Low cost, Energy Efficient Mobile tea-stall for Micro-entrepreneurs

Low-cost, Energy-efficient Mobile Tea-stall for Micro-entrepreneurs / Street Vendors

>> An implementation of ‘maximum utilization of minimum space’ concept with inherent adaptability to respond to the changing demand and surroundings.<<

Project Type:
industrial/product design
other: a new protagonist of urban planning issues; stimuli that creates public space

Project Mission/Goal:
improve the human spirit
– Improve the human spirit of micro entrepreneurs
– Increase awareness of the environment and address climate change
– Respond to our growing need for hygiene, Energy and Economic development
– Address humanitarian crises of informal micro entrepreneurs
– Re-construct a new idea for urban planning issue.- Introducing a new micro credit issue and legalize them at certain part of urban areas- so that they can grow in a controlled and planned way

Project Description:
One of the wonderful qualities about Bangladeshi people is that they enjoy other people’s company, gossiping with family-members, friends or even strangers. Unfortunately with rapid urbanization, means of recreation have become quite limited which have also reduced social interactions. However, tea stalls or other such small food stalls, which are one kind of vending, have been attracting people of all ages, religions, class and upbringing, for a while. Though, unnoticed and often less appreciated but such stalls have been effectively creating public gathering spaces of different dimensions, types and forms for a long time which cannot be compared or even classified with any other public space seen anywhere else in the world. Ironically, these dynamic developments have evolved in the face of uncertain economic, political conditions and growing problems such as rapid urbanization, poverty, lack of employment etc.

In their own way, they have given a wonderful solution for the economic development not only for our country but also for similar situations that persists all over the world. They not only have ensured employment opportunities for the poor but also fulfill the demand of lower income group and contribute to the overall economy. Saves time and energy consumption from the customer’s point of view as they are within easy reach of their home or office. Also there is no gender biasness between men and women since all of them are engaged in these activities. However in order to do that, they have occupied and established their own business on land that has remained vacant for a very long time or with poor accessibility or just beside the road with moving character. So although they have shown a demand to use space but since is it done in an illegal way, they often face eviction. Nonetheless, vending is no trivial matter. They might seem like a minority but it is rather a huge sector. Therefore time has come to seriously deal with this issue.

In spite of being ignored and despised by many, this sector was found to have enormous potentials. Close observation revealed that they have the inherent power to fold and unfold in accordance to changing political conditions. Also they have the ability to change and adapt, for their investment is minimal. In other words, these architecture and urbanisms of “necessity” operates with extremely limited material conditions that challenge the professionals such as planners and architects. Inspired by their indigenous knowledge in utilization of space, the design concept of-maximum utilization of minimum space was derived. So the idea formulated was that of a structure, retractable in character, i.e., it can be folded to form a compact structure. Also, based on their ergonomics, energy efficiency, a low-cost structure was to be designed for the BRAC TARC as an experiment that will be affordable by these vendors.

The intention of this experimental project was to demonstrate a possible solution of how different mechanisms can be integrated under a single system/unit which not only will minimize the cost but make it possible those people who are engaged in this profession to earn double then their previous income. Further study on this issue revealed some interesting facts, which are:
1. About 1 million vendors spend 20million Euro/month for making Tea. If this fuel could be reduced then their monthly income will increase by the same amount. 2. These 1 million vendors can reduce 1100 ton carbon emission per month for making Tea by reducing their fuel use. 3. Single Pop-corn machine utilizes 1300w/h of electricity. If Bio-gas is used to run1million machine then 13000mw/h of energy could be saved.

