| Animal Powered Systems |
The world's oldest form of renewable energy - meaning the muscle power of animals and its utilization in animal-powered systems - is enjoying a special measure of attention within the scope of West German technical cooperation with developing countries. Such systems, which are still referred to in a broad sense as "animal powers" are by no means unknown in the third world. A classic example of an animal-powered system is the "Persian wheel".
Before the advent of the steam engine, animal powers were the only source of mechanical energy (with the exception of hydraulic power and wind power) in Europe, too. Unfortunately, many of the original animal-power inventions have since dropped into oblivion. Even worse: a lot of experience has been irretrievably lost.
The German Appropriate Technology Exchange (GATE) and the agricultural and rural development division of the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) are therefore devoting increased attention to animal-power technology. The current pro" gram is intended to determine the extent to which animal-powered systems can be duplicated, modified and reintroduced for special purpose applications. The yield on information, data and experience will be made available to interested parties in the German developmental aid sector. We are proceeding on the assumption that the historical and traditional forms of animal-powered systems respectively employed in various industrial and developing countries can serve as models for new and advanced versions. Initial work on the development and testing of a "universal power" is already well under way.
In our opinion, animal powers are frequently the best possible alternative - and, often enough, the only feasible alternative - to manual labor. The main prerequisite, of course, is that the potential user is already well-practiced in the use of draft animals. As long as that condition is fulfilled, an animal power would offer a prime opportunity for expanding and intensifying agricultural production or handicraft trade.
This-publication is intended as a contribution towards opening up new fields of application for animal-powered systems. This applies in equal measure to areas in which such systems have not yet been used and to areas of traditional application, where advanced, modernized versions would be of advantage.
Dr. K.-J. Lampe Dr. H.-W. von Haugwitz