Charterhouse 2016

Giovanni dos Reis Montefiori

£5 wind turbine

His story, in his words……

The objective was to build an affordable and mobile wind turbine to charge a mobile phone and the long-term vision is to offer a DIY kit accessible to any member of society and costing no more than £5.

Given my background and industrial experiences, building a wind turbine was inevitable. I was once invited by Siemens to their wind farm construction site near Aberdeen where I first understood the effectiveness of wind power. The UK government has also realised and now the largest source of renewable energy in Britain is wind. My background living in developing countries brought the concept of energy penetration to my attention. The solution and the problem revealed themselves to me and the task was apparent. To diffuse the domestic use of renewables and support rural inhabitants living almost entirely living off the grid and the urban dwellers in need of a reliable energy source.

Transitioning from inspiration and idea to the tangible was made possible by the Mark Evision Award. The first design has been completed –consists of basic electrical components and otherwise widely accessible materials. A production of 15V has been recorded and a cellphone has been charged using the technology. In this sense, the project has been a success and I intent to follow it up with new designs. The focus will be on optimising the blade design and reduce costing to create a globally competitive £5 wind turbine.

The journey to materialising an idea is as exciting as it is tedious. When plans fail, the entire design process must be re-evaluated. It is very timely and frustrating and I have learnt to value this experience. It reminded me to approach failure with a positive mind set – it makes the redesign more enjoyable and more productive. A mixture of dread and excitement was building up as I was approaching the final hurdle and thankfully it was a success. The entire journey has been unique and I feel even more thankful to the Mark Evision Foundation!”