Mendu Maanasa has won a prize of $25,000 in a young talent contest for inventing a device that allows to generate renewable energy in an affordable way, at an approximate cost of $5.
The device captures the available energy around us to create clean energy. The device is called “Harvest” and uses a kind of “solar” leaves, capable of obtaining energy from rain, wind and sun, thanks to small solar cells.
At first, his idea was to focus solely on wind power, but with the help of his mentor, engineer Margaux Mitera, he discovered that he could also use other types of renewable energy.
The energy is generated using a piezoelectric material, which generates electricity from a mechanical force, stuck in the device. The device is a bit clunky, but it does serve its goal of economically producing clean energy.
This technique is not new, but interest has been growing in recent years. There is hope that these kinds of solutions are a way to tackle the long-term power supply problem.
After winning the contest, Young intends to develop a more complex prototype that can be commercialized.