Collaboration between UNY EngineerTech Team and Pertamina to Create a Hybrid Powered Water Hyacinth Dryer


The EngineerTech UNY team had the opportunity to collaborate and obtain research funding from PT Pertamina Patra Niaga TBBM Cikampek. The collaboration and research funding program focuses on the manufacturing and utilization of a hybrid-powered Water Hyacinth Dryer for community empowerment in the Walahar village area, Karawang Regency, West Java Province.

Handicrafts or knitted products from water hyacinth are one of the products that drive a very important economic sector for the local community in Walahar Village. Small industrial centers and home industries that make products from water hyacinth materials are intended for distribution outside the region and export markets. Water hyacinth processing is a solution carried out by the Walahar village community to overcome the problem of water hyacinth that thrives in the Walahar Dam, this utilization has a good impact in turning weeds into products of economic value. However, the production process of raw materials which is still carried out in the traditional way by relying on sunlight for drying often causes various problems such as a very long drying time of about 7 days, minimal sunlight during the rainy season, and ergonomic problems experienced by the community when carrying out drying activities.

Based on this problem, PT Pertamina Patra Niaga TBBM Cikampek through its CSR (corporate social responsibility) program and also as a state-owned company that facilitates fostered villages in the Walahar area, invited students from UNY who are members of the EngineerTech team to jointly find solutions to the problems of the community around Walahar village.

"When referring to this condition and previous research, an appropriate technology-based solution is the best idea, in other words, we will modernize water hyacinth drying in Walahar village by creating a Hybrid-Ecodry tool that uses solar energy and electrical energy from the grid as a back up. This is what you propose to PT Pertamina Patra Niaga Cikampek," said Khakam as the team coordinator.

In addition, for the utilization of electrical energy in machine operations, the UNY team and PT Pertamina Patra Niaga TBBM Cikampek have discussed to implement energy from solar panels so that the drying machine used can support the Sustainable Development Goal. "Karawang is a lowland and has sufficient sunlight, the implementation of solar panels as a means of energy conversion of the drying machine can be used, this is very much in accordance with SDGs 7 related to affordable and clean energy," said Rizal, one of the EngineerTech members.

"People in Walahar village, especially those who manage water hyacinth business centers, mostly use Android smartphones. The use of IoT-based remote monitoring will greatly help them in monitoring the dryer so they don't need to go back and forth to check," said Khakam.

The remote monitoring system is designed using an ESP-32 device integrated with the blynk application which includes an application program to monitor the engine temperature in real time at any time, so that users will find it easier to supervise the water hyacinth drying process. In addition, the use of the fire-resistant DS18B20 sensor allows temperature readings up to 125 degrees Celsius.

"This research collaboration program is very good for the progress of the community service program facilitated by Pertamina, where the results of research from students and companies can produce a work that can help increase the productivity of MSMEs and the welfare of the community," said Taufik Ismail, one of the representatives from PT Pertamina Patra Niaga TBBM Cikampek. (Author: Yanuar Agung, Editor: Dedy, Tj.lak)

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