A crash course in changing the world.
I propose to convert gutter runoff from rain water into electric power for battery storage. The device will
be a micro-hydro generating plant for the use of a single family or a
Liberia, West Africa.
Liberia is a poor country. One of the poorest in the world. A long and bitter civil war has left the
country and its infrastructure in shambles and, although a stable
government has been established, we are a very long way from pre-war
functionality and economic prosperity.
What Liberia is rich in (besides it's citizens) is water. We have over 200 inches of rain a year and,
during the rainy season, we may have two inches a day. Rain pours
from our gutters and it is that gush of water that can be turned into
power. Cheap power. Here is my proposal:
Electricity, for the fortunate, comes from generators, but the poorest have no power at all. In the rural
areas there may be a generator in a village, or not. Foreign money
has brought in mobile phones, and towers cover much of the country.
Phones and the local radio stations are the only means of
communication in the rural areas. Kerosene lamps are used for
lighting or people go to bed when it gets dark.
The goal of this project is to capture rainwater coming off the gutters and use it to generate power. The
ability to generate power cheaply will enable people to charge their
phones, listen the radios, and have a small light in the evening. It
will also be available to entrepreneurs who wish to open phone
charging stations, and to small business owners who would like to
stay open for a while after dusk.
To design, build and make available a micro-hydro generator that can be constructed with local or readily
available materials for less than $50.
The strength of our success is the team:
Peggie Scott: Team Lead, IFESH (Institute for Education and Self Help) Volunteer, MIT graduate, jack of all trades, doer. On the ground in Liberia.
Jean Joseph Cote': Design Engineer, Software engineer, land and air human-powered machine experience,
entrepreneur, out-of-the box thinker, MIT graduate, puzzle master.
Boston, MA, USA
Thomas O'Toole: Feasibility Engineer, Rocket scientist (really), On JPL structural team for spacecraft that
include the Cassini spacecraft and the Mars rover, Sojouner. Self
professed in-the-box thinker, mentor for young engineers. Huntington
Beach, CA, USA
Ian Yhap: Feasibility Engineer for local materials: Electrical engineer, years of large scale hydro-power experience, Liberia rebuilder. Monrovia, Liberia
Walter Jarvey: Prototyper: Plumber, mason, tinkerer, kluger, a get-it-done guy. Kakata, Liberia
The money will be used to buy materials and pay for fabrication, when needed, of the prototype. If a
successful prototype is developed for less, the remaining funds will
be used to begin production of a ready-for-market product.