Therefore an attempt was made to make use of renewable energy instead of using natural fuel, coal etc. making it unique in terms of environmental sustainability for this sector. Although it meant that the initial investment will be double the previous one but in the long run the entrepreneurs will be the gainer since it would reduce the monthly fuel consumption. Also materials to be used are decided to be either recycled or sustainable in nature. Later wood was chosen as the construction material. Thus, although further improvement will be required for long term operation and system efficiency but the development progress are in initial stage. Micro enterprises have a huge prospect for a developing nation like ours and this project represents the present time and acknowledges the forces acting upon the urban condition. The focus of this project was how the very existence of this informal sector has been threatened. They have been thrown apart and discarded like garbage yet they continue to thrive, fulfilling the basic necessities of our lives and most importantly they contribute to about 60% of a developing nation’s GDP. This module, probably the first mobile vending system in the world makes use of alternative energy and other innovative technology. Also an attempt is made to free them from the oppositions imposed by the society, authority and re-construct a new idea for urban planning issue- which they can identify it as theirs without any fear or hesitation. It can be considered as a great introduction for the development of billions of micro entrepreneurs both within our country and outside, since vending is an integral part of urban fabric that cannot be ignored nor eliminated. The only remaining to do then is to relocate them or legalize them at certain part of urban areas- so that they can grow in a controlled and planned way.

Special features:
1. Solar water heater – 1 gallon 80’C
2. Solar oven
3. Cooling system/ refrigerator
4. The proposed solar system
5. Pop corn machine
6. Expendable and retractable
7. Waste disposal system
8. Paddling system for moving
9. All in one so easy to use and move, also effective for cost minimization.10. 1 LEED light tube light and 2 spot light for front advertisement space of 2’x3’
11. Technology in terms of energy use makes it UNIQUE for the billions of micro entrepreneurs around the world.

Development Progress:
MOTOR : conventionally used motor in pop-corn making machine is 60 watt (car wiper). It is being modified using gear motor of only 1 watt x 12 in terms of watt hour energy saved (60watt x 3hrs =180 w-h)-(1 watt x 3hrs =3w-h ) =177 watt- hr.

BATTERY CHARGING : That motor is driven by a battery charging from AC 220V. The developed motor is driven by a DC 12V battery which is being charged by a 10watt Solar Panel during day light.

LIGHTING : In conventional system Hajak light or 60 watt filament bulb was used but in the developed system only two 3watt LED light was used and that will be run by same Solar charged battery.

SOLAR OVEN : Conventionally the oven was heated by a 60watt filament bulb but in the developed model a Solar Oven is used to keep the food hot ( 50-70’C). There is no use of conventional energy.

SOLAR WATER HEATER : conventionally for hot water , a burner is used to heat the water up to 80’C for tea making. In the developed system a solar water heater is used where we can get preheated water up to 60’C. So we only need to increase 20’C temp of water. That makes 60% energy saving in heating of water.

BURNER : The improved burner is used that can be operated by Bio-gas and because of special nozzle the gas use efficiency is also improved.

WATER RECYCLING SYSTEM : In the developed system the water that is being used for washing cup, tray etc can be recycled by using a simple filtration system ( using sand and stone layer)

WASTE COLLECTOR : In the developed system there is a integrated waste collector.

Note: This is a demonstration module of one typology without living facilities, which is an outcome of my Undergraduate Thesis on: Livelihood of Urban Grey space and how we can revitalize this enterprises as a protagonist of Urban dynamics who consider to be a new Urban citizenship also who helps to generate a new form of Public sphere.

Project Details: (per project detail form)
Location: Sarar, Dhaka
Concept/Lead Architect(s)/Designer(s): Md. Imrul Kayes
Project Architect(s): Md. Imrul Kayes
Year (s): December 8 2008 – January 2009
User Client: small micro-entrepreneurs
Number of beneficiaries/users: Directly, hundreds of customers and thousands of small micro-entreprenurs
Project Phase: 1st phase (demonstration model) + 2nd phase( finalize model and its efficiency) + Micro credit
Major Funding: 1st phase Funding: BRAC TARC
Cost/Cost per unit: Demonstration Cost – USD $1400; Production Cost – USD $900 (depending on quantity)
Area (if applicable): 2 square miles
Structural Engineers:
Electrical/Mechanical Engineers: Md. Shajedul Hossain
Contractor/Manufacturer: Architecture for Humanity, Dhaka team and volunteers
Additional Consultants: Dr. Saiful Han (Energy Consultant)
Other: Demonstration module of one of the typology with moving feature. An outcome of undergraduate thesis ‘Livelihood in urban grey space’

Concept thesis by Md.Imrul Kayes
Nominated by Imrul Kayes