Nottingham student creates energy supply for developing countries

Video: The invention can power a mobile phone for 20 minutes. 

A Nottingham student has used old bike parts to develop an electricity supply generated from waves which could supply people in developing countries with power.

Nottingham Trent University student Owen Griffiths, 23, with the help of professor Amin Al-Habaibeh, an expert in engineering systems, has developed the pioneering wave energy harvester.

It is designed to work near the shore and can power a mobile phone for 20 minutes.

It is hoped if the device is manufactured on a world scale it could connect to the national grid in developing countries, with little access to power, as a renewable energy supply.

Owen, 23, a final-year product design undergraduate, said he originally hoped to develop a renewable energy supply for people on scuba diving trips to charge their equipment.

He said: “If they can charge their equipment through a wave energy generator then that’s going to be so much more efficient as renewable energy.”

The device features a pressure cooker which bobs up and down from the force of the waves.

The pressure cooker, which is air tight and floats on water, is attached to a rack on a bicycle chain which creates a linear supply of energy as the waves pass beneath.

The wave harvester features a bike chain and a pressure cooker.

The chains are attacked to sprockets which convert the linear energy to rotational energy.

As the rack moves upwards with a wave, the first sprocket turns and powers a generator while the second is disengaged.

But as the rack moves downwards when the wave passes, the second sprocket turns and the first is disengaged.

This allows the harvester to generate power from the rise and fall of each wave.

The device can charge a mobile phone for 20 minutes.

Owen said: “With the linear motion actuating up and down from the waves rising and falling, the bicycle chain moves vertically up and down which is then connected to bicycle sprockets.

“The sprockets then convert the energy of the waves into a circular, rotational motion which then gets converted into a dynamo generator to then provide the electricity.”

Prof Al-Habaibeh said: “This project could improve sustainability at a global level if we utilise components and equipment that we throw away.

“This small-scale system is functional and can charge a mobile phone but, on a larger-scale, could produce renewable energy to the grid.”

(Visited 496 times, 1 visits today)