to minimize the cost of accessories and give a value to the resources of the country. This they hope to do by using graphite for batteries and special capacitors. It is worth mentioning that they have achieved great success at tests done at the laboratory level at present. He said confidently that his team hopes to finish the project within a period of two years and that it would become a successful product in the years to come.  

Prof K. S. Perera 

He lived life his way

In memory of Bernard Shanmuganathan

Bernard Shanmuganathan was a larger than life personality.  We lost this great friend a couple of days back. It’s simply impossible to come to terms with this loss. The knots in the stomach for once, seem to be getting worse by the day. A sense of emptiness prevails.  


Way back in the early 70’s, as kids, we met at the hostel of St. Anthony’s College Katugastota. We were in the boarding;  the breeding ground for lasting friendship. Our friendship lasted for four and a half decades. The SACK 1980 batch, as we were known, was quite a popular batch in college circles. Bernard was the most popular in this circle. He was instrumental in keeping the batch together throughout with his colourful and cheerful way of life. We were like brothers and were glued together like one family. 


Dear Bernard, for you, life was a journey that was to be lived your way, in a literary sense. You were concerned about others more than of yourself. You took efforts to make everyone around you more comfortable than you were. You were a conduit behind every acquaintance, gathering or event. You were able to bring forth joy and happiness to all around you. 


Cricket your sporting passion. We remember the great feats as a wicket keeper- batsman. Your contemporary cricketers would have many stories to relate. 


You worked very hard from scratch to build a very successful business. This business is a tribute to your focus and attention on anything that you embarked on. You built a network of friends and acquaintances that went beyond an ordinary personality. 


We recall how you loved music and sang better than anyone else to keep a session going. Not only were you present at any event, but you made sure it was memorable. You were always there when someone needed a friend. You loved people. The memories that we cherish of you will never fade away. They are firmly etched in our minds.  


You said goodbye to your wife Shanthi and two daughters Shalini and Sharon. Their world might never be the same without you. 


Goodbye my friend. We bid goodbye to a great soul whom we can proudly call a true friend. 
May your soul rest in peace.  


Murali Prakash – On behalf of batch 1980 of SACK    

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