Electricity access for Africa is just over 40%. This means that over 640 million Africans lack access to electricity. For the ones who do, it is usually unstable. Lack of electricity access results in huge economic losses. In Nigeria alone, money spent on environment-polluting diesel and petrol generators is over $1.6B. This has a huge impact on firms and the general populace. Forty-one per cent of firms in Africa identified energy as their major constraint to their business operation. Many rural villages are not connected to the grid. Again, many rural and urban areas have access to flowing water either in the form of flowing rivers or overhead tanks. Electricity can be generated from flowing water using hydroelectric generators. However, they require large dams.
Our modular hydroelectric generator technology will help reduce this problem by generating electricity from overhead tanks and streams. It is an auxiliary power source that can power energy-saving bulbs, security systems, surveillance cameras, charge devices and, depending on the speed of rivers, constitute a mini-grid. It can be easily retrofitted to existing plumbing systems and start generating electricity immediately as water is used from the tank. A scaled version of it can generate electricity from flowing rivers.
Hydroelectric generators are already in existence but require large dams. These dams have some dire unintended consequences. It leads to flooding, it hampers the aquatic habitat and releases greenhouse gases. Building such large hydroelectric generators is very expensive and requires extensive planning and government permits. Our device makes it possible to harness the power of water everywhere, including in homes! It will also help rural communities with tanks and streams and bring energy to places power has never been seen before. Although our technology cannot power heavy devices and cannot serve firms, it can power low-energy devices, which can transform Africa. Security lights can be powered, and people can charge their smart devices, access the internet and learn!
As a result of the low cost and ease of retrofitting, our product has a high market value. People want to have such devices in their homes and have them as another source of energy. It will be mass-manufactured in factories across Africa. It also requires little maintenance after installation.
The device utilizes the flowing water to turn a turbine and a generator to convert the rotational motion to electricity. The prototype has been built and tested for overhead tanks and works seamlessly. This product will be a game-changer for many homes in Africa.